2012 EBJ Business Achievement Award

Each year Environmental Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the environmental industry with our EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Environmental Business Journal is proud to announce its 15th annual business achievement awards. Our 2012 winners succeeded in a relatively difficult business climate, so we salute the dedication and commitment of the companies awarded. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations, and we hope to see you in San Diego for the official awards ceremony at Environmental Industry Summit XI on March 6-8, 2013 at the Hotel del Coronado.

In October-December 2012, EBJ solicited the environmental industry via e-mail, social media, its website, industry events and word-of-mouth for nominations for the EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations may have been adjusted depending on the volume of nominations or the number of worthy recipients. Final awards were determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members.

Disclaimer: company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.

  • Business Achievement: Small Firms (less than $20 million)

    Gold MedalStell Environmental Enterprises, Inc. (SEE; Elverson, PA) for growing revenue to nearly $14 million in 2012 from about $6 million in 2011, while maintaining profitability of about 12%. A small, disadvantaged and woman-owned firm under the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, SEE holds contracts with the Department of Defense (DOD) and other clients that encompass a broad scope of restoration, compliance, and technical support activities. The firm was founded in 2004 by President Mary Jane Stell, who has guided SEE's development and sustained success, growing the organization from 28 staff, one prime contract and $1.5 million in capacity, and annual revenue of $3.1 million in 2010 to nearly 100 staff, 16 prime contracts and $40 million in capacity, and annual revenue of $14 million in 2012. SEE's principals, through experience and professional networks, have identified partners and staff that bring innovation in technology and management to the marketplace. These alignments and hires have facilitated measured expansion in a market where there is still room for quality, successful small businesses. Ms. Stell is an enthusiastic supporter of the small-business community and the development of woman-owned small businesses.

    Silver MedalMarstel-Day, LLC (Fredericksburg, VA) for achieving a nearly 50% increase in revenue over 2011 and more than a 125% increase in revenue since 2008. Marstel-Day projects that it will bill $12.4 million in 2012, up 47.8% over $8.4 million in 2011 and up 128.2% over 2008 revenue of $5.4 million. The company expects this growth to continue into 2013, with more than $15 million in task-order value already under contract. Marstel-Day started the federal fiscal year October 1, 2012 with over $17 million in contract value booked, compared with $12.5 million in 2011, and the company expects to bill $16 million in 2013, a projected increase of nearly 30%. During this same period, Marstel-Day's employee numbers have grown from 34 employees in November 2008 to more than 100 employees today, nearly tripling its size in five years and achieving a 20% increase in employees in 2012. Marstel-Day projects to continue hiring new employees in the new year to accommodate its growth in workload. This year also resulted in numerous awards for the company, including the HUBZone Corporate Citizen of the Year award from the HUBZone Contractors National Council and the Alliance for Workplace Excellence Eco-Leadership Award.

    Bronze MedalPMC (Oakland, CA) for its dramatic turnaround over the past four years. As a result of the Great Recession of 2008 through 2011, PMC embarked on a turn-around strategy to stabilize the organization and then initiate an aggressive strategic growth plan with the ambition of expanding services and its geographic reach. The plan was originated in the fall of 2010, and implementation began in early 2011. As a direct result of the strategy, financial performance has improved significantly, with 2012 achievements including the following: sales and backlog increased 25%; utilization increased by 10%; gross revenue increased 5%; net revenue increased 3%; operating profits increased 513%; and EBITDA increase 115%. The steps taken to achieve these improvements included an enhanced business development process, greater transparency in financial performance at the project level, a re-organization of service lines to enhance collaboration, refined external marketing and branding, refined budgeting and strategic planning, and improved internal communication around PMC's vision.

    Honorable MentionEnvironmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi; Boulder, CO) for growing revenue by more than 20% for the fourth year in a row. Growth over that period totaled more than 300%. In addition, EMPSi expanded from four offices to six offices, with new offices established in Portland, Oregon, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2012. EMPSi also continued expansion of its commercial energy business with new awards for solar, wind, and geothermal energy projects in 2012. In addition, the firm received significant new awards from federal government clients by winning three multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts, two in the company's expanding water compliance services sector. The Bureau of Reclamation awarded EMPSi a $4.28 million contract for support services associated with the development of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the future Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. In addition the Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region awarded EMPSi a five-year contract with a maximum ceiling of $60 million to provide water-related environmental compliance services. Earlier in the year, the Department of Interior awarded EMPSi a five-year environmental support contract with a ceiling of $9 million for services nationwide.

    Honorable MentionStraughan Environmental, Inc. (Columbia, MD) for 20% revenue growth and 14% staff growth in 2012, and for 106.7% revenue growth since 2008. Founded in 1995, Straughan, a small, woman-owned environmental planning, science, and engineering design company focused on sustainability, claims to have played some role in every major transportation improvement project in its region, from wetland delineations and mitigation site search and site design for the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge near Washington D.C. in the late 1990s, to working on the NEPA documentation for the highly controversial Intercounty Connector highway (Maryland Route 200) in 2004, to serving as the environmental compliance company for the I-95 Electronic Toll Lanes project for the Maryland Transportation Administration beginning in 2006. Recognizing the changing climate in transportation, Straughan set a course through its annual strategic planning process to diversify its projects and client base, achieving top-line growth of $1 million per year in revenue between 2008 and 2012, with more than 40% of its client base diversified to include federal and commercial clients.

