In honor of Earth Day, Consult THIS is highlighting efforts in environmental sustainability made by 5 consulting firms that we feel deserve special recognition. Whether these efforts resulted in historic achievements in the field of sustainability (some did) or were just plain interesting (like here), each of these big players spurned the bottom line to make a difference to our planet Earth.
Day 5: CSC
As many corporate bigwigs would lament, the relationship between government and business is often a one-way street. The EPA, for example, has come under fire from Republicans and business leaders for the so-called "anti-business" regulations it enforces upon the market for the good of the environment. Despite the criticism, the EPA represents the ultimate authority on environmental issues in the US—both in terms of expertise and political clout. It's a truly impressive accomplishment, then, when a private sector company reverses the trend. Over the last couple of decades, CSC has done just that, serving as an indispensable advisor to the EPA when it comes to "greening" its own organization.
As the authority on all things green, one of the EPA's responsibilities is to lead by example. Sure, field work and regulation enforcement dominate the department's day-to-day, but it would all be for naught if the EPA itself didn't operate on the cutting edge of sustainable technology. And as a modern organization with a big country to regulate, more energy is likely expended on IT infrastructure than on any other EPA activity (minus travel, perhaps). Luckily for the EPA, making IT green just happens to be CSC's specialty.
CSC's relationship with the EPA goes back at least 18 years, evolving over the course of repeated engagements and fostering two decades' worth of mutual trust. As times and technologies have changed, the EPA has stood by CSC as its preferred partner for infrastructure implementation, and never has that been more true than now.
The firm currently juggles multiple engagements with the environmental watchdogs. In one current example, CSC is working in tandem with the EPA Office of Research and Development to "consolidate servers across its 13 laboratories." Like a good tech consultancy, that solution will make it easier for EPA employees to collaborate while saving the government money, nearly $400,000 a year in energy savings. And of course, it isn't just about money. By simplifying IT processes and systems, CSC has achieved some remarkable results in this engagement alone: by the end of its contract, CSC will have saved the EPA 77.6 million kilowatt hours of energy. "This represents a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 64,000 tons over eight years," the firm says. "That's the equivalent of removing 11,000 cars from the road, saving 6.8 million gallons of gasoline and eliminating the electricity usage of 8,000 homes."
In the latest instance of EPA-CSC cooperation, the former contracted the latter in November 2010 to help identify and track "uncontrolled waste sites" across the country. By now, CSC consultants probably have an intimate knowledge of the National Priorities List (NPL), a list of more than a thousand "abandoned hazardous waste sites" that could "pose long-term threats to human health and the environment via contamination in ground water, surface water, soil or air." It'll be up to CSC to manage the information on this list and make it easier for EPA crew to identify, track, and prioritize potential threats for cleanup. James Sheaffer, CSC's head of public sector work in North America, said that the contract would "bring together geologists, chemists, biologists, statisticians and information analysts to develop innovative approaches to evaluate the hazardous waste sites." "In performing this work," he continued, "CSC proudly supports the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment."
These are but a pair of examples in a long history of cooperation between the EPA and CSC. They also showcase just a few capabilities in CSC's exhaustive and impressive portfolio for Green IT work. CSC can provide high-tech solutions (like cloud services or virtual desktop implementation), hands-on solutions (like energy-friendly printing services or supply chain optimization), and long-term strategic solutions (like regulation compliance and green audits) to any modern company with a heavy carbon footprint. The firm has applied these solutions to a similarly wide range of clients: the US federal government, governments in the UK and Germany, and major private companies like BAE Systems have all benefitted from CSC's expertise.
And above all, there's no beating CSC's scope of experience working with the environment. The firm has helped clean up nuclear waste, protect water soruces from security threats, and monitored climate change from Earth's orbit.
Between its unrivalled expertise and proven track record, CSC's sustainability work has turned heads. Last fall, Newsweek rated the firm as one of the top 100 greenest companies in America, and CSC landed the top spot (by far) on Vault's Green ranking for tech consultancies. Impressive stuff!
For more information:
Green IT: It's a Go at the EPA