A Sustainable Organization

our commitment and approach

Sustainability cannot be defined by a final report or an end date. Nor can an organization become more sustainable through the efforts of individuals or departments acting independently. At CDM Smith, sustainability is not the domain of any single discipline, department, or division—it is the purview of every employee. Every executive, technical discipline leader, administrative assistant, and project engineer and manager is responsible for understanding how his or her work affects service delivery and internal operations, and then collectively for extending that understanding to their department, clients, and communities.

The cornerstone of our process is our sustainability performance improvement management system (SPIMS). This system, which provides the framework for continual improvement and awareness enhancement, follows the premise that sustainability can be achieved by implementing processes synchronized with existing business processes and practices. This allows us to capitalize on our existing organizational and technical strengths to collaborate with clients to develop more sustainable projects or operations. Through SPIMS, engaged stakeholders identify new opportunities for improvement, implement initiatives based on established goals, and then monitor performance and communicate progress. In addition to the delivery of technical services, this process of continual assessment and improvement is being applied to our internal performance, helping us better conserve resources, strengthen our financial and operational performance, and develop our future leaders.

Just as sustainability relies on integrating the triple bottom line—environmental, social, and economic dimensions—our sustainability efforts succeed through the collective strength of the more than 6,000 dedicated and talented women and men of CDM Smith. Our Director of Sustainability, while not solely responsible for our sustainability efforts, is responsible for facilitating knowledge development and sharing between our long-standing client service corps, technical resources, marketing, and corporate departments. Each technical discipline has appointed a sustainability representative who serves to embed sustainable principles and practices into the work we undertake for our clients. Together, our sustainability representatives are responsible for integrating sustainability into project planning, design, execution, and delivery; and forecasting and responding to market needs.

The Corporate Sustainability Team includes representatives from each internal operations department and is responsible for identifying, prioritizing, and implementing internal improvement initiatives. Supporting this team are office leaders and office service coordinators who are located in each office to champion and oversee local sustainability team activities and programs. All of these individuals and groups work in collaboration to advance the firm's overall sustainability efforts. Our continual improvement framework coupled with our working philosophy that it is every employee's responsibility to "walk the talk" drives our commitment into every facet of our organization at every level—from the top down, middle in, and bottom up.