    Honorable MentionEORM (San Jose, CA) for 17% revenue growth per year over the last three years, and an increase of nearly 50% during the period from 2010 to 2012. EORM attributes this growth to a three-year strategic plan, combining both organic and inorganic growth. Key to this growth was the creation of new consulting practice areas in sustainability, healthcare, and clean-energy technologies, and continued focus in ergonomics, management systems, and construction environmental, health, and safety (EHS). In particular, the sustainability and construction EHS practices are projected to exceed 2012 revenue goals by over 20%. Expanded global EHS and sustainability services, predominantly in Asia, were also a factor in revenue growth. In addition, as part of its acquisition strategy, EORM began realizing increased revenues from expanded environmental services following it third-quarter 2011 acquisition of Oxnard, California-based Sigma Engineering Services, Inc. EORM was recently ranked the top environmental firm in the Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, up from the number two spot in 2011 and number five in 2010.

    Honorable MentionMabbett & Associates, Inc. (Bedford, MA), a service-disable, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), for increasing revenue by 107% over the period from fiscal years 2008 to 2012, from just over $2.4 million to just under $6.2 million. During that period, Mabbett increased its revenue growth from business in the federal sector by 915%; federal business had represented 2% of the firm’s revenue in FY 2008 and grew to about 74% of total revenue in FY 2012. Mabbett has received major multi-year and repeat contracts from several federal agencies and departments, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the General Services Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and other federal clients. In 2012, Mabbett ranked at number 22 on the Zweig Letter “Hot Firm” list, up from number 36 in 2011 and number 68 in 2010, and ranked among Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the United States.

  • Business Achievement: Mid-size Firms ($20 million to $100 million)

    Gold MedalCape Environmental Management Inc. (Norcross, GA ) for 43% growth in its environmental revenue over the past two years, from $26.5 million in 2010 to $38 million in 2012. This growth has been achieved across many market areas, including work for commercial/industrial clients and the federal government, with the biggest increase in environmental remediation for the U.S. Air Force. Cape's 12-year history of working with Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), as well as its success in achieving site closures at military bases, resulted in its winning "fence-to-fence" performance-based remediation contracts at Robins Air Force Base (AFB), Joint Base San Antonio, the former Griffiss AFB, and the former K.I. Sawyer AFB. With periods of performance of up to nine years and total value of $86 million, these four contracts alone have provided a sustainable base of environmental revenue, allowing Cape to invest in other parts of its business. For example, from 2011 to 2012, Cape's military munitions response sales increased 23%, and sales of fuel system inspections, repair, and construction services increased 25%. Cape has also expanded its presence outside the U.S. and is currently performing work in Guam, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Afghanistan.

    Silver MedalSullivan International Group, Inc. (San Diego, CA) for substantial success in increasing backlog with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Air Force, and for breaking into the international market. Sullivan was awarded $22 million through new U.S. Army task-order awards under existing contracts, including the USACE Tulsa District's Environmental Remediation Services Multiple Award Task Order Contract (ERS MATOC), the USACE Omaha District's Security, Disaster, Infrastructure, Construction (SDIC) contract, and the USACE Los Angeles District's Mesa contract. One notable win was a $17.8 million levee construction project by the USACE Omaha District to provide repair and construction of levees. Sullivan also had great success in 2012 with the U.S. Air Force, winning $5.5 million in awards from existing contracts. For example, through an existing Environment, Construction, and Operations and Services (AFCEE-ECOS) contract with the U.S. Air Force Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment (AFCEE), Sullivan was awarded its first international project at Yokota Air Base in Japan. Sullivan saw its gross revenue increase from slightly more than $42 million in 2011 to nearly $52 million in 2012, an increase of 24%, and it increased backlog by 78%.

    Bronze MedalDudek (Encinitas, CA), a 300-employee, California-focused environmental consulting and engineering firm, for increasing revenue by about 14% to approximately $45 million, maintaining a profit level of 15 to 16%, and increasing backlog from about $36 million as of the end of 2011 to $47 million as 2012 came to a close. The company attributes its success to a combination of external market factors and internal organization. California's dedication to environmental protection and strong regulatory regime continues to generate a high level of opportunity, and the renewable energy market is very strong. In addition, the water/wastewater market has been solid on the maintenance and repair side-a Dudek strength-and the land development has started to rebound. Internally, Dudek credits a very flat organizational structure and entrepreneurial culture with leading to growth and profitability, with professionals at all levels being very "hands on" and constantly generating new opportunities. The company says, over the past year, it has made excellent strategic hires of people who have substantially contributed to this culture and brought on board new opportunity.

  • Business Achievement: Large Firms (more than $100 million)

    Gold MedalGolder Associates (Atlanta, GA) for achieving a significant growth rate of 20% percent in 2012, ending the year with $1 billion in net revenue. Golder's revenue growth was spread across all operating regions, with double-digit growth in all areas, including Europe, despite the variability of market conditions there. Golder enjoyed growth across many sectors of the industry, from natural resources to urban development and infrastructure to power and manufacturing. Last year, Golder added staff as well, expanding to more than 8,900 employees, with a 10% increase in full-time employees. In addition to establishing Golder Associates Kazakhstan LLP (GAK) in Atyrau on the Caspian Sea to better serve clients' long-term needs for oil and gas development in that region, Golder opened offices in Ghana and near the Bakken shale gas region in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Estevan, Saskatchewan. Growth was also achieved through strategic acquisitions, including Geotechnical Consulting Group (Asia) Ltd., one of the Hong Kong region's leading consultancies in geotechnical and foundation engineering.

    Silver MedalConestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA; Waterloo, Ontario) for growing revenue by approximately 13% in 2012 and for sustaining high profitability compared with other firms generating more than $250 million in revenue on the list of companies represented at the Environmental Financial Consulting Group’s (EFCG) 2012 CEO conference. CRA, which employs about 3,000 people in approximately 90 offices, primarily in North America, aims for modest, 10% annual growth, achieved primarily organically (in 2012, the company exceeded this mark in part by acquiring the remaining 50% interest that it did not already own in a Canadian firm). Under its business model, CRA places emphasis on ensuring that its owners—its principals and associates—remain dedicated to working as professionals rather than as business managers; the principals and associates ’ billability is about 67% on average, whereas for consulting and engineering firms of CRA’s size, average billability is typically more in the range of 5 to 10% for the top managers. The company has enjoyed positive revenue growth ever since it was founded in 1976, with the exception of 2010, and it has been profitable every year throughout its 36-year history.

