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EBI News for November 4, 2020- New Projects on the Horizon

EBI News for November 4, 2020- The following section highlights the latest news in the environmental industry. Most notable information includes a new pilot project to clean and recycle Canada’s mining wastewater.



Stantec to lead multibillion-dollar sustainable water initiative in San Diego

The Pure Water San Diego program recently reached an important milestone, paving the way for Phase 1 of the $3-billion program to supply local, sustainable water to San Diego’s 1.4 million residents. Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has been working on the program with the City of San Diego since 2015 in partnership with Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.). According to Stantec, the project has secured a first-of-its-kind National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to add purified water to the Miramar Reservoir. Currently, 85% of San Diego’s water is imported from the Colorado River and California State Water Project; only 8% of wastewater is beneficially reused. At completion in 2035, the Pure Water program will provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally. Stantec is leading the team to provide program management services.

Verdantix names five leaders in digital EHS services

AECOM, Arcadis, ERM, Golder and Jacobs lead the market for Digital EHS Services, according to a benchmark report by Verdantix. Using its proprietary Green Quadrant methodology, Verdantix compared nine digital EHS service providers, covering both digitally enabled EHS services and technology implementation services. “EHS service firms are increasingly adopting digital technology to enhance their service lines and support firms in technology implementation,” said Bill Pennington, senior analyst. Top firms are moving towards advanced analytics and data visualization as a key differentiator, in addition to adopting new technologies such as remote inspection toolkits and virtual reality.

‘Greenwashing’ remains big obstacle to sustainable investing

Active engagement and stewardship have leapt in importance as a way for asset managers to drive sustainable change, Schroders Institutional Investor Study 2020 has found. Of the 650 institutional investors surveyed, 59% said active company engagement and stewardship were keys to integrating sustainability, up from 38% a year ago. For the second consecutive year, environmental issues remained the most important engagement issue for investors. However, 60% of investors felt greenwashing, i.e., “a lack of clear, agreed sustainable investment definitions,” was the most significant obstacle to sustainable investment intentions. And almost half of investors (48%) said a lack of transparency and reported data was restricting their ability to invest sustainably, an increase on 40% a year ago.

ESG-strong PE firms are likely winners in business reset

A survey of leading private equity firms by ERM (London, UK) found that companies embracing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are enjoying a distinct advantage in value creation. The survey, which follows a similar exercise by ERM in 2016, found mainstreaming ESG in investment processes is well underway, with 93% of respondents believing a focus on ESG will generate good investment opportunities. However, there is still reluctance to fully embrace the opportunity, with only 25% of firms having a thematic ESG fund or strategy and taking “a reactive, opportunistic approach” to ESG investment.

FactSet to acquire Truvalue Labs for ESG data

FactSet (Norwalk, Conn.), a global provider of integrated financial information and analytical applications, is acquiring Truvalue Labs Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.), a pioneer in AI-driven environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data. Founded in 2013, Truvalue Labs applies AI-driven technology to over 100,000 sources in 13 languages—including news, trade journals, nongovernmental organizations, and industry reports—to provide daily signals that identify positive and negative ESG behavior. These signals are mapped against Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, allowing investors to evaluate ESG risk

Haley & Aldrich selected for NSF research projects

Haley & Aldrich (Burlington, Mass.) has been selected to serve as co-principal investigator and industrial advisor for two projects funded by the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. The first project, related to geotechnical engineering, aims to build an excavating robot to mimic the unique tunneling abilities of the mole rat to help optimize horizontal directional drilling practices. The second project will demonstrate a new method for controlling subsurface microbial processes, allowing remediation treatments to reach areas further down gradient and prevent “bio-clogging.” Haley & Aldrich executive Michael Basel said “Both projects show great promise for solving some of the toughest challenges our clients face in their geotechnical and remediation work.”

CEC publishes Kennedy Jenks report on food waste co-digestion

The California Energy Commission has published a report on lowering food waste co-digestion costs for renewable gas production. The report was authored by Kennedy Jenks (San Francisco, Calif.) and based on a demonstration study to evaluate a new technology to lower pre-processing cost of food wastes, in addition to a new strategy to add fats, oil, and grease and pre-processed food wastes for anaerobic digestion with wastewater sludge (co-digestion). The new technology, known as an organic extrusion press, selectively extrudes organic materials from inorganic contaminants based on differences in viscosities and is more efficient than conventional, size-based separation techniques. Pre-processing of food waste using the new technology resulted in up to 54% cost savings compared to conventional techniques, along with an estimated $8.9-$9.3 million worth of energy savings for a 100-million-gallons-per-day treatment plant.

Golder joins battle against ammonia nitrogen in mine wastewater

Natural Resources Canada has launched a pilot project to test a new technology developed by E2metrix (Sherbrooke, Quebec) to clean and recycle Canada’s mining wastewater. E2Metrix is leading the project, and Golder (Toronto) is serving as technology integrator. The pilot project will receive C$5.1 million in funding through the Canadian Clean Growth Program and the CanmetMINING Science & Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Contribution.

Barr acquires King & MacGregor Environmental

Barr Engineering Co. (Minneapolis, Minn.) has acquired King & MacGregor Environmental, Inc. (KME, Grand Rapids, Mich.), a provider of natural resource consulting and environmental services. The deal expands Barr’s environmental capabilities and water resources practice. KME’s key areas of expertise include wetland and water body assessments, design of constructed wetlands, as well as environmental reviews and permitting. Barr is an engineering and environmental consulting firm serving clients in mining, power, fuels, manufacturing, and the public sector. KME’s staff will join Barr’s Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids office locations.

All4 acquires Environmental Strategy Consultants

All4 LLC (Philadelphia, Pa.) has completed its second acquisition—Environmental Strategy Consultants Inc. (ESC)—an environmental consulting firm founded in 1986 and headquartered in Philadelphia. ESC will join ALL4’s Philadelphia Region and strengthen ALL4’s environmental, health, and safety (EHS) consulting expertise. The addition of the ESC team brings ALL4’s presence in six regions to 120 employees. ALL4 is an environmental consulting company working primarily in complex air permitting, air dispersion modeling, continuous emissions monitoring, ambient pollutant and meteorological monitoring, and multimedia EHS compliance.

SLR acquires KDC in Australia

Environmental consulting firm SLR (Aylesbury, UK) has acquired KDC a planning and development consultancy headquartered in Newcastle, Australia. Neil Penhall, SLR’s chief executive, said, “This is a really exciting time for our team in the Asia Pacific region. Not only will this acquisition provide us with a recognized and established planning presence in the region, but it gives us the ability to help our clients through every stage of their project lifecycle, regardless of the sector.” This is SLR’s sixth acquisition over the last 18 months backed by Charterhouse Capital Partners.


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