Business Achievement: New Practice Areas


The Phylmar Group, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA), for its recent launch of the Phylmar Affiliate Network Inner Circle, an exclusive international group comprising small to medium-size environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and sustainability consulting firms. Inner Circle members have access to a network of more than 500 affiliates in 50 countries, thereby expanding their firms' technical and geographic reach. The Inner Circle builds on Phylmar's innovative business model allowing members to effectively compete with much larger EHS consulting firms on a global scale. The Inner Circle also provides members with the opportunity to partner with non-EHS consultancies that provide services and products to Inner Circle members to increase their competitive position. Partners, to date, have been drawn from a variety of industry sectors, including marketing and financial services. During the Inner Circle's first year, 17 members were signed up, along with five partners.

EcoAnalysts, Inc. (Moscow, ID), for significantly increasing its revenue through expansion of its services into the global marine bioassessment and biodiversity market. EcoAnalysts has grown its marine project-related revenue from $200,000 to $3.5 million over the past two years. This growth was achieved through client diversification, government contracting, and strategic hiring, including a new director of marine services. Projects included a National Coastal Condition Assessment for EPA, bioassessment work related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fast-track processing of deep-sea samples from the largest offshore sampling program within the South China Sea, and benthic marine community analysis projects in near-shore Canadian waters.

CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for growth in its practice related to reducing biological threats from extensive biological warfare programs. In 2008, the firm won a multi-year, multiple-contractor program for biological threat reduction and a key task in the country of Georgia, a former Soviet Union state with significant Cold War biological production and laboratory capabilities. Using skills developed from managing large-scale infrastructure, decontamination, and environmental programs, CH2M HILL is providing engineering and construction services for containment laboratories at Biosafety Level -3; integrating threat agent detection and response efforts; and developing cooperative research programs to harness the capabilities of Georgian scientists. Total fees could exceed $100 million in revenue. With this contract, CH2M HILL became known as a major support contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). In less than four years, CH2M HILL now has a self-sustaining practice to provide a full suite of services to DTRA's Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. After targeting this new practice area, CH2M HILL has developed and executed a strategy to penetrate the market. Formerly focused on former Soviet Union states, the new practice area offers threat reduction, chemical-biological defense, and program management on a worldwide basis.

AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA), for growth of its Nanotechnology Initiative, a program to respond to growing opportunities for safely using nanotechnology-based materials for better environmental results. AECOM's nanotechnology-related service offering includes: EHS services to ensure compliance with best practices and guidelines; risk assessment to determine the potential effects of products on employees, consumers, and the environment; environmental toxicology to evaluate the ecological impacts of products; and remediation services employing nanomaterials engineered to address specific contaminants for faster, cheaper, and more-focused cleanups. AECOM has nanotechnology-related projects in Russia, Australia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the United States. For example, collaborating with a major aerospace company and university partner, AECOM investigated the environmental fate and transport of nanomaterials used in enhanced groundwater remediation and developed methods to control and stop their movement in the subsurface. In Russia, AECOM is working for RUSNANO to review designs of key Sochi 2014 winter Olympic venues and advise on the cost-effective introduction of nanotechnology-based products.

Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi; San Francisco, CA) for the successful launch of a new "environmental constraints and permit expediting" practice in 2011. The practice focuses on siting time-sensitive projects, primarily energy-related, on federal lands. Using the Constraint Assessment for Siting (CAS) model, the practice is able to delineate the optimal areas for development. The CAS model is built on an extensive data library built over the last four years and provides interactive maps associated with energy development potential and known environmental constraints. Proposed development areas are assessed along with alternatives. Permitting timeframes are then assigned to each alternative, allowing developers to easily understand the trade-offs between time, cost, and technical feasibility, according to EMPSi. Maps are exported to Google Earth data layers to allow presentations "on the fly" so that developers, regulators, and the public can easily view specific constraints in a graphic mode. The analysis is designed to support any subsequent compliance actions, including NEPA compliance and local permitting.