    Bronze MedalTetra Tech, Inc. (Pasadena, CA) for achieving a record year in financial performance, increasing gross revenue to more than $2.71 billion and net revenue to $2.02 billion-a 13% increase over FY 2011. Based on net revenue, international business is now Tetra Tech's largest client sector and its fastest growth market. Tetra Tech ended its fiscal year with record backlog of $2.14 billion, up 10% from the previous year. Recent expansions into Brazil and specialty oil and gas markets provide a solid foundation for continued growth in 2013. Performance was driven by strong demand for Tetra Tech's water-related services provided to mining, energy, and industrial clients. Among its largest wins for the year was the $700 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) program contract to help improve security of property rights and access to land and related natural resources in developing countries. Other important 2012 contract wins included: a $108 million watershed protection program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); a $19 million USAID Colombia clean-energy development program; and $32 million in contracts to support EPA in its efforts to reduce global emissions of methane.

    Bronze MedalO'Brien & Gere (Syracuse, NY) for executing a turnaround that has resulted in 8 to 10% average annual revenue growth over the past three years, and even higher rates of growth in profitability and backlog. O'Brien & Gere employs about 900 professionals in four market areas-environmental, water, energy, and facilities and infrastructure-and attributes its turnaround success in large part to its integration of skills and talent across all of these areas in specific projects-a differentiator that has substantially contributed to margin improvement, according to the company. Other factors in the company's success have included improved cash and balance sheet management and some key investments, but the management team points in particular to the close attention the firm pays to surveying client and employee satisfaction and responding quickly and effectively to client and staff needs, which has led to a high level of client and employee loyalty. Another critical factor is the development of a rigorous, "rolling" and adaptive strategic planning process, called COPAC-"Checking Our Progress, Adaptive Change"-that engages employees at multiple levels in a process that implements ongoing adjustments to the company's strategic plan in response to changing market conditions.

  • Business Achievement: Mergers & Acquisitions

    Gold MedalGENIVAR Inc. (Montreal, Quebec) and WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA) for merging to create a global professional services firm with combined revenue of $1.8 billion and 14,500 employees, working in over 300 offices in 35 countries. The merger combined common skills and complementary geographies and client sectors to achieve both firms' strategic ambitions for global, diversified growth. Over their history, both businesses had developed strong capabilities in their environmental practices and are now able to offer fully integrated solutions to clients. The merger of WSP and GENIVAR has increased the size of their combined environmental business to 1,600 staff and $322 million in annual revenue. During 2012, GENIVAR also acquired the following: Bogota-based Consultores Regionales Asociados S.A.S. (CRA), a 340-person firm specializing in civil, environmental, energy, and telecommunications engineering; GRB Engineering Ltd. (Calgary, Alberta), an 80-person engineering firm; and Smith Carter Architects and Engineers, Inc. (Winnipeg, Manitoba), a 190-employee integrated architectural and engineering firm specializing in the design of complex projects in the science, technology, healthcare, security, defense, and urban impacts markets.

    Silver MedalCardno Ltd. (Brisbane, Australia) for completing a series of acquisitions continuing its expansion into the U.S. environmental market and onward into South America. In February, Cardno merged with ATC Associates Inc. (Lafayette, LA) in a transaction valued at approximately $106 million. ATC added 71 offices in 39 states and client relationships with Speedway, ConocoPhillips, Bechtel, Walmart, the Port of New Jersey/New York, the New York City Housing Authority, and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In July, Cardno announced that it had acquired EM-Assist (Folsom, CA), a 150-person environmental compliance and information management firm, for $14.25 million, and Marshall Miller & Associates, Inc. (MM&A; Bluefield, VA), a 180-person environmental consulting firm serving the energy and mining industries, for a consideration of up to $31 million. In December, Cardno purchased ChemRisk, LLC (San Francisco, CA), a 95-person environmental and health risk consulting firm, for a consideration valued up to $33 million. Cardno finished the year with expansion in Latin America, acquiring Caminosca S.A. (Quito, Ecuador), a 400-person consulting and engineering firm serving the hydropower, mining, oil and gas, transportation, urban development, and water, sewer, and stormwater markets.

    Silver MedalHDR, Inc. (Omaha, NE) for expanding its service base and its geographic reach, in the United States and abroad, through a number of acquisitions. In May, HDR acquired Stetson Engineering, Inc., a Wyoming-based consulting and engineering firm with offices in Gillette and Riverton. Stetson Engineering specializes in water, sewer, stormwater, hydrology, and transportation design and engineering. In July, HDR announced the acquisitions of InfraConsult, an infrastructure management and advisory services firm with five offices in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and New Mexico, and DKS Consulting Engineers (Spring Hill, Queensland), an Australian infrastructure services firm. InfraConsult is operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of HDR Engineering, Inc., while DKS is operating as HDR/DKS. And in September, HDR Engineering picked up Ecosystem Management & Associates, Inc. (Lusby, MD), a woman-owned consulting firm specializing in coastal zone management, military range sustainability, pollution studies and management, environmental conflict resolution, and environmental outreach.

