EY Canada has acquired Afara, a Calgary-based management consulting firm focusing on sustainability engagements.
Founded in 2014 by Dan Zilnik, Afara has 14 employees across offices in Calgary and Toronto, according to LinkedIn. The firm helps organizations boost sustainability performance through evidence-based insights – combining policy and regulatory knowledge, engineering and science, behavioural economics, and management consulting.
Afara works with clients in energy, government, consumer goods, and technology, among other industries.
A representative example of Afara’s client work is a project it completed for a major petroleum transportation, storage, and natural gas liquids processing business based in Alberta. The consultancy was tapped to develop a climate scenario-based model that would help the client understand risks to its various business units. Aside from scenario analysis and modeling, the engagement included workshops with key stakeholders in the organization.EY’s acquisition of Afara will strengthen its sustainability and ESG consulting capabilities. Zilnik and his team will join EY-Parthenon, the firm’s strategy consulting unit.
Prior to founding his company, Zilnik was leader of environment and climate, Canada, at Statoil (now Equinor), Norway’s state-owned energy company. Before that he was a sustainability consultant at WorleyParsons, a major engineering consultancy focusing on energy and resources.
“Both EY and AFARA have track records of helping clients navigate their ESG journeys as they work towards setting, meeting and reporting on key targets that build trust with stakeholders and capital markets,” said Zilnik, now a partner at EY. “There is no doubt that we are about to accelerate and magnify our combined impact by joining forces.”
EY was recently deemed a leader for ESG services in Verdantix’s 2022 assessment of the ESG and sustainability consulting market. Internally, the consultancy reached its carbon negative target in 2021 and plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2025.
“Businesses around the world are now embracing societal change and sustainable development as road maps to long-term success — and we are excited to play a role in that journey,” said Kent Kaufield, chief sustainability officer and ESG markets leader at EY Canada. “At the end of the day, sustainability is everybody’s business. With AFARA, we look forward to helping clients build resilient, sustainable companies and economies, while furthering the energy transition.”