Consulting & Engineering: Energy & Carbon Management

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Gold MedalENVIRON (Arlington, Va.) for developing strategic approaches and companion software that allow the firm to more efficiently and cost-effectively identify and prioritize energy and carbon reductions for clients. ENVIRON's Survey and Analysis Tool for Remote Assessments enables its energy and carbon management professionals to extrapolate detailed information from a few client sites in order to identify opportunities across a much broader range of sites and produce specific marginal abatement curves for both energy and carbon. The results identify company- or institution-wide reduction opportunities without the expense of rigorous facility-by-facility audits.

For one major international beverage manufacturer, ENVIRON used these methods to develop estimates for the potential to reduce carbon and energy at nearly two dozen locations throughout the United States without costly site visits at all locations. After completing detailed energy assessments at three manufacturing locations, ENVIRON utilized the results to create a bespoke survey and analysis software tool that allowed for remote energy assessments of the remaining facilities. Across the company's U.S. manufacturing sites, ENVIRON identified efficiency projects that would reduce energy consumption by 14% and carbon emissions by 33% within a competitive payback period.

In a similar fashion, ENVIRON's Energy, Carbon and Cost Prioritization Tool helps clients prioritize greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects within the context of a cumulative target. This proprietary software allows clients to consider their entire portfolio of reduction project opportunities, and prioritize based on costs and energy/GHG reductions.

For example, ENVIRON worked with the Port of Portland over eight months to help develop its Carbon and Energy Management Plan, which charts the most efficient path toward its carbon emissions reduction goal of 15% below 1990 levels by 2020. ENVIRON's software tool was used to calculate, compare and track energy, carbon and lifecycle cost impacts of current and future energy and carbon reduction opportunities. The tool allows for the creation and comparison of different portfolios of projects and allows users to run "what-if" analyses based on adjustments to financial parameters, energy prices, fuel/energy carbon intensity and implementation schedules. The Port continues to use the tool to analyze the benefits and costs of new projects, track the implementation and performance of existing energy management projects, as well as to make long-term carbon reduction projections.

Silver MedalAtkins (Tampa, FL) for developing a novel approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for San Bernardino County, CA, which has since been adopted by Riverside and Sutter counties. In 2007, after San Bernardino became one of the first jurisdictions forced by then Attorney General (and now Governor) Jerry Brown to include GHG mitigation in its general plan for growth and development, Atkins worked with the County, the local Building Industry Association, the cement industry and other business interests to develop screening tables that allow flexibility in prioritizing GHG reductions while meeting the terms of the county's settlement agreement with the state.

The entire project took five years, with the County adopting its GHG Reduction Plan in January 2012 and Atkins training County staff in spring 2012 to use the tables. The first test cases were completed in April and May 2012, and after some fine-tuning, the screening tables have been used for all new development applications in San Bernardino County since fall 2012.

The screening tables provide a menu of options for energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste diversion, water conservation, transportation-related emissions reductions, GHG emission reduction credits and other measures that entities developing a new project or expanding an existing facility can choose to meet their "fair share" of the County's GHG reduction goals. This method was chosen after Atkins and the County staff investigated and rejected other approaches including voluntary compliance (not likely to achieve high enough participation), GHG reduction ordinances (too onerous for businesses and staff) and even a local GHG emissions trading market (too burdensome for staff to implement). The screening tables method was chosen for being a versatile, business-friendly and easy-to-implement method to meet the County's GHG Reduction Plan.