C&E Firms: New Practice Areas

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EORM (San Jose, CA; www.eorm.com) for growth in its sustainability practice. EORM was founded as a traditional environmental, health, and safety (EHS) consultancy and has evolved over its 20-year history to begin offering new services in sustainability. EORM is investing resources in growing this area of the business and expanding its reach as a leading sustainability firm nationwide and around the globe. This investment has included key hires of highly skilled sustainability professionals, including FT500 CSR veterans, LEED professionals, and climate change experts. These investments have resulted in an organic four-fold increase in sustainability-related revenue in two years. In some recent projects, EORM has worked with Foxconn Technology Group to develop its first SER report, provided EPEAT support to a large consumer electronics company, and helped clients better understand the new sustainability index released by Wal-Mart.

Marstel-Day, LLC (Fredericksburg, VA; www.marstel-day.com) and IHS Jane's (www.janes.com), a unit of IHS Inc., for forming a strategic partnership and launching a new, joint-practice area that directly supports policymakers, planners, and operators who have to address the challenges posed by severe environmental, energy, and climate dynamics. Marstel-Day/IHS Jane's undertook their initiative in global environmental monitoring and intelligence (GEMI) in response to the emerging consensus that national security leaders must incorporate information regarding these issues into their strategic and operational planning. While focused initially on the intersection between national security and environmental issues, GEMI is available to broadly support policy, planning, and operational efforts across economic, diplomatic, aid, and other dimensions. According to the partners, GEMI offers a global presence of over 2,000 experts with in-country, on-the-ground perspectives; existing information sharing channels; in-depth environmental/technical/national security expertise; deep understanding of information needs for planners and policymakers; and, strong scenario development/analysis capabilities.

MWH Global (Broomfield, CO; www.mwhglobal.com) for the successful launch of its carbon offset verification practice. As a result of a $200 million upgrade to its Rocky Reach hydroelectric plant, Chelan County Public Utility District No. 1 (Chelan) became the first hydroelectric energy producer certified to provide CO2 offsets for the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). As one of only 16 independent verifiers approved by the CCX to review carbon offset applications for renewable energy projects, MWH provided the CCX-approved verification for Chelan. After meeting with Chelan personnel to review generation and flow data, validate calculation methodology, and verify improvements, MWH prepared a verification report that the CCX approved without modification. MWH verified that from 2003 to 2006, improvements to the Rocky Reach facility qualified to offset 702,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This verification allows Chelan to provide offsets for approximately 1.75 million megawatt-hours of incremental electricity generated at the Rocky Reach Plant, which could result in as much as $1 million in additional revenue. According to MWH, Chelan's participation in the CCX signifies growing opportunities for hydropower producers to be recognized as alternative energy providers.

O'Brien & Gere (Syracuse, NY; www.obg.com) for significant growth in revenue delivering climate action plans (CAPs) and related GHG emission reduction services to U.S. colleges and universities. In 2008, CAP-related sales were less than $100,000; in 2009 sales will exceed $1.5 million. In assisting U.S. colleges and universities meet their goals under the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), O'Brien & Gere is developing methods for measurement and mitigation of GHG emissions, with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality on campuses by mid-century. Over the past year, O'Brien & Gere has assisted six ACUPCC signatories with development of their CAPs. Collectively, these institutions emit over 500,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, comparable to annual emissions from over 100,000 U.S. passenger vehicles. Even more importantly, their collective enrollment exceeds 100,000 full-time equivalent students, who can become future ambassadors of sustainable practices through exposure to the ACUPCC process.

WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA; wspenvironmental.com) for the successful introduction of its U.S. Product and Supply Chain Group to help organizations manage the increasing complexity of their supply chains. The new group provides supply-chain data collection and management, third-party validation, and reporting services as a supplier-paid business process outsource to Seagate Technology LLC (Westford, MA). Through these services, clients can evaluate the impact of proposed hazardous substance regulations at the earliest possible point, enabling them to initiate changes to materials and processes in a planned, non-reactive way. In forming the new group, WSP leveraged extensive life cycle assessment experience with clients such as Diageo, Microsoft, Lexmark, and IBM. WSP is also taking advantage of its expertise in product-take-back programs, supporting numerous clients in their life-cycle analyses and helping electronic industry clients develop programs and manage compliance with European Union regulations governing environmental product design, take-back, and end-of-life management.

AECOM Technology Corp. for the launch of a new practice area that the company calls "green and sustainable remediation" (GSR). The spectrum of GSR activities includes the development of a framework for integrating sustainable remediation principles across the full remediation process, from site investigation through operations monitoring and maintenance, addressing core environmental, social and economic aspects all along the way. GSR also includes a Sustainable Remediation Tool to evaluate remediation technologies using sustainability metrics for the U.S. Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment Excellence. GSR activities also include the development of a series of guidance documents and papers on sustainable remediation. Taking this expertise into the field, AECOM GSR projects include cleanups of an urban waterway and former wood treating plant in Washington, a former refinery in Wyoming, a rail yard in Oregon, a landfill in Colorado, MGP and coal tar sites in Massachusetts, the Bridal Veil Open Space state Superfund site in Minnesota (a 2009 ACEC Grand Award winner project), and others.

Coto Consulting, Inc. (CCI; Coto De Caza, CA; www.coto-consulting.com), an environmental consulting firm, for successful entry into the climate change and sustainability consulting market. CCI, a woman-owned small business (WOSB) founded in 2009, developed an aggressive marketing strategy to establish its suite of services to include climate change and sustainability for the private and government sectors. By effectively implementing this plan, CCI secured over $150,000 of new projects addressing climate change or sustainability issues in less than four months. During the same timeframe, CCI personnel obtained accreditation from the California Air Resources Board to provide GHG lead verification services. This accreditation is expected to produce substantial revenue for CCI in 2010, as California has 600 facilities that must complete their mandatory GHG third-party verification by December 1, 2010. In recognition of CCI's expertise in these technical areas, CCI personnel have taught or been invited speakers at the following institutions and organizations: University of California Irvine (Sustainability Leadership Program and the Merage School of Business), Los Angeles/Orange County Environmental Training Center, the Auditing Roundtable, and the Federal Environmental Symposium. Lastly, CCI has established master service agreements or teaming agreements with 10 leading providers of environmental services.

Eversheds LLC (London, U.K.; www.eversheds.com) for establishing a renewable energy practice as one of its major practice areas in China. In China, Eversheds has assisted clients to execute projects reflecting a range of technologies, including biofuels, small hydro power, geothermal, energy efficiency in industry, cleaner coal, wind, and water purification. During the last year, the firm represented a major Chinese iron and steel manufacturer in a landmark Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. As a result, the manufacturer is reducing its GHG emissions by a total of 13 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent up to 2012, at a value of about €150 million. The project garnered an award from the publication Asian-Counsel as one of the top five socially responsible favorite transactions of 2008-2009. Eversheds is also providing pro-bono legal assistance to the Joint U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean Energy initiative. Early in 2009, the firm participated in the Eco-Office Audit Program organized by Roots & Shoots.