    Bronze MedalHeckmann Corp. (Pittsburgh, PA) for continuing its buildout, through acquisition, of a national network of companies providing wastewater management and related services to the oil & gas exploration and production (E&P) market. In April, Heckmann completed its acquisition of TFI Holdings, Inc. and Thermo Fluids Inc. from private equity firm CIVC Partners (Chicago, IL) for about $245 million. Thermo Fluids, now operating as Heckmann Environmental Services (HES), is an environmental services and waste recycling company that specializes in the collection and recycling of used motor oil for customers in the western United States. In September, Heckmann acquired Appalachian Water Services, LLC (AWS), operator of a wastewater treatment and recycling facility in Pennsylvania’s Fayette County. In early December, Heckmann completed its merger with Badlands Energy, LLC (Watford City, ND) for a consideration of $125 million in cash and the issuance of 95 million shares of Heckmann common stock to owner Mark Johnsrud. Badlands Energy does business as Power Fuels, which is an environmental services provider focused on the transportation, treatment, recycling, and disposal of fluids generated by oil and gas operations in the Bakken Shale region.

    Honorable MentionIHS, Inc. (Englewood, CO), a provider of environmental, health, safety and sustainability (EHS&S) information to asset-intensive industries, for the acquisition of CyberRegs from Citation Technologies, Inc. and XēDAR Corp. (Arvada, CO). Acquired for $11 million, CyberRegs provides managed EHS regulatory content from across North American jurisdictions, content that is now integrated into enterprise-level EHS software and backed by IHS's domain expertise. IHS sees CyberRegs as further extending its leadership in the growing EHS&S market space. IHS acquired X?DAR Corp., a 134-person provider of geospatial information products and services, for approximately $28 million. X?DAR provides imagery processing solutions and related land information to government, oil and gas, utility, and other clients that manage or exploit natural resources.

  • Business Achievement: Information Technology

    Locus Technologies (San Francisco, CA) for achieving its best year yet in terms of expanding and diversifying its customer base. Locus continued to enhance its position in the energy, sustainability, and compliance software markets by growing its Fortune 100 and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) customer lists. Locus added DuPont to its list of customers this year, and it won influential contracts in new industries, including a contract with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, opening the door to water-quality management for water utilities. Another win was with one of the largest companies in the agribusiness industry, expanding Locus’ penetration in the food and biotechnology industries. Other new customers in 2012 included DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Fermilab. In the private sector Locus signed numerous new customers, including Grain Processing Corp., Kelly-Moore Paint Co., and BASF, and renewed contracts with such companies as Honeywell, Exelon, Del Monte Foods, Kodak, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Stillwater Mining, Venoco, Safeway, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Locus staff members were also certified this year as carbon offset verifiers by the California Air Resources Board. In 2012, Locus also became an approved contractor with the federal General Services Administration (GSA) for a range of services.

    EarthSoft, Inc. (Concord, MA) for another high-growth year in 2012, with two-year combined growth in excess of 60% and a user base now spanning 43 countries. New EarthSoft clients include Santos (the largest Australian liquefied natural gas exploration and production portfolio by area), Teck Resources (Canadian mining producer of copper, coal, zinc, molybdenum, and specialty metals), Cetrel (the largest multi-party industrial facility in Latin America), Suncor, BP Alaska, Pioneer Natural Resources, Dow Chemical, the Region 9 office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Port of Portland, Seattle Public Utilities, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Tetra Tech Germany, and MWH. In addition, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) chose the EQuIS software package in late 2011, and that program was launched in 2012. EQuIS workflows will provide data collection and electronic submissions to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the pre-drill database. EarthSoft also introduced new modules, including EQuIS Live for real-time, time-series data management, EQuIS Alive for ecology data, AutoCAD integration, and significant improvements to our planning module (SPM) and field data collection application (EDGE).

    3E Co. (Carlsbad, CA) for a number of strategic product rollouts and enhancements in 2012. These enhancements include support for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OHSA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) across all business units and products with 3E’s MSDgen SDS authoring platform. The company also experienced major promotion and growth in services related to Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) support, and it launched a new Exposure Scenario service to streamline conformance with Europe’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) regulatory framework. In 2012, 3E also expanded its regulatory content coverage of the food, cosmetics, and narcotics industries; added 300 and revised 200 full-text regulatory documents; increased and expanded news coverage in the WebInsight global regulatory reference tool; added 64 new lists, revised 288 lists in reference content, and added 113 new lists in integrated content; and expanded its Phrase library with 500 phrases and five new languages. The company also launched multiple new Ariel Data Manager offerings and new versions, including ADM-Material Master for streamlined access to product information from raw material suppliers.

  • Business Achievement: New Practice Areas

    AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) for consolidating its acoustic expertise and service offering into a new design-led practice. A team of 125 global acoustic experts, including noise modeling and mapping teams in the United Kingdom, underwater acoustics specialists in Australia, and vibration modeling, measurement, and control specialists in North America, addresses a broad range of acoustic problems, such as the impact of noise on fish or other marine species when designing pilings for new road systems. Using expertise from a U.K.-based center of excellence in auralization, under an alliance with York University, AECOM can create high-end auralizations required by public and private clients, including regional government agencies, utilities, performing arts facilities, transportation agencies, and infrastructure groups. AECOM's acoustics practice also uses smart technology; for example, for noise and vibration monitoring on a major sewer project in Ontario, AECOM installed 17 solar-powered monitors along the corridor and sent live alerts to project teams whenever noise or vibration limits were exceeded, so the impacts on area residents could be avoided.

    EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. (Hunt Valley, MD) for its establishment of a new practice in the area of stormwater program management for state transportation agencies. In 2012, EA generated more than $10 million in contract value in this area and achieved national prominence through the preparation of the 2012 National Synthesis on Pollutant Load Reductions Strategies for Highway TMDLs and BMPs for Environmental Compliance and Stewardship at Highway Transportation Maintenance Facilities document for the Transportation Research Board. The practice is an outgrowth of EA's work in 2009 as a team member on a multi-million dollar contract to manage the Hawaii Department of Transportation's state-wide stormwater management program. In 2012, the practice took off through the award of a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to manage the Port of Seattle's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. EA was also selected for a second $2 million contract from the Maryland Transportation Authority to develop guidelines for estimating Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) baseline pollutant loadings and reductions achieved through the implementation of best management practices (BMPs).

