LRQA, a global assurance provider, is to acquire Sustainable Assurance Solutions (SAS), a provider of supply-chain sustainability audit, consulting and training services based in Australia.

The company said its acquisition would help LRQA to meet rising demand for data-driven ESG supply chain assurance solutions.

This is LRQA’s third acquisition as an independent business, following the acquisition of Hong Kong-based ESG assurance specialist, Elevate, in January 2022, and Singapore-based cybersecurity consultancy, ATvanGarde, in August 2022.

SAS provides services including audits for SEDEX, the ethical supply-chain trade membership organisation, and Fair Farms, an industry-led initiative aimed at fostering fair and responsible employment practices in Australian horticulture.

SAS and LRQA’s complementary product portfolios and geographic footprints will offer an enhanced range of risk management solutions to meet the fast-growing need for more transparent and technology-led ESG services, bridging gaps in clients’ processes, policies and procedures with sustainable best practice.

Arta Beikzadeh, who founded SAS in 2019 to address the need for high quality, customer-focused and responsive ESG assurance in the fast-growing Australasian market, said: ethical sourcing and corporate social responsibility remain top priorities for global supply chains, especially in the current climate.

“Businesses cannot afford to abandon their legal requirements or moral obligations, for the sake of their brand, their operations, or their reputations,” Ms Beikzadeh said.

“That’s why the planned acquisition of SAS by LRQA is such a positive development for the assurance industry and Australasian market. We’ll be able to connect clients across international borders, offering global support with local expertise, and help businesses excel in the ESG space.”

LRQA chief executive officer Paul Butcher said ESG services are a critical component of risk management for our clients today.

“LRQA’s acquisition of SAS therefore aims to address that need, support growth in the Australasian market, and empower clients to take control and face their futures with confidence,” Mr Butcher said.

“Above all and regardless of industry, sector or country, this acquisition is about transforming the value that assurance can offer clients. 2022 has been a milestone year for LRQA as an independent business, and we continue to actively pursue opportunities to accelerate our growth strategy and evolve our offering for clients through further acquisitions.”