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What is Sustainability? And,
what occurs if not practiced?
Brent Cambers PG, LRS
AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.
Insert picture(s) here
Introduction
• AMEC plc.
 International Project Management and Engineering Firm
 23,000 employees, 340 offices around the globe
• AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.
 5,200 employees, 150 offices across the globe, >90 in NA
 Services:
• Environmental
• Water Resources
• Geotechnical
• Program Management
• Engineering
• Brief Bio
 East Carolina University, BS Geology
 Since 1984, have worked in the environmental restoration for
several firms across the mid- Atlantic SE
 Currently VP of Operations and Group Manager for AMEC
 Unique perspective- 26 year career cleaning up the
legacy/mess from unsustainable activities
What is Sustainability
Definitions of environmental sustainability on the Web:
•
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse
and productive over time. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_sustainability
•
Ensuring that the overall productivity of accumulated human and physical capital resulting from
development actions more than compensates for the direct or indirect loss or degradation of the
environment. (making sure that human activity is worth the cumulative environmental degradation)
web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTOED/EXTENVIRONMENT/0,,contentMDK:21813865~menuPK:
5189977~pagePK:64829573~piPK:64829550~theSitePK:4681890,00.html
•
The assessment that a projects outputs can be produced without permanent and unacceptable change in the
natural environment on which it and other economic activities depend, over the life of the project.
www.adb.org/documents/guidelines/Eco_Analysis/glossary.asp
•
A movement towards redesigning the ways society's needs and wants are met so that they can be
accommodated within the long-term carrying capacity of the environment.
www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentPage____32084.aspx
•
Long-term maintenance of ecosystem components and functions for future generations.
www.throughthewoods.us/gogreen_glossary.html
•
Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
needs.
www.fao.org/ag/wfe2005/glossary_en.htm
•
Practices to ensure that the natural resource capital remains intact; i.e., that the source and sink functions of
the environment should not be degraded. ...
sustainablelanduse.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/some-terminology-definitions-sustainability-land-use-impactassessment/
Understanding Sustainability- The History
Understanding Sustainability- The History
Example of Non-Sustainable Industrial
Activity
Former Pristine Trout River
at a former Zinc mine.
Landfill to the left and
tailings deposit at the top,
both adjacent to the river
Ten years after mine closure,
photo of acid drainage
discharges to the river. River
down stream is highly
impaired. Close up of the
discharge to the right
Example of Non-Sustainable Industrial
Activity
Things to consider:
•No regard to environmental
protection when developed
•By the time of closure, cost to
remediate the site were extreme
•Mining company became bankrupt
leaving the legacy to the tax payer
Take away message:
•The things we do or do not do today
will have consequences for years if
not decades to come
•The cost to address today may be
cheaper than the cost to remedy in the
y ears to come
Waste chemical disposal site. Affectionately known as “Tin Can Curve”
AMEC and Sustainability
• AMEC selected by Dow Jones as one of
the top sustainable firms for the fifth
consecutive year
• AMEC sustainability projects/initiatives
other than compliance and restoration
 Green House Gas Initiatives
 Ground source heat pump
 Energy audits and consulting
 Alternative power/fuels consulting
 LEED certification
QUESTIONS?