  • Business Achievement: International Expansion

    CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for expanding into a new international service area-managing, monitoring, and reducing threats from biological warfare materials and indigenous diseases. This integrated practice of threat containment, nation building, public health, and economic sustainability began in the country of Georgia, when the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) asked CH2M HILL to take over a project from a previous contractor and turn around performance. CH2M HILL improved biological safety and security, provided hazard and public health training, and established cooperative biological research programs, creating over 150 technology jobs in Georgia. In 2012, CH2M HILL substantially completed the remediation and commissioning of a major diagnostic and research laboratory (BSL-3) that handles especially dangerous pathogens. The firm extended this practice into Armenia and Tanzania in 2012, becoming the first company to win a task order in Africa under DTRA's Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contract. Revenue from the DTRA projects is expected to exceed $200 million on this contract, for growth of 30%.

    EcoAnalysts, Inc. (Moscow, ID) for significantly increasing its international revenue in 2012 through a 125% increase in Canadian market sales, with additional key programs in Guam, Malaysia, and Israel. EcoAnalysts is a certified small business based in northern Idaho and operates the largest macroinvertebrate laboratory in North America. With five offices in the United States and one in Canada, the company provides global bioassessment and biodiversity services for government, state, municipality, and private sector clients. EcoAnalysts was able to grow its total international market revenue from $458,777 in 2011 to $1,152,274 in 2012 for a total increase of 151%. This growth was achieved through client diversification, development of existing strategic accounts, the addition of new, high-profile accounts, and an increase in government contracting. Specific 2012 projects include fast-track processing of offshore marine samples from the east Mediterranean Sea, conducting a biodiversity workshop and training of oil and gas clients in Kuala Lumpur, and numerous bioassessment projects from freshwater and estuarine habitats throughout Canada.

    Columbia Technologies (Baltimore, MD) for establishing operations and formal partnerships in both Mexico and Brazil, thereby expanding its business model into Latin America in 2012. Columbia's international expansion resulted in a staff increase of more than 40% during 2012 to support global operations of high-resolution, real-time support for site characterization. Expanding into Mexico and Brazil extended Columbia's international portfolio to more than 1,000 global project opportunities throughout Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and 45 out of the 50 United States. International activity added 20% to Columbia's revenue base for the 12-month period. In 2012, Columbia successfully completed over 100 projects throughout North America and in Brazil for 54 different clients, with 63% of those firms being repeat customers. Since 1999, COLUMBIA has contracted with 15 of 20, 26 of 40, and 39 of 60 firms from Environmental Business International's top-rated environmental consulting and engineering firms on a diverse range of commercial, federal, and military sites.

    Mabbett & Associates Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland), the Europe-based sister company of Mabbett & Associates, Inc. (Bedford, MA), for increasing sales from £169,000 in 2009 to £413,000 in 2012 (about $673,190 U.S.), achieving these goals during a period of severe recession in Europe and without external financial institution support. Mabbett won nationally funded, multi-year tenders in Northern Ireland and has become one of the leading environmental consultancies in Northern Ireland with a full-time staff of three employees. The company also competed and was awarded one of a few limited corporate contracts for GE International, initially for all GE entities located in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the spring of 2012, the GE contract was amended to include mainland Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Mabbett recently completed projects in Dubai and Saudi Arabia with a project pending in Kuwait. Mabbett has also successfully supported the government of Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection in partnership with a leading Tel Aviv-based environmental consultancy. This work has resulted in several multi-year framework project wins, specifically focusing on the development of a nation-wide integrated pollution prevention and control program modeled on existing European Union legislation and the provision of engineered solutions to assist regulated multi-media emitters.

  • Project Merit: Remediation

    CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for safely destroying 145 WW II mustard gas projectiles at a former military depot in Columboola, Australia. Overpack containers on the munitions at the Columboola depot reduced storage danger but made the munitions difficult to destroy. CH2M HILL used its patented TC60 transportable detonation chamber (TDC) technology, which increases the safety of chemical-agent munitions destruction by reducing handling and preventing public exposure to dangerous munitions. With the portable system, which includes a destruction chamber and an air pollution control system to treat discharged gases, chemical munitions can be destroyed on site rather than being transported on public roadways for off-site treatment. CH2M HILL supported the Australian Department of Defence with ongoing public information, and the project was recognized at a local environmental education center in 2012.

    Engineering/Remediation Resources Group, Inc. (ERRG; (Martinez, CA) for its work in restoring an abandoned copper mine in the remote Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, where waste rock was leaching sulfuric acid, arsenic, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc were seeping into nearby creeks for 100 years. The Blue Ledge Mine Remediation was a large, complex environmental project where access, terrain, and logistics created significant challenges. The project, performed for the U.S. Forest Service, included removing 65,000 cubic yards of waste rock, encapsulating it in a geomembrane-lined repository, reclaiming the 22 acres of disturbed areas, installing erosion control measures, replacing topsoil, and restoring native vegetation with over 15,000 native plants that were grown in an off-site nursery. A unique aspect of the project involved the use of three Spider excavators to crawl up the steep slope of the mountainside. The tailings were pulled down to where they could be handled with larger earth-moving equipment. Reinforced slope stability fabric was installed, and sediment and pH treatment basins were constructed. In addition, road access was not available to three of the four waste rock areas, so ERRG constructed approximately one mile of roads through rugged terrain to provide access to the areas.

    Coastal Environmental Group (Edgewood, NY) for its work on the Dalbey Bottom Chutes Phase II contract with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District. This challenging low-land project faced constant flooding by the Missouri River, substantial amounts of groundwater inside the excavations, the extremes of working 24 hours a day through the winter, and unstable ground. The project involved the excavation of over 1.7 million cubic yards of contaminated soil, making it the largest Chute project undertaken by the Corps to date. Excavation started on December 26, 2011, and continued through to substantial completion on August 25, 2012, over 2.5 months ahead of the seeding-window schedule and nearly four months prior to originally scheduled contract completion date. Coastal currently holds nine Multiple Task Order Award Contracts (MATOCs) with the Corps' Kansas City, Baltimore, Omaha, and Galveston offices, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and the New York National Guard Bureau, totaling in $488.6 million in capacity.

