2020 CCBJ Business Achievement Award Winners
Climate Change Business Journal® presents its annual CCBJ Business Achievement Awards for outstanding business performance in 2020. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations.
Note: Final 2020 CCBJ Awards in certain categories may not be completely adjudicated until the still-intended-until-further-notice dates of EBI’s Environmental Industry Summit XIX, a live event on September 22-24, 2021 in Coronado, California.
EBJ Lifetime Achievement Awards and 50th Anniversary Awards were revealed and presented during the February 11-12 EBJ Award ceremony, but also will be recognized at the Summit in September, or whenever the Environmental Industry Summit panel of experts deems it safe and appropriate to gather, revel, recognize accomplishments and share perspective on business, politics, policy, the economy and society.
Advancing Best Practices: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
American Society of Adaptation Professionals for supporting education and best practices Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience and managing climate migration. ASAP members formed the Climate Migration and Managed Retreat initiative in 2019 and in 2020 hosted a series of workshops and forums (all online during the pandemic) for leaders, planners, designers, engineers, researchers and other practitioners on topics ranging from managing sea level rise at the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk, Va., the evolution of reinsurance markets in south Florida, addressing climate change risks and liability for infrastructure, and pilot programs for the relocation of communities. ASAP developed the New York State Climate Migration Modeling Accelerator that was launched in November 2020 with New York Energy Research and Development Authority to support multidisciplinary teams to develop models for forecasting climate-induced migration within and to New York state.
Advancing Best Practices: GHG Mitigation
Veolia North America and its Industrial Business unit for developing a way for GE Renewable Energy to recycle wind turbine blades that are replaced during upgrades and repowering. Veolia is processing the blades as a raw material for cement, utilizing a cement kiln co-processing technology. Once blades are removed from the wind turbines, they are sent to Veolia’s processing facility where they are shredded, then used instead of coal, sand, and clay at cement manufacturing facilities. Nearly 90% of the wind turbine blade material is reused, and 65% of the blade weight replaces raw materials, and about 28% of the blade weight provides energy for the chemical reaction in the kiln, leading to a 27% net reduction in CO2 emissions from the cement production process.
Business Model Innovation: Clean Distributed Generation & Energy Storage
Jacobs and Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest retail water utility, for using Yarra’s Aurora wastewater treatment plant as a case study to explore the relationship between both outputs from electrolysis – hydrogen and pure oxygen. Analysis explored whether using oxygen in wastewater treatment processes could create enough savings for the wastewater treatment plant to effectively subsidize the cost of hydrogen and increase its commercial viability. The findings indicated that implementing a type of treatment technology that allows for the efficient use of pure oxygen at the Aurora wastewater treatment plant could deliver net capital and operating cost savings to Yarra Valley Water compared to other treatment options. At the same time, the guaranteed demand for oxygen at Aurora was instrumental in enabling the co-located hydrogen facility to be commercially viable, while selling hydrogen within a competitive price range of AUD$2-6/kg. Importantly, this result was achieved for ‘sustainable hydrogen’ – produced using recycled water and renewable energy – highlighting the opportunity for decarbonization without compromising drinking water resources.
Business Model Innovation: Clean Distributed Generation & Energy Storage
LevelTen Energy for the launch of its RE-Store™ Energy Agreement, an innovative financial contract that enables corporations and Load-Serving Entities (LSEs) easier access to the economic and risk-reducing benefits of energy storage projects. Starbucks was the first to use an agreement of this kind to provide renewable energy for more than 550 stores in California with solar energy and utility-scale batteries. The agreement opens the door to billions of dollars of investment in large-scale energy storage projects by providing buyers a practical way to contract with storage developers, and by guaranteeing a revenue stream to developers to support project financing. In addition to supporting project financing, as a financially-settled contract, the agreement affords storage owners full operational control, allowing projects to optimize all asset revenues (through capacity and ancillary services sales. With an increasing number of merchant storage projects seeking contracted revenues to complement their exposure to wholesale market volatility, LevelTen’s RE-Store™ Energy Agreement is breaking down a key barrier to project development.
