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by Vault Consulting Editors | April 20, 2011


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 3: Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen volunteers get down to business in San Antonio.

It's easy to get caught up in all the Earth Day imagery of pristine forests and sunny skies, but there's more to it than just protecting the most obvious symbols of our environment.

Booz Allen Hamilton has certainly done its part to preserve these powerful symbols over the years: from cleaning rivers and streams in Virginia and Kansas to forming valuable partnerships with the Ocean Conservancy and the US National Park Service, the firm has engaged organizations of all stripes to promote its message of environmental responsibility.

But it will take more than just planting trees and nurturing species to defend these last bastions of wilderness against the specter of human activity. In the end, we must confront the causes of today's environmental woes, not just the symptoms.

This month, Booz Allen is doing just that.

Through a partnership with Rebuilding Together, an organization which fancies itself the "leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities" in the US, hundreds of Booz Allen consultants will help improve homes for low-income families across the country.

It's a hands-on affair—volunteer consultants will get their hands dirty working on anything from "painting, replacing windows, ceilings, and floors, and planting gardens." And while they're busy putting hammer to nail, the teams of Booz Allen volunteers will have a key theme in mind: "making those homes a little greener."

It's an effort that starts with the tools they're using—whenever possible, the volunteers use recycled or sustainably-produced building materials, like paint with low-VOC content (VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, can cause damages to humans and the environment).

They'll also put best-practice sustainability methods to work. To arm its employees with the necessary expertise, Booz Allen "provided the teams with fact sheets on greening their volunteer project and how to recover/recycle construction and demolition materials." (Consider it a mandatory training in how to do good.)

With its consultants armed with the tools and the know-how to get the job done, the firm decided to up the ante for this year's engagement. Of the more than 50 teams of Booz Allen consultants that will participate across the country later this month, six will be selected by the firm for a special honor; the six teams that "greened" their respective projects most successfully will win thousands of dollars worth of Energy Star appliances for the households they partnered with.

"Six teams can win," the firm says, "and the top prize is $4,000 in appliances. In the end, Booz Allen will have outfitted the low-income homeowners with $8,500 worth of energy efficient appliances."

Ah, yes: nothing makes sustainability happen faster than some good, old fashioned competition.

As a result of Booz Allen's partnership with Rebuilding Together, low-income families across America will benefit from lower energy costs. And better yet, it's all part of an effort to reduce the impact our society has upon the environment. A noble endeavor indeed!

Learn more about Booz Allen and Rebuilding Day:
Corporate Citizenship at Booz Allen Hamilton
Rebuilding Together

Photo: Cheryl Gerber, AP


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