    SCS Engineers (San Diego, CA) for its implementation of the cleanup and an innovative soil reuse plan at the Mercado del Barrio site in San Diego County. The Mercado Del Barrio project encompasses the redevelopment of seven acres of San Diego's Barrio Logan community into a revitalized affordable housing site that includes a Latino-centric grocery store, commercial and restaurant space, affordable housing, and above-ground parking. SCS Engineers was contracted to provide environmental consulting and construction services for the project. SCS's site assessment found that the upper one to five-plus feet of soil across the site had concentrations of lead high enough to necessitate the disposal of approximately 23,000 cubic yards of soil at landfills. This would have cost the project approximately $2 million, which was not affordable. In addition, the off-site disposal of 37,000 tons of lead-impacted soil would have required more than 1,600 truck trips, resulting in approximately 350,000 miles driven by diesel-fueled trucks. To avoid these impacts, SCS designed a plan to bury or "reuse" the impacted soil beneath the parking and commercial spaces and cap it with six to nine feet of clean soil. The design took into consideration future landscape and utility maintenance needs.

  • Project Merit: Water Supply

    Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (Moon Township, PA) for the Canonsburg Dam Rehabilitation project in Pennsylvania. Canonsburg Dam, a 70-year old concrete gravity dam, was showing its age and had been deemed at risk of failure. A previous study indicated there was a risk of the dam sliding, since the structure was only held in place by its own weight. Baker designed a system of high-capacity rock anchors and passive dowels to stabilize and anchor the aging concrete monoliths to bedrock. To refine the details of that solution and smoothly execute construction, the design had to overcome many challenges, such as: determining how the dam would perform under probable maximum flood conditions; ensuring that the structure would remain in one piece during anchoring; and avoiding “uncontrolled artesian flow” if fractured bedrock joints were encountered by the anchors. By incorporating innovative and value-added engineering and construction solutions, as well as developing contingency plans and working proactively with the contractor, the project was constructed under the $2.1 million original price and one month ahead of schedule.

  • Project Merit: Planning & Strategy

    AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) for leading the development of the master plan for the London Summer Olympic games in 2012. The games and their revitalized setting of East London demonstrated the success of a massive, concerted effort that had begun years before and was aimed at ensuring sustainable community development in the years ahead. In addition to developing the master plan, AECOM mobilized civil engineers, program/cost consultants, building and environmental engineers, architects, landscape architects, and transport planners to help implement it. AECOM's technical expertise contributed to: the works necessary to relocate existing overhead electricity cables underground; delivery of the infrastructure on time and £800 million under budget; the massive project's energy and climate change strategies; development of the vehicular and pedestrian traffic management around the events and venues; and development of the futuristic Basketball Arena (the world's largest temporary sports venue). Largely on the strength of its work in London, AECOM has been selected to provide a master plan for the Olympic Park for the 2016 event in Rio de Janeiro.

    Marstel-Day, LLC (Fredericksburg, VA) for completion of an Army Water Security Study for the Army Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI), in response to a need to transform Army water programs from narrowly defined functional processes into a comprehensive water strategy. Based on its research, Marstel-Day concluded that a systemic change was needed in Army policy to create a long-term, externally focused, ecologically based water security program. Marstel-Day established a conceptual framework for a water planning process by identifying six critical water security factors: sources, supplies, sustainable practices, survivability, sponsorship, and stakeholders. This framework can be adapted by other agencies to help plan for and achieve water security goals. Marstel-Day's work illustrated the many factors that must be considered in developing comprehensive plans to create sustainable water source protection and supply programs, including: pollution risks to water sources; growing demand for limited water supplies; water rights disputes; climate change impacts; deteriorated water systems; limitations on water withdrawals to protect ecosystems; and potential water supply disruptions caused by system failures or natural disasters.

    Environmental and Occupational Risk Management, Inc. (EORM; San Jose, CA) and biotechnology company Genentech (Hillsboro, OR), for preparing Genentech's Hillsboro Technical Operations Security program for certification to the ISO 28000:2007 Security Management Systems for the Supply Chain standard, and preparing the Hillsboro location for certification to the 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSAS) standard. ISO 28000 provides guidance for developing supply-chain security programs, including continual improvement processes and goals. Supply-chain security is a primary goal for Genentech due to its considerable intellectual property and pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution operations. OHSAS 18001, a management system that aligns closely with international ISO standards, requires continual improvement and tracking of health and safety performance beyond regulatory compliance. EORM provided process guidance, internal auditing support, document preparation, and training in cooperation with key Genentech staff as the teams prepared for external audit and certification. After detailed external audits, Genentech received certification to ISO 28000 on November 30, 2012, the first bio-therapeutic or pharmaceutical company in the world to receive this new certification, according to EORM. Genentech Hillsboro received certification in OHSAS 18001 on December 4, 2012.

  • Technology Merit: Water/Wastewater

    Sovereign Consulting Inc. (Robbinsville, NJ) for its mining group’s design and pilot-testing of a sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) reactor for passive water treatment of coal-mine discharges to tributaries of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. These waterways are subject to new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements for sulfate and metals. The passive system utilizes anaerobic conditions to convert sulfate to sulfide. Sulfate levels have been reduced from an influent concentration of 3,500 milligrams per liter (mg/l) to 600 mg/l (83% reduction) with a retention time approaching five days. Sulfide created by the reduction precipitates iron, lead, zinc, and copper as metal sulfides to below permitted levels in the effluent. The degradation of organic matter in the treatment media also creates significant alkalinity, enough to raise mine water discharge to a pH of 7.3. At this time, the system is entirely passive, with the exception of pumping the mine pool to the surface for treatment. It is anticipated that the present lime treatment system at the site will be discontinued, allowing the mining company a savings of $300,000 per year alone in hydrated lime cost. The passive system will also prevent the need to install a costly reverse osmosis (RO) system to meet NPDES discharge requirements, resulting in even further savings. A 100 gallon per minute pilot system is planned for 2013.