Business Model Innovation: GHG Mitigation
CHANGE Environmental, LLC for developing an innovative and strategic climate change monitoring and carbon investment management process for Lehigh Hanson (a Heidelberg Cement company) plants in Canada and California. The project assessed the financial obligations and impacts that current emissions had on the financial structure and stability of company earnings, having already paid millions of dollars for allocation credits. CHANGE Environmental developed a novel “environmental scorecard” strategy that looked at the past and current emissions for each of the plants and their allowable limits to provide insight into developing strategies for reducing the carbon footprints for all facilities. The outcome included a massive reduction in GHG emissions, reducing credit purchases and the sale of allocations to clients to help them offset their emissions.
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
Arcadis for supporting entrepreneurship and adaptation through its Techstars program the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator that identified Irys as a high potential startup in the arena of climate change adaptation & resilience. Since 2019 Arcadis’ global partnership around the Irys people-centric community building digital platform developed a two way “Cityshaper” tool that engages with people to support more inclusive community building projects. In addition, Arcadis teamed with Irys to adapt their platform to COVID related data gathering in communities. From self-screening data gathering to resource tracking to dashboarding and reporting.
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
ICF for a groundbreaking 2020 project to understand and communicate the business case for flood resiliency investments in Miami Beach. The goal of the project was to highlight the cost-effectiveness—in terms of impacts on property damages, taxes, insurance payments, and tourism—of various mitigation strategies against the costs of inaction. Methods included detailed analyses of the effectiveness of flood-reduction options and their effects on property values, insurance premiums, and city operational costs, and modeling efforts to help City officials understand and present the business case analysis of resilience investments. ICF’s team of Kimley-Horn, AIR, Brizaga, and Florida Atlantic University created citywide sea level rise and storm surge inundation maps, detailed stormwater flooding scenarios, a hedonic pricing model that captured the increased housing value of adaptation measures, a neighborhood-level cost-effectiveness case study, and a citywide business case analysis. Investment scenarios (no-action versus public versus private) and stormwater events (King Tide, 5-year, 10-year, and moderate hurricane events) enabled the city to right-size and prioritize its resilience investments.
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
Kleinfelder for the completion and deliverables on the Cambridge Climate Change Preparedness and Resiliency Plan (CCPR). Kleinfelder has worked on climate change projects since 2012, bridging consulting expertise, academic research, government policymaking, and community engagement to climate change vulnerability, preparedness, and resiliency. Kleinfelder’s Climate Change Practice has helped communities understand and manage their risks with nearly 30 climate change vulnerability assessment, adaptation planning, and resilient design projects completed or underway in the Cities of Boston, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville; Town of Hull; Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport); Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); and the Upper Mystic River Watershed. Projects build consensus, obtain funding, and implement resilience projects and policies and Kleinfelder’s technical innovation, effective communication, and results have earned the company a strong reputation in climate change adaptation & resilience.
Consulting & Engineering: Offshore Wind
Tetra Tech Inc. for supporting Dominion Energy in becoming the first utility to install offshore wind turbines in U.S. federal waters. Under the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Pilot Project, Tetra Tech served as the lead environmental consultant for Dominion Energy’s 12-megawatt offshore wind project located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia and facilitated all federal and state permitting work and construction compliance monitoring and training. These two turbines were the first in U.S. federal waters and only the second offshore wind turbines installed anywhere in the United States. Tetra Tech guided many firsts with this project, including approval of a Research Activities Plan, a first-of-its kind environmental report that is the basis for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management evaluation under the National Environmental Policy Act; and issuance of the first right-of-way grant for renewable energy activities.
Consulting & Engineering: Energy & Carbon Management
Antea Group for expanding its Sustainability Consulting practice with on Science-Based Targets (SBTs) and supporting the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Antea works with many companies across various industries considering or setting SBTs to align greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets with most recent climate science guidelines. Antea’s expert team helps clients understand the background of science-based targets, including the global context of the initiative and the science behind it, walking companies through the applicable methodologies and aided in setting targets. Antea draws on deep expertise in facilities optimization, renewables procurement, and energy management to help companies define a strategy and drive improvements to meet ambitious targets. Antea also leverages its strong, long-term relationship with CDP to help clients with a robust understanding of the economic impacts of SBTs, including capital commitment, cost savings, and return on investment.
