By: Lindsey Machamer, LEED AP, Senior Engineer and Chair of Pare’s Sustainability Committee
Pare’s Sustainability Committee is a group of committed professionals enthusiastic about incorporating innovative sustainability into our business operations, local community, and design practices. Over the past year, we have attended conferences, been involved in organizations, and studied the nuances of the newest sustainability rating systems. Those activities have influenced our goals for the future. We are excited to help guide planning and engineering within the Pare community into a future where we can create a better built environment. We are excited to share our efforts and goals.
First, we have revisited an analysis of our own company’s impact on the environment. Our analysis includes Pare’s waste generation, transportation impact, and buying practices. To advance this initiative, we will continuously review our options to reduce our impact on the environment. As part of this, we encourage Pare employees to expand our sustainability efforts beyond the walls of our office. For World Environment Day last June, we led our coworkers on a lunchtime nature walk on the outdoor trails nearby and shared recommendations of nearby hiking trails for employees to explore with their families.
And, of course, we encouraged everyone to appreciate biodiversity this year with our 7th Annual Earth Day Photo Contest. You can review the photo entries here.
Congratulations to Brian Dutra, an engineer in Pare’s waterfront group, who won the contest this year with his photo “Green Sea Turtle”!
Looking outward in addition to inward, we’ve spent time this past year giving back to our local communities through education, service, and activism. We have made presentations this year at local schools to show how new development can be kind to our water resources and nature. For example, we led an activity at Lincoln High School to demonstrate how mindful site selection can reduce the impact of a new building on the surrounding environment. We also shared with the 11th and 12 grade students at Blackstone Valley Prep High School how the rain that falls on their new school reconnects into local drinking water supplies. We tried to help them see the role that engineers have in design for the environment. In 2018, we are building on the momentum we have created to encourage students, the community, and ourselves to think sustainably. We have a distinct interest in helping create a future world of bright minds and friendly spaces.
Finally, to further our dedication to provide quality services, we have compiled what we’ve learned at building industry and infrastructure events and are adapting them in ways to share with our peers at Pare. For example, at the ASCE International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure in October we learned from leading cities in the world about how they are using the Envision rating system and other sustainability tools to guide development. At the Greenbuild International Expo, in Boston in November, we joined in on the enthusiasm of the motto, “all in for green buildings.” We attended presentations on natural alternatives for resilient infrastructure, soils restoration, and water neutrality, among many others. We are committed to staying current with the most innovative case studies and design practices. Our goal is to help guide our communities and clients to make decisions and pursue development that consider wholistic impacts on environment, society, and economic factors.
Our efforts over the past year have outlined a three-pronged approach in our current goals. We will endeavor to apply innovative sustainable design concepts in our projects, to inspire and enrich our community through outreach, and to improve internal operations to make the work place more sustainable. While we will be working hard to achieve our goals, we will be having fun and enjoying nature on the way. We look forward to sharing some of the details with you!