Industry Leadership Awards

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Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES; Neptune, NJ), for its work in engaging shale-gas industry peer groups in EHS issues. GES has coordinated forums and on-line venues to serve as knowledge and support centers with the aim of helping shale-gas exploration and production (E&P) companies improve their safety performance, regulatory compliance, and community relations in the Marcellus Shale region. Participants represent oil and gas companies, service and equipment providers, regulators, and representatives of state executive and legislative branches. In April 2011, GES led a roundtable discussion on the potential development of a sustainable transportation program based on natural gas vehicles (NGV). The group has continued discussions through such outlets as the Linkedin group "PA Energy Evolution - NGV Advocates," which has now grown to 50 members. GES also hosted a forum focused on diverse aspects of working safely in the Marcellus Shale region. Introduced by industry representatives, the forum highlighted various health, safety security, and environmental issues, from subcontractor management to transportation, site security, spill response, and well-pad compliance.

Golder Associates (Atlanta, GA), for training over 300 industrial hygiene (IH) professionals worldwide in just two years to accommodate the global demand for industrial health expertise. More than 75 major companies have enrolled employees in Golder courses to achieve international IH certification. Golder claims to be one of the first organizations approved to provide such training, based on its qualifications, track record in IH education, and instructors. The company has conducted more than a dozen five-day courses in Singapore, India, China, and Malaysia and has scheduled courses in 10 countries throughout 2012. Dr. Jas Singh, a certified industrial hygienist and former board member of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, directs the IH curriculum and leads Golder's 12 certified consultants. While the IH profession is mature in North America, the demand has been ramping up in countries where an expanding industrial base requires thousands of qualified professionals. Because certification is a long road, IH organizations have developed a modular certification solution to fulfill this critical need.

Commonground (Milford, CT), for expansion of its business-to-business social network and information resource for environmental consultants and real estate stakeholders. On the commonground network, users and providers of environmental, engineering, property assessment, and due diligence services congregate to discuss relevant topics, gain critical insights, and generate business opportunities. Commonground made great strides in 2011 to ensure that industry-created and vetted training is more accessible to professionals around the country through commonground University (cgU). Most recently, commonground added a course covering ASTM's E2600 Vapor Encroachment Screen to the curriculum. Also, a free quarterly webinar series with continuous replays brings expert knowledge on the latest trends and regulation to members. As a resource for professionals entering the industry, commonground has also created a mentor program that features some of the industry's most influential and experienced professionals as trusted resources. The site's job board has also connected dozens of out-of-work environmental professionals with new opportunities during these challenging economic times.

Rebecca Rubin, president of Marstel-Day LLC (Fredericksburg, VA), for working with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce-a five county organization-to host three short videos on climate and sustainability. Depending on how one defines "small business," small firms employ between 60 and 90% of the country's workforce. Most small businesses will turn naturally to their local Chamber of Commerce for business leadership, including for sustainability initiatives. Recognizing that this "green arena" is a weak point for many local and regional chamber branches, Rubin teamed with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber to develop the videos, which have the following titles: "Be a Climate Leader, Not A Climate Loser"; "Green Tips for Federal Vendors and Suppliers"; and "Going Green Can Boost Workplace Morale." Marstel-Day and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber also launched a Green Business Council, chaired by Rubin, and the chamber is taking steps to reduce its ecological footprint. Next steps include green innovation awards, forthcoming in spring of 2012 at the "State of the Chamber." As a result of these initiatives, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber has taken a strong leadership role in attracting green business to the region.

TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc. (Darien, CT), the largest environmental laboratory firm in North America, for launching in March 2011 a series of 15 free educational webinars related to current challenges faced by the environmental community. TestAmerica's Ask the Experts webinar series was designed to provide a forum for sharing the company's technical expertise with the environmental community and to enhance the knowledge and awareness of the participants in understanding these complex issues. Among the webinar topics covered were shale gas exploration, incremental sampling methodologies, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, vapor intrusion, sediments, petroleum biomarkers and dioxins. The webinar series has been extremely successful, with over 3,500 registrants for the events. With the high level of interest and success in the initial series of webinars, the series will be continued in 2012 with a new slate of presentations.

Ishwar Murarka, chief scientist and president of Ish Inc. (Raleigh, NC), for his long career in the research and development of techniques for improving waste management practices in the electric utility industry. An Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) veteran of almost 20 years, Murarka led EPRI's Land and Groundwater Protection and Remediation business area until 1998. He initiated and oversaw millions of dollars of applied research directed at characterizing, managing, minimizing, and remediating utility-industry wastes. Under his leadership, EPRI developed numerous innovative risk management and fate and transport models as well as investigative, remedial, and treatment technologies. Also during those years, he led the well-attended biennial manufactured gas plant (MGP) conferences. He has served on national committees and as a peer reviewer for numerous efforts, including those chaired by EPA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in the areas of coal ash management, heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) chemistry and treatment, and dense non-aqueous-phase liquid (DNAPL) remediation. Murarka retired from EPRI in 1998 and founded his own consultancy serving the electric utility industry.

CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for its launch of WaterMatch, a grassroots, goodwill initiative that harnesses the power of social networking to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural use. The WaterMatch website uses social networking and geospatial mapping to connect water generators with water users. Once on line, water users will use the WaterMatch Map to find wastewater treatment plants close to their current and future operations and then use the social networking function to connect with the utilities operating those plants. WaterMatch enables access to information and creation of local relationships to enable the expansion of municipal effluent reuse in their operations; promotes public-private partnerships and the reduction of freshwater use around the world; and increases water supply diversity and reliability, because municipal effluent offers a secure source of good-quality water. WaterMatch MeetUps are being organized and held around the world to allow municipalities and businesses to find reuse matches and discuss other common local interests.

WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA), for its role in helping the information and communication technology (ICT) industry quantify and demonstrate how its products and services help organizations reduce their carbon emissions, engage users on sustainability issues, and deliver financial value. For example, in collaboration with Accenture, WSP completed a "Green Cloud Assessment" for Microsoft revealing that the environmental benefits of running enterprise applications in the cloud included a per-user footprint that was at least 30% lower than that of traditional on-premise infrastructure. Prompted by this study, salesforce.com commissioned WSP to assess the efficiency of its platform. This effort required a different approach but again confirmed the carbon efficiency of the cloud as a tool that can mitigate the impact of business growth on the environment. WSP contributes to a working group of the GHG Protocol Initiative focused on the ICT sector, which in 2012 will publish guidance for a common approach to calculating carbon emissions of ICT products and services.