Consulting & Engineering: Low-Carbon Energy Practice
AECOM for progress on the design/build of jetBlue’s new electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI) – the largest system for electric ground service equipment of any airline at JFK International Airport. Aviation’s contribution to global warming is increasingly in the spotlight, and with airports managing unprecedented pandemic challenges, aviation grid modernization will support present and future pressures. Converting 40% of jetBlue’s fleet from gasoline to electric, AECOM’s services included a design/build approach, equipment provision /material, management, and complete installation labor –including start-up, testing and commissioning of 38 four-port and two-port charging stations for a total of 118 charging ports at the terminal. Immediate gains include zero tailpipe emissions, reducing carbon monoxide, ozone precursors and particulate matter. The new system is targeted to cut 4 million pounds (1,700 metric tons) of GHG emission per year. This project, in partnership with the New York Power Authority, jetBlue, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, received a $4 million Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program grant, the first awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration to the Port Authority.
COVID Resilience & Business Growth
Element Markets for successfully navigating the challenges of 2020, finishing the year with growth in revenues and staff, including several senior-level key hires, and a move to new Houston offices to accommodate growth. Founded in 2005, Element Markets is a renewable natural gas marketing and environmental commodities company providing structured environmental compliance and optimization services with a track record in renewable natural gas (RNG), low carbon fuels, emissions, carbon, and renewable energy credit markets. RNG milestones in 2020 included; 180,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas reductions achieved on behalf of a county transit authority; A new RNG facility commissioning and pipeline injection for a major swine RNG/utility joint venture; Three hydrogen fuel pathways for RNG under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard that had three of the top 15 lowest carbon intensity scores for LCFS pathways as of December 2020. Element Markets was a multiple first-place winner in the Environmental Finance Annual Market Survey, including repeat “best” designations across Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and California Greenhouse Gas Markets.
COVID Resilience & Business Growth
MicroBioGen for resilience in the face of COVID-19 related lockdowns that led to a significant decrease in the global demand for transport fuels during 2020, negatively affecting their revenue that relies solely on bioethanol sales. MicroBioGen develops Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts – living organisms – to produce biofuels and a range of other products. During the worst of the pandemic, MicroBioGen managed to maintain the safety and loyalty of their entire workforce, continued to fully remunerate all employees, and added to their payroll. Total research output declined by only 20%, compared to a 50% reduction in the number of laboratory hours worked in 2020. A significant positive outcome was the identification of previous lab bottlenecks that were addressed through new equipment purchases, with continued higher laboratory worker efficiencies expected to continue even after COVID-19. MicroBioGen has also designed a potential solution to maximize the value of excess renewable energy generated in areas of high insolation.
Financing Innovation: Low-Carbon Energy
Rincon Consultants, Inc. for assisting the City of Berkeley with the Berkeley Existing Building Electrification Plan (BEEP) to retrofit the City’s building stock to utilize 100% electricity to fully leverage SB100 and decarbonize the building sector. The BEEP aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, improve the health of citizens, provide long-term cost savings, allow for a more resilient and safer source of power, and to ensure these benefits are equitably distributed. This first of its kind project includes a building-by-building energy model, analysis of permit data, and local cost estimates for electrification retrofits. Rincon and their partners at the Rocky Mountain Institute found electrification retrofits to be cost-effective in many situations, but with higher upfront costs compared to natural gas replacements. Through extensive outreach work, Rincon and the Ecology Center found these upfront costs to be a potential equity impact. Using this feedback, a series of “equity guardrails” were developed to ensure electrification strategies provided equitable costs, access to improvements, access to economic benefits, and to prevent displacement. These guardrails shifted Berkeley’s electrification strategies from moving fast, towards identifying the financing strategies and renter protections that meet community needs.
Growth: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. for the growth of its Coastal Resilience practice. Revenues of EA’s Coastal Resilience practice, focused on natural and nature-based solutions, doubled in 2020 and added significant contract wins. This accelerated growth is attributable to increased need to conserve and restore coastal habitats and ecosystems negatively impacted by climate change and the expanded availability of public funding to develop and implement resilience strategies. In 2020, EA was awarded coastal resilience contracts in multiple market sectors. Most significant wins include National Park Service (NPS) Coastal Engineering and Hazards Assistance, National Audubon Society, and as a team member supporting a grant under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program. EA continues to be a major contributor in developing new and updating existing guidance and decision-making documents, such as updating NPS’s Beach Nourishment Guidance and developing Department of Defense Legacy Program’s Cultural Resource Adaptation to Climate Change guidance document. EA has become a nationally recognized as a leader in natural and nature-based responses – applying proven tactics that reduce life-cycle protection costs by providing sustainable long-term solutions.
