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Analysis

Advising Clients to Ensure Sustainable Facilities

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 13:57

CH2M Hill (CH2M) was founded in 1946 when three engineers and a professor decided to combine their skills and four simple values: client care, high-quality outcomes, employee value, and a culture of integrity and honesty. The firm’s business includes the chemical and infrastructure industries, among others, and its wide portfolio enables it to tackle international markets. CH2M’s infrastructure services also span to consulting, and the firm performs master planning, administration, studies for energy and efficiency, environmental surveys, and permitting procedures. On the consulting side, CH2M examines water, soil, and air in the site to measure adherence to requirements set out by SEMARNAT, PROFEPA, and other government entities in Mexico.

Should CH2M encounter soil issues or conditions out with regulatory parameters in the development stage, the company researches the pollutants and then disseminates the information with its teams of scientists from the US and Latin America to determine potential solutions. “This is a multidisciplinary endeavor in which we involve scientists, lawyers, anthropologists, and other experts. This area is crucial to help our clients obtain the permits. Failing to meet the requirements can result in severe penalties,” shares Elisa Guinea, BD Manager Energy & Chemicals at CH2M. When the plant is actually being built, CH2M works on waste and disposable material handling, as well as health and safety audits, chemical audits, process audits, and risk assessments. Afterward, there is another stage in which the firm can provide auditing services and ensure that the commitments its clients made to obtain their permits are being complied with

Guinea highlights the importance of promoting sustainability among the company’s clients. “Most of the clients think sustainability is extremely costly. Nevertheless, I believe that many companies are starting to consider these kinds of measures, especially within the pharma industry, due to its strict international standards, their partner companies promote those investments.” The main problem she finds in Mexico in this respect is the fact that engineers and managers are not aligned with the practices of international companies. CH2M will not obtain the optimal amount of business without aggressive promotion of the benefits of sustainability. “We work with prestigious international companies that understand these concepts and this way of thinking has been proven to generate profits for these businesses. We must promote the concept more and convince clients of the benefits they will obtain,” says Guinea. The short-term strategy is displaying to clients the way in which sustainability, profit, and people can be combined, resulting in a shared endeavor with CH2M.