APEM’s managing director, Dr Adrian Williams, said: “Over thirty years ago APEM started out with a simple belief that there would always be a need for high quality work informed by sound science.
“When last April I was asked to take over as head of the company I was deeply honoured and I set us the ambitious goal of achieving ten million pounds in revenues by the end of the year.
“To have reached that landmark not only shows the wisdom of that founding principle, but gives me great pride in the company, its services and especially its people.”
Revenues reflected the company’s well-established specialisms in the water and power sectors.
About two thirds of income was generated from the freshwater and marine sectors with clients including many of the country’s largest water utilities, plus all the major water sector regulators such as Natural Resources Wales, SEPA and the Environment Agency. Rounding out the company’s broad client base across the sector were ports, national and local government and third sector organisations such as rivers trusts and the National Trust.
UK water companies form one of APEM’s most important markets, accounting for around 40 per cent of revenue. Clients in 2018 included all ten of the UK’s combined water and wastewater utilities and several of the water-only companies. APEM is on eight framework agreements with water companies for services ranging from aquatic ecology to hydrology.
Recent years have seen APEM cement its role in the offshore wind industry, which generated about 30 per cent of the company’s revenue in 2018. It is a global leader in high resolution aerial digital wildlife surveys with clients in 2018 including major developers like Orsted, EDF and Scottish Power Renewables, as well as industry regulators.
Strong growth in overseas markets has helped to drive up revenues. From less than £5,000 in 2013 overseas income reached almost £2 million last year. Demand for offshore wildlife surveys has been particularly strong, with both Germany and the US emerging as key markets.
The company’s wide ranging services for the water industry span consultancy, laboratory analysis, field surveys, drought planning, hydrographic surveys, fisheries and invasive non-native species, among others.
Typical of its science-first approach was a project initiated last year to develop a new ‘hydroecology model’ for Severn Trent Water, designed to help manage the impacts of groundwater abstraction. Carried out in collaboration with consultancy Stantec and the Environment Agency, it combines macroinvertebrate indices with modelled flow reductions due to abstraction (and other environmental measurements) to develop locally-based environmental flow constraints, while at the same time looking to deliver significant cost savings for the water company.
APEM has developed a unique suite of aerial surveys for the water sector using state-of-the-art technology and image processing tools that are faster, safer and cheaper than ground based surveys. These include mapping of water pipe and sewer networks, invasive species and misconnected wastewater pipes, plus pollution surveys and leak detection – aerial surveys in 2018 for two major water companies have so far detected 25 confirmed leaks in underground water pipes.
With a range of aircraft-mounted imaging systems available APEM also provides aerial surveys of birds, marine mammals and other wildlife for the offshore wind industry. The thousands of ultra-high resolution digital images captured by the systems hold the key to understanding wildlife in the survey area. They show what species are present, where and in what numbers. The height of birds in flight can even be extrapolated.
Managing director, Dr Adrian Williams, said: “The fantastic thing about the environment sector is that there is always something new on the horizon.
“We know, for example, that in the world of aquatic ecology there is a pressing need not just to continue cleaning up our rivers, but also to restore them to healthier conditions. It’s no coincidence that we have recruited staff with exactly these river restoration skills.
“Similarly, the natural capital approach is going to be a big driver for the environment sector in the future. We recruited new staff and last year began developing a ground breaking new system for mapping natural capital in coastal environments for Natural England.
“So our most recent financial results are a milestone and not a destination. Our journey will continue as we pursue news ways in which we can help our clients.”
If you have any queries, please contact Dr Adrian Williams, managing director.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.