Growth: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
WSP USA tripled the number of clients to which it provides climate risk, adaptation and resilience services in 2020, and grew its related revenue by more than 305% due in part to growth in its Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) services. Since 2015, WSP has partnered with over 20 different clients across industries — financial services, banking, information technology, transport, aerospace and defense, luxury goods, lodging, engineering and construction and government – to provide technical and strategic support for our clients to align with and implement the recommendations of the TCFD. In 2020, WSP TCFD services grew from assessing alignment with the TCFD recommendations and benchmarking progress against peers, to understanding material and substantive financial risks and opportunities, fully supporting TCFD filings and disclosures, and co-designing and implementing multi-year TCFD roadmaps to operationalize sustainability and resilience into the fabric of client enterprises. Through these services, WSP works to advance their clients’ TCFD journey by actively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, investing in clean, renewable energy, managing physical acute and chronic risks, adapting to the changes already facing the world, and strengthening resilience across the enterprise, supply chain, and within local host communities.
Growth: Low-Carbon Energy Practice
Arcadis for expanding its Sustainable Urban Development and Energy Transition capabilities in 2020. In early 2020, Arcadis acquired Over Morgen, a fast-growing Dutch consultancy company with 80 employees focusing on solving various societal challenges by creating sustainable societies through an integrated approach that combines area development and energy transition. Arcadis and Over Morgen now combine their complementary capabilities to assist clients in creating sustainable environments. Over Morgen excels at providing integrated, innovative sustainable solutions, with focus areas of sustainable energy strategies, sustainable mobility, energy transition, smart cities, and sustainable urban development. Over Morgen complements Arcadis’ strengths in project realization, management, maintenance, and cost management, as well as an extensive global network and decades of knowledge and experience. This acquisition fits well into Arcadis’ ambition of creating sustainable and resilient societies; in addition, it will also provide for fertile ground for talent development and knowledge sharing at a time during which an increasing number of clients worldwide are pressing forward on sustainability.
Growth: Renewable Energy
Fugro USA, Inc. for performing eight contracts for six offshore wind development projects in the Atlantic in 2020. Projects involved a wide range of site characterization services, including: metocean studies to help reduce uncertainty in engineering design, support project planning, and enhance operational safety and efficiency; geophysical surveys to help ascertain seabed bathymetry, morphology, and to understand the sub-seabed layers and identify potential UXO; geotechnical investigations to determine and manage the ground risk associated with offshore wind farms; and nearshore geotechnical investigations to define power cable landfall location. Completing this volume of new work posed multiple challenges given the Covid-19 pandemic. Fugro coordinated closely with client and government representatives, implementing multiple new procedures to ensure the health and safety of Fugro staff and its project stakeholders throughout the field programs. Working in partnership with clients like Ørsted, Mayflower Wind, and Atlantic Shores, we are committed to helping US-based clients permit and design offshore wind farms faster, while lowering construction and operating risk.
Industry Leadership: Sustainability
ERM for the successful launch and roll-out of The SustainAbility Institute by ERM, a thought leadership platform for delivering actionable insight to address key sustainability challenges. For the past 50 years, ERM has been at the forefront of helping business integrate environmental and social elements in ways that create value and minimize risk, supporting leaders at both a strategic and operational level. Topics like supply chain management, human rights, climate risk, ESG, and license to operate are appearing on the agendas of Boards and senior management and business leaders want guidance on addressing them. The purpose of The SustainAbility Institute is to define, accelerate and scale sustainability performance by developing actionable insights for business, leading to transformational change. In November 2020, the Institute launched “From Promise to Action on Net Zero” a series of executive interviews, reports, and events exploring how companies are translating net zero emissions goals into practice, the challenges they face, and the kinds of solutions they are developing to overcome them.
Industry Leadership: Individual
Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, for his publication of a new book to take on societal polarization entitled: “How to Talk to the Other Side: Finding Common Ground in the Time of Coronavirus, Recession, and Climate Change”. Kevin has worked over 200+ organizations and has been dismayed by our loss of the ability to relate, understand or even have conversations with people we don’t agree with – let alone come up with the policy frameworks to solve the great challenges of social justice, climate change and Covid-19. Wilhelm’s roadmap offers real life case studies, practical tips and win-win solutions for finding common ground & shared value between Business & Environmentalists, Republicans & Democrats, Climate Deniers & Advocate and even bridges the divide between Rural & Urban America. The book reached the #1 Green Business best seller and made waves in and outside the environmental industry, being featured on NBC, Fox News, the Seattle Times, the Puget Sound Business Journal, and on over 25 podcasts including Earth 911’s one million+ followers.
