Each year Climate Change Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the climate change industry with our CCBJ Business Achievement Awards. Climate Change Business Journal is proud to announce its 10th annual business achievement awards. Congratulations to the 2017 winners and thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations. All are welcome to attend the banquet dinner and awards ceremony as part of Environmental Industry Summit XVI in San Diego on March 21, 2018 at 7pm. Environmental Industry Summit XVI runs Wednesday, March 21 at 3pm to Friday, March 23 at noon and will be held at the Coronado Island Marriott.
In October-December 2017, CCBJ solicited the environmental industry and climate change industry via e-mail, social media, its website, industry events and word-of-mouth for nominations for the CCBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories may have been adjusted depending on the volume of nominations or the number of worthy recipients. Final awards were determined by a committee of CCBJ staff and CCBJ editorial advisory board members.
Disclaimer: Company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.
Acclimatise for its work over more than a decade to raise the profile of climate change adaptation as a critical issue for public policy and as a private sector change driver; and for assisting governments, development banks, corporations, and NGOs to assess their climate risks and plan for adaptation. This small firm of 25 employees combines climate science with expertise in fields ranging from agriculture and infrastructure to oil and gas and healthcare, and from national security and defense to banking and asset management. The company has worked on more than 350 projects in over 70 countries for 180 organizations. In 2017, Acclimatise developed its Analytics business providing online risk assessment applications to the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, enabling them to screen investment projects for physical climate risks. The firm also became a leading advisor on the implementation of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. Also in 2017, it worked on national adaptation plans and climate finance for several countries and became one of the eight founding members of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Change Adaptation (GCECA), initiated by UN Environment, The Netherlands, Japan, and the Philippines.
Growth: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience
CLIMsystems, the climate change risk assessment and resilience analytics firm whose SimCLIM software and other products are used by consultants, policy-makers, NGO staff and increasingly private-sector executives. In the last two years, the 20-person New Zealand-based firm has seen major growth in its work for private-sector firms, including investors and companies in oil and gas, food and beverage, commodities, electric power and telecom. In 2017 alone, the firm performed more than 20 climate change risks assessments—with fees ranging from $10,000 to $200,000—for private firms. CLIMsystems often collaborates with consulting firms, including its minority shareholder CH2M (now Jacobs Engineering), Resilient Analytics, AECOM, EY, Ramboll, Greenbizcheck, BECA from New Zealand, E-Gen in Nepal and Edge Technology in Australia.
Consulting and Engineering: GHG Mitigation
AECOM for assisting Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) in determining the contribution that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and other measures could make to reduce Kuwait’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. AECOM performed a strategic analysis to understand costs, benefits and practical implications of CCS compared with other GHG reduction measures. Deliverables included an Action Plan for GHG minimization, recommendations for Key Performance Indicators, and illustrative Life Cycle Analyses. AECOM recommended KOC adopt specific 10- and 15-year GHG reduction targets relative to 2015 levels. Kuwait Oil Company produces 3 million barrels of oil per day can play a crucial role in reducing the nation’s GHG emissions. Carbon storage relies on captured CO2 being injected into deep underground rock formations where temperature and pressures enable permanent storage of CO2.
RETTEW, a 350-person engineering and consulting firm based in Pennsylvania, for enabling local governments to integrate renewable energy into their operations. The firm is especially known for incorporating food waste digestion in wastewater treatment plants (also known as water resource recovery facilities, WRRFs) to increase production of biogas. In 2017, RETTEW managed design and construction of the largest municipally hosted solar array in Pennsylvania at the University Area Joint Authority. The $7 million project includes a battery electric storage system for onsite usage and to supply frequency regulation to the grid. The firm also joined a public-private partnership to design a wastewater pre-treatment plant in Indiana that will integrate renewable energy. And it partnered with private companies and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority in New Jersey on a 1 MW battery electric storage system associated with an onsite solar power plant.
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
Carollo for leading the ambitious One Water LA 2040 Plan. The plan provides a roadmap to achieve Los Angeles’ Sustainable City Plan goals, including increasing local water supply from about 20% currently to more than 50% by 2040 —largely through increases in water reuse and stormwater capture. The Southern California region faces long-term water scarcity due to recurring droughts and climate change, which is expected to dramatically reduce winter snowpack in the Sierra. The 50 percent goal will require as much as 150 MGD of new local water supplies. The One Water LA plan evaluates more than 25 potential strategies, from smarter stormwater practices to maximizing water recycling from the City’s reclamation plants that now discharge approximately 200 MGD of treated wastewater into the ocean. The plan includes recommendations to integrate more resilient practices and climate change considerations into flood, fire, landslide, power supply and backup power generation, drainage, and outfall designs. After nearly three years of work, the Final Plan is anticipated to be released in March 2018.