  • Technology Merit: Air Pollution Control

    Catalytic Products International, Inc. (CPI; Lake Zurich, IL) for the design and manufacture of a custom ammonia abatement system in a modular package. The VANGUARD system is a combined catalytic oxidizer and nitrogen oxide (NOx) reduction system that can be economically applied with many industrial and chemical processes that exhaust ammonia and organic compounds where NOx emissions are of concern, according to CPI. The system uses a first-stage ammonia removal catalyst designed to promote a majority shift to nitrogen. A second-stage NOx removal catalyst can be used with or without sparged ammonia reactant from the process to provide up to 98% reduction in NOx emissions. The system operates at low temperatures, and when incorporated with CPI's recuperative heat exchanger, it uses little natural gas. CPI has demonstrated that the system can work through a range of influent flow rates and concentrations. According to the company, it provides over 99.4% of liquid ammonium removal from wastewater and over 99% ammonia removal from air stripper exhaust.

  • Technology Merit: Waste Management

    Harvest Power (Waltham, MA), a processor of organic materials into energy and fertilizer products, for three projects that will altogether generate over 7 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. First, Harvest's Energy Garden in British Columbia began commissioning in mid-November, a facility that the company describes as the first commercial-scale, high-solids anaerobic digestion system in North America. Second, Harvest's Energy Garden in London, Ontario, also began commissioning and is processing organic waste from food processors at an annual rate of 70,000 tons. Third, Harvest started construction on an Energy Garden in central Florida that will cost-effectively treat municipal biosolids and regional food waste while generating renewable electricity. Harvest currently operates 26 sites in North America and employs 435 people (an increase of more than 200 over 2011). The company manages more than 2 million tons per year of organics and sells more than 28 million bags of soil and mulch annually. Harvest was named to the Global CleanTech 100 list for the third year in a row and won the KPMG 2012 Infrastructure 100 World Cities Edition award. Another notable highlight from 2012 was a successful Series C fundraising round of $125 million total, one of the largest capital raises in recent cleantech industry history.

    Enerkem Inc. (Montreal Quebec) for starting up production of ethanol at its demonstration facility in Westbury, Quebec. Enerkem has developed a technology platform that creates biofuels and renewable chemicals from non-recyclable waste. The technology processes heterogeneous materials, such as municipal solid waste, into a synthetic gas (syngas), which is then conditioned so it can be converted into advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals. This technology creates waste-based biofuels that address the growing demand for renewable fuel and the challenges associated with waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions. Enerkem has validated its proprietary technology over a period of 10 years, using solid waste from numerous municipalities and other types of feedstock. The company is now approaching commercialization with a full-scale waste-to-biofuels facility under construction in Edmonton, Alberta.

    Texas Molecular (Deer Park, TX ) for its work in advancing the state of the art in deepwell injection. Underground injection in permitted hazardous waste deepwells is not a new disposal technology, but is increasingly being appreciated as viable. In 2011 and 2012, Texas Molecular led an effort to reconsider this technology as a valuable way to meet the triple bottom line of sustainability, speaking to groups in the hazardous waste, plating, and coal industries, and in 2012, the company substantially grew its commercial underground injection business in terms of clients, applications, customers, and geographies. Companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint are considering underground injection due to low energy requirements and carbon emissions, which amount to a small fraction of the energy requirements and emissions of conventional wastewater and incineration processes. What has made the accomplishments more significant is that the company has done so in a time when so much controversy has emerged on the use Class 2 injection wells for wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations.

  • Technology Merit: Remediation

    Soil-Therm Equipment, Inc. (Agoura Hills, CA) for deployment of its Remediation Monitoring and Control (ReMAC) capabilities into every remediation system it built in 2012. Whether use on a small blower package or a large chlorinated oxidizer system, ReMAC provides access to operational information and allows system operational changes through proprietary software and internet cellular access modems. Through ReMAC, operators can make changes to blower speeds, flows, alarms, vacuums, and timers, and reset or shut off the machine at any time. Project managers are able to access quarterly report data, oversee proper operation, and view alarms before getting to the site, thereby letting lets them know if they need to bring any special parts or tools on next visit. All operational changes and system monitoring can be accessed using an application for iPhone, iPAD, or laptop computer connected to the internet. Travel and operations and maintenance time and costs are significantly reduced, according to the company.

    Sovereign Consulting Inc. (Robbinsville NJ) for its design and installation of an in-situ ozone sparging system to remediate soil and groundwater impacted with petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons (primarily chlorobenzene) at a former chemical storage facility in southern New Jersey, a site that is concurrently undergoing redevelopment. The ozone sparge system covers approximately 10 acres of source zone and includes 416 individually controlled, nested sparge points with an output of 180 pounds per day of ozone, a total of 520 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) of sparge air, and a soil vapor extraction (SVE) capacity of 1,500 scfm. The system design considerations incorporated site geology, hydrogeology, contaminants, worker safety, system flexibility, green and sustainable remediation, and present/future infrastructure. Within three months of system start-up, 12,000 pounds of ozone were injected, and through chemical desorption and stripping, SVE has collected 10,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and 40,000 pounds of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) of the estimated 350,000 pounds of VOCs and TPHs.