Industry Leadership: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
AECOM and a multi-disciplinary team of academics and consultants for authoring the New Zealand National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA), identifying the most significant climate change risks and identifying opportunities and knowledge gaps to be addressed. The compressed 9-month delivery timeframe cut across assessment areas, diving deep into issues in domain, accessing past regional and national expertise, and engaging experts to network with multiple stakeholder groups. New Zealand’s NCCRA provides the best available assessment of risks to directly inform development of a National Adaptation Plan. AECOM’s approach engaged across five value domains, and included national, regional, local agencies, M?ori groups and iwi with over 400 individuals engaged, contributing time, knowledge and expertise.
Project Merit: Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
Jacobs for acting as the design-build lead for the Cutter Lateral reach 21 water treatment plant & conveyance pipelines project in New Mexico. A 2009 Environmental Impact Statement found that groundwater levels for the city of Gallup has dropped 200 feet over the previous 10 years, and that over 40% of Navajo Nation households relied on hauling water to meet their daily needs. Inadequate water supply also impacted the ability of the Jicarilla Apache people to live and work outside the reservation town of Dulce. To address this critical adaption, resilience and environmental justice issue, Congress authorized the $1.5 billion Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, as part of the Navajo Nation San Juan River Basin NM Water Rights Settlement Agreement. The project achieved a major milestone on October 1, 2020 with the substantial completion and plant acceptance of the new Cutter Lateral Reach 21 Water Treatment Plant, including 4 miles of raw and finished water transmission mains. With Jacobs as the design-build lead, the 3.5-million-gallons-per-day greenfield project – which involves the treatment and conveyance of water from the Cutter Reservoir – will provide a clean, reliable and long-term water source for the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache communities along the Cutter Lateral.
Project Merit: GHG Reduction in Remediation
Orion Environmental Inc. for the accelerated shutdown of active remedial systems and the reduction in groundwater monitoring at a complex site that yielded a 99% reduction in sustainability indicators from 2016 to 2020, including greenhouse gas and air emissions, water and energy usage, and accident risks. The site contains two active bulk fuel terminals and a former retail gasoline station with multiple water-bearing zones, heterogeneous lithology, and residential and surface water receptors. Remedial operations in 2016 included: dual-phase extraction and oxygen injection systems; monthly LNAPL monitoring and recovery; and quarterly to annual groundwater monitoring at 90 monitoring wells. Orion transparently communicated with the regulatory agency and sought to shut down active systems and transition to alternative remedies with a focus on sustainable remediation and overall risk reduction. Through trial system shutdowns and innovative data analysis, Orion showed that natural attenuation rates in groundwater exceeded calculated contaminant mass discharge rates throughout the plume and were sufficient to achieve remedial objectives. The regulatory agency approved remedial system shutdowns and suspension of LNAPL recovery. A 2020 plume stability and well network analysis resulted in regulatory approval for a 40 percent reduction in the monitoring and analytical program, further decreasing the environmental footprint for ongoing monitoring.
Project Merit: High Performance Buildings
Tetra Tech Inc. and its High Performance Buildings Group for supporting California State University’s (CSU) climate action plan which involves investment to decarbonize existing utility infrastructure for all 23 CSU campuses. With Tetra Tech’s support, the CSU system can realize a 70 percent reduction potential in natural gas consumption, meet their climate action commitments, and support California’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2025. Campuses were prioritized for carbon-free heating systems using submeter data, inverse energy modeling, and predictive analytics. Tetra Tech developed a central utility plant scenario analysis planning tool and dynamic dashboards that allow campuses to optimize heat recovery strategies and reduce GHG emissions. These dashboards enable stakeholders to better understand the multidimensional impacts of a carbon-free heating system and can be used to develop a long-term clean energy strategy. Tetra Tech also developed a system-wide decarbonization framework that consisted of policy reviews, mechanical design, technology assessments and energy modeling guidelines.
