AETS provides technical consulting, training and risk management support in the areas of health and safety, energy and climate change, natural ressources, and economic development. The company was founded in 1996 by Claude Peyrebonne as a subsidiary of the Apave Group, a leading French testing and inspection organization.
“We have access to a vast network of subsidiary and representative offices worldwide through the Apave Group as well as our own representatives in Brussels, Bangkok, Jakarta, New Delhi and Rabat,” says General Director Franck Boccas. “90% of our work is on behalf of foreign clients.” AETS is active worldwide on projects for diverse customers. Its first client was the European Commission, for which it works on projects for the Europe Aid development programme. Other prominent clients include the World Bank and IFC as well as various regional development banks in Europe (EBRD, EIB), Asia and Africa. It also has contracts with governments outside the EU and private companies such as oil conglomerate Total.
“We work in a hugely competitive environment in which it is important to have a competive advantage,” insists Mr. Boccas. “We have a relatively small team of less than 50 members of staff. Each of our consultants is a specialist in his or her field of expertise. They are veterinarians, energy experts, agronomists, environmentalists, economists, lawyers – all with higher education, technical expertise and field experience. When we cannot count on our in-house expertise, we work with external partners I like to call our ‘frequent flyers.’ Thanks to our small size, we can respond quickly to client requirements and adapt to situations as they change.”
Health and safety projects account for the lion’s share of AETS’s work, generating more than half of its 14 million EUR annual turnover. This area encompasses product safety, employee safety, animal welfare, industrial safety and labour protection. AETS’s expertise extends to risk management in all of these areas, conformity assessment to EU and international standards, drawing up safety protocols, monitoring systems and crisis management plans.
“There are highly complex requirements that must be adhered to,” explains Mr. Boccas. “Many companies can only export their goods to the EU if they can show that they conform to EU standards and regulations. We help competent authorities build control systems to meet these requirements and identify possible improvements to their regulatory frameworks. Thus, in our modest way, we contribute to improving the quality of goods imported into the Community and to generating an even playing field for EU and foreign companies competing on the EU market.” This is good news for everyone concerned that EU bureaucracy has become a very crowded one-way street.