2023 Benchmark Survey of Environmental Due Diligence Professionals

LightBox EDR: 2023 Benchmark Survey of Environmental Due Diligence Professionals
Summer 2023

For more than three decades, LightBox EDR has been dedicated to tracking and understanding trends in the environmental due diligence market and responding to our clients’ requests for industry benchmarks.

In May 2023, LightBox EDR conducted its five-year Benchmark Survey of Environmental Due Diligence Professionals to collect timely data on the Phase I ESA pricing and turnaround time benchmarks we’re known for. It also included questions on risk tolerance, technology trends, ASTM standards, climate risk assessments, business challenges and the market forecast. The survey sample included environmental professionals from every US state across various firm sizes and types. The following document provides a summary of the survey results.



  • A slower-than-expected start to 2023 led environmental consultants to dial back previously optimistic forecasts. Fifty-three percent of respondents expect Phase I ESA volume in the year’s second half to be the same as the first half.
  • The average turnaround time for an AAI-compliant Phase I ESA on a conventional property with no non-scope issues is 16 business days at an average price of $3,083.
  • Report writing is the most time-consuming step of Phase I ESA projects, accounting for an average of 6.8 hours.
  • 35% of respondents agree speed is more important than price in winning clients for Phase I ESA projects today, and 25% charge a premium for faster delivery.


Look for an upcoming series of blogs which drill deeper into these findings and analyze critical trends in ESA pricing and turnaround time against historical benchmarks, as well as how average pricing varies by US region and firm type, and pieces on how best practices for climate risk assessments are taking shape and a retrospective on how technology trends have dramatically changed the Phase I ESA process over the past three decades.

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