Information Technology for Renewable Energy
LevelTen Energy for the launches of Risk & Value 2.0 and LevelTen Marketplace 4.0 in 2020. Risk & Value 2.0 is a suite of online analytics that makes it easy for procurement managers to confidently choose the best power purchase agreement (PPA) for their organization, and successfully win internal stakeholder approval, a key barrier in the PPA process. Factors affecting the value of a PPA include future energy prices, the number of other renewable energy projects expected to produce energy in the market, weather predictions and more, requiring ongoing access to forward energy price curves, weather models and other datasets.
LevelTen Marketplace 4.0 delivers new IT that makes it faster and easier for renewable energy buyers and advisors to source and monitor PPAs. Version 4.0 added: European projects, enabling renewable energy buyers to compare more than 4,000 PPA offers across 21 countries North America and Europe; RFP Automation for buyers and advisors to compare submitted PPA proposals in scatter plots; and Performance Monitoring for REC tracking and settlement verification that leverages direct data feeds and calculates historical and projected PPA settlement payments and tracks the performance of a company’s entire PPA portfolio in an online dashboard.
Information Technology: GHG Mitigation
Greater Than for developing AI that unveils the factual and predictive risk and C02 emission per car in real-time. OEMs, fleets, insurance providers, and the new mobility use the platform to raise awareness about safe and environmentally responsible driving for everyday drivers as well as maintain better pricing of premiums, smart customer retention and targeted customer acquisition. Through apps with “gamification,” drivers are encouraged to contribute to lower CO2 emissions and road safety. During 2020, Toyota Lexus rolled out its first loyalty program “Lexus safe drive” in South East Asia. The solution is entirely based on Greater Than’s service and AI platform. Since 2019, Greater Than has partnered with Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and operates the yearly global event, the FIA Smart Driving Challenge, the world’s first global competition in smart driving. The 2019 season resulted in a reduction in CO2 emissions by 13.8% and related road claims by 52% among participating drivers, and results from the 2020 season being compiled.
Industry Leadership: Climate Action Plan
Jacobs for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day release of its Climate Action Plan that outlines its commitments on climate change. 100% renewable energy, net zero carbon for operations and business travel in 2020, and carbon negative by 2030 were the major commitments. Jacobs completed its transition to 100% renewable energy for its operations, and achieved net-zero carbon emissions for its operations and business travel in 2020. Additionally, Jacobs published its carbon reduction targets to cover Scope 3 (indirect emissions) and these have been approved by the Science Based Target Initiative. Joining over 300 companies worldwide, Jacobs also signed the United Nations Business Ambition for 1.5°C – an urgent request to set ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Willis Towers Watson (London, UK), a global advisory, risk management and insurance brokerage company, for acquiring Acclimatise (Newark, UK), a climate change adaptation advisory and analytics services company, to meet growing demand from corporates, governments and financial institutions. The deal combines Acclimatise’s climate modeling and adaptation capabilities with Willis Towers Watson’s natural catastrophe modeling, risk management, re-insurance and investment markets experience. Based in the UK and with teams in France, the United States and India, Acclimatise has completed more than 450 climate adaptation consulting projects since it was founded in 2004. Acclimatise joins Willis Towers Watson’s Climate and Resilience Hub.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Shell Australia (Brisbane, Australia) for acquiring Select Carbon (Cairns, Australia), a company that specializes in developing and aggregating carbon-farming projects throughout Australia. This was Shell’s first acquisition globally for its Nature-Based Solutions business, which invests in forests, grasslands, wetlands and other ecosystems to reduce emissions and capture CO2 while benefiting biodiversity and local communities. Shell’s goal is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. Carbon credits generated through Select Carbon’s projects are offered for sale through the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund and other markets, creating an additional revenue stream for farmers and landowners.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Rooftop solar company Sunrun (San Francisco, CA) for acquiring rival Vivint Solar (Lehi, UT) in an all-stock transaction valued at $3.2 billion. The combined companies were estimated to have a combined enterprise value of $9.2 billion. Vivint Solar adds a direct-to-home sales channel to Sunrun’s platform. Residential solar has reached only 3% penetration in the United States, yet surveys show nearly 9 out of 10 Americans favor expanding the use of solar power, Sunrun stated, noting that “Consultative experience from trusted sales advisors is important to educate customers of the merits of solar energy.” Cost synergies are estimated at $90 million on an annual basis. Sunrun and Vivint combined provide about 75% of new U.S. residential solar leases each quarter, according to BloombergNEF.
