Sustainability is an important component to our everyday lives, directly shaping our daily activities—the products we purchase; the materials we recycle; and our views on politics, business, climate change, and more. While its exact definition may vary, the concept of sustainability is generally recognized as integrating the environmental, social, and economic aspects of our lives, and aims to “strike a balance” over the long term. As service providers, we at EA are often asked to assist clients in developing sustainable approaches to their challenges. Over the past several years, this has motivated us to ask ourselves the same question: what does sustainability mean to us?
In 2008, EA’s leadership team endorsed the concept of a Corporate Sustainability mission to be aligned with our long-term strategic plan, as well as leading initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative and Executive Order 13423 (Greening of the Government). In late 2008, we sent out a sustainability survey to our employees—it provided perspective on the thoughts and interest from EA employees—and we quickly realized that this was not only the “right thing to do” for our business and clients, but also for our employees.
Professionally, EA not only began the transformation internally to sustainable practices, but has focused our capabilities to better support our clients’ needs. Over the past several years, we have seen unprecedented growth in staff interest in attaining emerging professional certifications and registrations such as LEED-accredited professionals, ENVISION, ZERO Waste, energy auditors, and certified hazardous materials managers.
We have also made a commitment to transparency and reporting and, after establishing our baseline and finalizing sustainability performance metrics/disclosures to be assessed annually going forward, we plan to annually publish an integrated Public Benefit Statement and Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
We have much to do—we recognized early on that sustainability can be likened not to a near-term destination, but rather to a broader journey that seeks to align our core values with our strategy in a means that benefits EA, our clients, and the communities we serve in the long run. We invite your feedback, and encourage you to help make a difference in this ever-shrinking global economy.