GZA GeoEnvironmental for leveraging its post-Fukushima flood hazard re-evaluation studies and probabilistic analyses for the U.S. nuclear power industry to build a natural hazard mitigation and resilience planning and design practice with revenues of approximately $2.5 million annually. Clients include combined cycle gas power generators, transmission and distribution utilities, health care, real estate, municipal and state and local government clients. In 2017, GZA was awarded climate change resilience planning, design and program management projects with an estimated backlog of $2 million through 2020. Clients include New York City, six coastal communities in Connecticut and additional clients in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
CH2M (which became Jacobs as of December 15, 2017) for completing the Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 (TEAM 2100) system for the iconic barrier infrastructure that protects London from tidal flooding. Executed with partner Balfour Beatty, the £308 million project was designed to extend flood protection service until 2070. It is the UK Environment Agency’s largest flood-risk management program and one of UK’s top infrastructure projects. Incorporating the best elements of the client’s and suppliers’ management systems, the project provides improved clarity on system performance requirements; integrated business processes; improved information visualization and analysis; and enhanced techniques for monitoring and risk modeling. In 2017, TEAM 2100 received the Institute of Asset Management’s Team of the Year award and a top “green” score in all three Infrastructure Project Authority reviews for program effectiveness, including reductions in whole-life costs of up £100 million over 10 years.
Advancing Best Practices: GHG mitigation
The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) of Massachusetts for engaging small businesses to take action on climate change by improving their energy efficiency and enacting other strategies to reduce GHGs. In 2017, CABA exceeded 100-member businesses and served hundreds more through educational events and campaigns. CABA has also been working to build resiliency through sharing best practices across industries and getting businesses engaged in local planning processes.
Advancing Best Practices: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience
Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company, for improving water efficiency beyond its stated goals and for supporting water security initiatives in communities where it operates. From 2012 through 2016, AB InBev reduced its water usage from 3.54 liters per liter of beer to 3.14 by improving water efficiency within its breweries. Further improvement was expected in 2017, and in 2018 the company will announce new water targets as part of its 2025 sustainability goals. AB InBev, which had $45.5 billion in revenue in 2016, has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and local NGOs to develop conservation, reforestation, habitat restoration and green infrastructure around the world. In 2017, it announced that it had contracted for 490 GWh annually of wind and solar power in Mexico annually from Iberdrola, and that it would power all its operations with renewable electricity globally by 2025.
Perkins+Will for leadership in designing resilient buildings and neighborhoods and advancing resilience principles within the design and architecture industry. The firm co-led development of the RELi standard—akin to LEED for resilient buildings, neighborhoods and infrastructure—which was released in 2014 and is increasingly influencing designers. The firm has designed such trend-setting resilient coastal buildings as Partners Healthcare’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which was built to withstand extreme flooding on its Boston waterfront site. Perkins+Will has led community resilience planning for Washington, D.C. and Louisville, Ky. And in 2017, the firm was working on two landmark resilient projects on San Francisco Bay: the San Francisco Giants’ 28-acre Mission Rock development, major portions of which will be elevated 4.5’ yet still be connected to adjoining streets; and the redevelopment of the Potrero Power Station by Associate Capital, for which flood protection strategies are still in development.
Resilinc, the supply chain risk management (SCRM) software platform provider, for giving corporations the information they need to avert supply chain disruptions and adapt to changing geopolitics, regulatory frameworks, climates and other factors influencing supply chain risk. Resilinc’s app gives customers access to proprietary data from tens of thousands of suppliers, allowing full transparency into multiple tiers of supply chains. Using a neural network and machine learning algorithms, Resilinc’s system quickly processes news and information in 44 languages to alert clients to events like storms and earthquakes that may impact any tier of their supply chain. In the 2017 hurricane season, Resilinc helped customers in the life sciences industry quickly assess exactly what suppliers, parts and materials were at risk—information that allowed them to move products early, source from alternate sites or take other actions to avert potential disruptions. As climate change affects water supplies in many regions, Resilinc’s data and risk analyses will be increasingly important for global companies and their suppliers to identify adaptation needs and make long-term plans to adapt.
ICF for the completion of its Transportation Engineering Approaches to Climate Resilience (TEACR) project for the Federal Highway Administration and a report that supports engineers in developing more resilient transportation infrastructure. Over the past four years, ICF conducted or supported the Federal Highway Administration on a range of engineering-informed adaptation studies across the country to better understand asset vulnerabilities and potential solutions. ICF identified overarching lessons and ways to integrate consideration of resilience into the process of developing transportation projects, especially during the initial stages of planning, scoping, and preliminary design and engineering. ICF completed the project in July 2017 with the publication of a report entitled Synthesis of Approaches for Addressing Resilience in Project Development. The study provides detailed information on engineering approaches for assessing current and future weather hazards, and solutions and methodologies that transportation agencies can apply to increase the resilience of transportation assets and systems. It includes information on developing and applying climate change data and economic analysis in assessing and selecting adaptation options, and lessons learned and adaptation strategies for coastal hydraulics, riverine flooding, pavement and soils, and mechanical and electrical systems.