Partnerships & Projects
CleanBay Renewables Inc. (Annapolis, Md.), an enviro-tech company focused on the production of greenhouse gas credits, organic fertilizer and renewable energy, for partnering with Kiewit Corporation (Omaha, NE). Kiewit will design, engineer and build CleanBay’s Westover bio-refinery, which using anaerobic digestion will recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually and convert it into renewable natural gas, electricity and a nutrient-rich fertilizer product. The partnership will bring the “first utility-scale anaerobic digestion plant focused on agricultural feedstock to Maryland,” said Brad Kaufman, senior vice president, Kiewit. Construction at the Westover facility will include more than $200 million of capital investment by CleanBay.
Hannon Armstrong and European energy giant Engie (Paris, France) for selling 49% equity interest in a 2.3 GW U.S. renewables portfolio to Hannon Armstrong (Annapolis, Md.), a public company dedicated to investments in climate change solutions. Engie will retain a controlling share and manage the 13 U.S. projects (nine onshore wind and four solar). In April 2020, Engie secured $1.6 billion tax equity commitments, bringing the total for the portfolio to almost $2 billion. “The size of the portfolio and the magnitude of its tax equity financing—the largest ever in the United States—demonstrates ENGIE’s successful development in this market,” the company stated.
In October-December 2020, 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.
American Society of Adaptation Professionals
Veolia North America, Industrial Business
CHANGE Environmental, LLC
Antea Group USA
Microbiogen Pty Ltd
Rincon Consultants, Inc.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC
Orion Environmental Inc.
Tetra Tech, Inc.
Tetra Tech, Inc.
Kurt Wilhelm; Sustainable Business Consulting
Fugro USA, Inc.
About the annual EBJ and CCBJ Business Achievement Awards
Each year EBI, Inc. and its award selection committee presents Business Achievement Awards in a number of categories to worthy recipients in the environmental and climate change industries. Winners are announced by email, on our website and in press releases in late January. This years Business Achievement Awards Ceremony will be held virtually over two days, February 4-5, 2021. Click here to register for this free event!
EBI has two business achievement award programs: one for Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) and one for Climate Change Business Journal (CCBJ). Each are administered by the separate publications.
From October-December each year, EBJ solicits the environmental industry community via e-mail, website, social media, referrals from industry advisors and word-of-mouth for nominations for the annual EBJ Business Achievement Awards.
Nominations are accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations of environmental business awards may be adjusted depending on the volume of nominations or the number of worthy recipients. Final awards are determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members.
* The same projects or accomplishments should not be submitted for multiple categories. Please limit nominations to four per company for EBJ and two per company for CCBJ.
Business Achievement (small, mid-size & large firms: <$5mil, $5-20 mil, $20-100 mil, etc.): Winners are generally awarded based on growth in the most recently closed year, or achievements in profitability, major new project wins, staff hires or new clients.
Mergers & Acquisitions: Deals announced or closed in 2020
COVID Response: Initiatives in response to COVID-19 in new business units, projects or revenue generation
COVID Adaptation & Resilience: Initiatives in response to COVID-19 in new management, communication or productivity gains
Project Merit: Projects completed or passed a significant milestone in 2020 noted for innovation or unique solution or partnership (water, remediation, NRM, EC or other areas)
Technology Merit: Demonstration, development or commercialization of a new technology
Information Management: Use of information or IT to support revenue growth, project efficiency, demonstration or visualization or software or system to collect, manage, analyze or display information, data, visuals or analytics
New Practice Areas: New services or dedicated service teams, or new client platform or region or territory
Social Contribution: Employee engagement in philanthropic projects or fundraising partnerships
Diversity & Inclusion: Programs for engagement and advancement of under-represented staff and executives and all levels of the firm
Industry Leadership: Active leadership in national, state or local issues that impact policy, programs or funding to support environmental industry growth or mission; Educational partnerships to heighten awareness of key issues
50-Year Recognition: Companies in the environmental business in or around 1970 may submit a corporate history for recognition as a 50-year member of the environmental industry
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Individual awards for lifetime accomplishments in service to the environment or the environmental industry
Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience: Practice growth or initiatives or projects in CCA&R.
GHG Mitigation: Practice growth or initiatives or projects in GHG emissions reduction
Low-Carbon Energy: Practice growth or initiatives or projects in RE or low C power/energy
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