    Hepure Technologies, Inc., sister company of remediation firm ARS Technologies, Inc. (New Brunswick, NJ) for the development and broad deployment of its Ferox Flow reactive zero valent ion (ZVI) powder. The newly launched Ferox Flow technology has been specified as the amendment choice for a number of large-scale in situ chemical reduction projects last year, with a total of 18 projects in the United States and Canada completed in 2012. According to Hepure, Ferox Flow is extremely effective in reducing concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and metals in soil and groundwater. The company claims the technology can achieve 90% reduction in contaminant concentrations after a single injection event. In addition, Ferox Flow is a viable sustainable remediation solution based largely on the fact that it is made from recycled materials and has no negative environmental impact to the existing soil properties on which it is exposed.

  • Technology Merit: Information Technology

    RegScan, Inc. (Williamsport, PA), in collaboration with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, for deployment of their Environmental Compliance System beyond its original Pennsylvania market. The system is an on-line timeline that chronologically outlines all the regulatory requirements for oil and gas exploration and production. It is fully integrated with the RegScan GCS 2.0 research databases, which contain volumes of state and federal regulations. What began in October 2011 with a Pennsylvania-specific product has now been expanded into a complete line of suites covering 10 states in every major U.S. shale play. National coverage includes modules for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was announced in June 2012, in response to the approval of the first-ever National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) that targeted the natural gas industry. RegScan also made the EPA module available as a stand-alone product to augment coverage in jurisdictions where comprehensive state suites were not available.

    Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES; Neptune, NJ) for deployment of real-time remote monitoring systems to observe and analyze data on groundwater, surface water, and air emissions at project sites. In 2012 GES successfully used remote monitoring and data trend analyses on a variety of projects. On one project, GES collected data to understand natural methane fluctuations in groundwater and well headspace, demonstrating how those data correlate to other parameters such as weather changes and water well pumping. GES also recently implemented real-time monitoring on a project that utilizes solar-powered weather stations installed at unconventional gas well drilling sites. The real-time data is being used to notify staff, via e-mail alarm notifications, of potentially unsafe conditions (e.g., high winds). Rainfall data (programmed with daily and hourly rainfall alarms) is used to initiate erosion and sediment control enhancements and inspections. All data can be viewed remotely by computer or smartphone.

  • Industry Leadership Awards

    2020 Environmental Group (San Francisco, CA) for opening new paths to strategic growth and shareholder value for environmental firms across California and the West. 2020 has created a new discipline of management consulting that bridges the institutional knowledge of this mature industry with new tools for the next generation of environmental business leaders. 2020's partners have provided thought leadership to a growing list of small and mid-size firms on planning and executing new business management and performance strategies. Their efforts have helped owners and management teams identify the essential value within in their own companies and re-evaluate their growth potential. The firm's executive team includes veterans of the environmental industry and have been instrumental in connecting the industry to strategic acquisition opportunities, private equity investors, and the management expertise needed to maximize external market value. In the last two years, 2020 has served as the management consultants to 17 environmental firms, including advisors on 12 buy- and sell-side M&A transactions.

    Golder Associates (Atlanta, GA), for the formation of an internal Professional Development Group (PDG), an integrated national community for entry- to mid-level staff across all career streams to engage in Golder by working together to improve their careers and those of their colleagues. Formed through a grass-roots effort in February 2012, the PDG was quickly accepted in the workplace across all levels of the organization. Golder's PDG program has a charter coordinated nationally by 12 regional PDG representatives and one senior management mentor. In the first year of the program, the PDG initiative formed 30 local office chapters and developed tools to facilitate internal networking and collaboration. The PDG has worked with management to improve and spread effective mentoring programs nationally, and has facilitated increased engagement with senior principals and associates. The PDG has provided national feedback on Golder's human resources processes and championed continuing education in business development for PDG members.

  • Social Contribution

    The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI; Washington, DC), an organization focused on creating environmental sustainability solutions for business, for developing the GEMI Local Water Tool (LWT) and GEMI LWT for Oil and Gas, a pair of tools designed help companies and organizations identify the external impacts, business risks, and opportunities related to water use and discharge at a specific site or operation. The GEMI LWT was developed by 52 representatives of GEMI companies and representatives from the 16 LWT Project Participant companies, and with the assistance of CH2M HILL. The tool, which is available for free, was also developed in cooperation with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to link to the WBCSD Global Water Tool (GWT), and with the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) to link to the IPIECA GWT for Oil and Gas.

    Marstel-Day, LLC (Fredericksburg, VA) for a series of partnerships with the Fredericksburg community. First, under an educational partnership, Marstel-Day continued its nine-year history of recruiting student interns from the University of Mary Washington to work on its environmental projects, and it joined forces with its Dean of Arts and Sciences to launch an initiative called a Climate, Environment and Readiness (CLEAR) Plan for the region. Second, Marstel-Day forged an economic partnership with the city to stimulate economic development through the company's HUBZone status and to demonstrate through HUBZone workshops that economically disadvantaged areas can grow through green initiatives. Third, Marstel-Day's capped off 10 years of community tree-planting on Earth Day, 2012, by planting an additional 96 trees in Fredericksburg.

    Korea Environment Corp. (Keco; Incheon, South Korea) for providing relief compensation to victims of asbestos and their families, starting from 2012, in the amount of 150 billion won ($13.6 million U.S.) per year. In Korea, 465 people died from asbestos malignant mesothelioma from 1993 to 2008 and more than 1 billion cases are expected to be reported over the next 30 years or so. Through its Asbestos Damage Relief Center, which was established in 2011, Keco invested 744 billion won ($62 million U.S.) to help victims of asbestos by investigating health conditions and operating a damage reporting center and medical research center. South Korea is one of the six countries, including Belgium, France, Japan, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and the second country in Oceania that conduct asbestos damage relief through this system. Korea is also the second country to broaden the types of relief compensation for victims of malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.


Business Achievement Awards