Advancing Best Practices: Climate Change Investment Risks and Opportunities
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) for using the leverage of its investment portfolio (valued at $358 billion in January 2018) to engage with public and private companies to disclose and mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and all their climate change-related risks. In 2017, CalPERS and its partner organizations won landmark shareowner resolutions for climate disclosure at Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Pennsylvania electric utility PPL. Similar resolutions at a dozen other large energy and utility companies fell short of majorities but earned more support than ever—and CalPERS pledges to continue seeking full disclosure of climate-related risks in its portfolio companies. Also in 2017, CalPERS partnered with Australian Super, HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Manulife Asset Management to develop Climate Action 100+, a five-year initiative to engage with the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to improve governance on climate change, curb emissions and strengthen climate-related financial disclosure. By January 2018, more than 220 other large investors with combined assets under management of $26.3 trillion had joined the initiative.
The Carbon Tracker Initiative for its impactful work to educate investors, corporate executives and business journalists about the risks that fossil fuel-dependent companies face from policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and from rapidly improving low-carbon technologies. Established in 2011 by the UK NGO Investor Watch, the organization has since documented and popularized the concepts of “unburnable carbon” and “stranded [hydrocarbon] assets”—fossil fuel resources that must be left undeveloped in order to limit the global average temperature increase to 2? C. The group’s analyses have helped institutional investors and financial regulators increase their scrutiny of climate-related risks in public companies and stock portfolios. In 2017, Carbon Tracker published a report with the Grantham Center on the disruptive power of solar PV and electric vehicles that was praised as “a well-sourced projection based on what is already happening” by Financial Times columnist and former BP strategist Nick Butler. Carbon Tracker’s innovative outreach resulted in more than 1,300 stories worldwide on the report and a total of 3,600 citations during the year of its broader work in newspapers ranging from The Economist to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Low-Carbon Resilient Design
Calthorpe Associates for its many accomplishments in sustainable urban design. Since 1983 the firm has designed and implemented countless infill, redevelopment, comprehensive planning and transit-oriented development projects in the United States and internationally. The 20-person firm led by Peter Calthorpe has won broad support for sustainable urban design strategies in communities across the political spectrum—including Salt Lake City, where it has worked on the compactly designed, mixed-use Daybreak Communities residential project that will ultimately include about 20,000 homes.
Project Merit: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience
AECOM for completing the four-year Partnering for Adaptation and Resilience-Agua (PARA-Agua) program in Peru and Colombia. PARA-Agua was designed to enhance local leaders’ capacity to manage ecosystems and water resources in the face of rising temperatures, drought and flooding. The USAID project supported scientists, decision-makers, and communities to strengthen watershed management and planning capabilities and improve water security and resilience to climate change impacts in five watersheds. AECOM worked with USAID and stakeholders to: (1) create platforms for dialog and information sharing; (2) identify structural and non-structural adaptation options and facilitate access to financing mechanisms; and (3) replicate best practices and built capacity across the region through improved data sharing tools and partnerships.
Technology Merit: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience
EcoLab for deploying advanced monitoring technology, innovative chemicals and process engineering to enable clients to sharply reduce water and energy consumption. The brain of many of the firm’s water-saving deployments is 3D TRASAR Technology, which uses advanced sensors to monitor and optimize the performance and water efficiency of manufacturing processes, HVAC, refrigeration and other processes. In 2017, EcoLab and its client Inalca Spa, Italy’s leading beef processor, announced that water and energy management strategies implemented by EcoLab subsidiary Nalco were resulting in annual savings of 3.7 million gallons of water and more than $72,000 in energy, water and chemicals costs. With 2016 sales of $13 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries.
Technology Merit: Climate Change Risk Modeling and Assessment
StatWeather, a social enterprise which has developed long-range models of weather and climate patterns using artificial intelligence, for expanding into Asia with disaster risk reduction services for Asian governments, establishing a new vertical in public health to project outbreaks of allergies, asthma, dengue, malaria and other diseases, and donating half of its IP to the StatWeather Institute, an NGO devoted to predicting the risks of catastrophic events globally. StatWeather was founded in 2009 by mathematician Ria Persad and software engineer Mark Carlo. It has been named by Energy Risk as a Global Data Provider of the Year and by Platts as a Global Energy Awards Finalist.
The Climate Group for catalyzing corporate action to reduce greenhouse gases. With offices in London, New York, Beijing and New Delhi, the 14-year-old NGO has built coalitions to successfully advocate for climate policies at the state, national and international levels. With the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, The Climate Group’s work in the private sector has become increasingly important. Its three private sector initiatives include: EV100 which advances the shift to electrified transport by 2030; RE100, which had by January 2018 engaged 119 large corporations in making public commitments to source 100% of their electric power from renewable sources; and EP100, which enlists corporations in committing to double energy productivity. The Climate Group partners with the Alliance to Save Energy on EP100; with CDP on RE 100; and with Ceres, Cleaner Car Contracts and the Japan Climate Leaders Partnership on EV100.