Earth Day is Every Day

We believe that Earth Day is the day we celebrate the sustainability and environmental efforts that we do all year long. And we appreciate the opportunity to join with others and focus on one special day each year: Earth Day, April 22.

We invite our clients, employees, families, friends and anyone else who is interested to join our conversations.

Our Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Target 

We have set a target to reduce GHG emission levels 20 percent by 2020 from our 2011 baseline, adjusted for growth. Our actual emissions reductions from 2011-2013 were over 3.0 percent.

We are working to achieve this reduction through targeted initiatives (some resulting in cost savings) in our company operations and improved sustainable business practices, as well as educational and awareness initiatives. Some of the specific strategies we implemented over the last year include:

  • Issuing a comprehensive Sustainability Policy and Procedures document, which includes eliminating single-use water bottles, eliminating purchase of coffee pods and single-cup coffee packets (k-cups or flavia), establishing default double-sided print settings, establishing company-wide recycling and waste reduction standards and following standards for sustainable finishes.
  • Using Office Depot's Green Cart and Smart Cart options in conjunction with one another. In 2014, 25 percent of purchases had recycled content.
  • Completing our 2014 Sustainability + Corporate Responsibility report and submitting for review by the GRI Materiality Disclosure Service, which verified we successfully met all materiality reporting requirements.
  • Working with venues for our large conferences to introduce composting. We successfully facilitated the very first event to include composting at one convention center. Over 1,000 pounds of food waste were diverted from the landfill.
  • Conducting a waste survey, upgrading recycling efforts and implementing a composting program at our headquarters facilities.
  • Becoming an early member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), launched in July 2013; and the only A/E firm invited to the initial table. We are offering a unique perspective on the procurement and specification of sustainable materials, both as a major purchasing organization and as designers for the built environment. 


This year for Earth Week we are publishing a series of blog posts. Check them out on BLiNK.


Earth Day is Every Day ... that's what we say, and we want to be sure it is what we do. That is why we have had a group focused on sustainability for 20 years. As HDR continues to integrate sustainable business practices into our internal operations and the projects we deliver to clients, we examine our day-to-day activities to determine where we can make business improvements that deliver long-term sustainable value. We set measurable goals and assess the results to see how we should move forward. In 2014 we had many successes in our Sustainable Business Practices. View some of those successes in this infographic

BLiNK Blogs:

Green Teams

HDR has nearly 60 active Green Teams across our offices. These individuals help build a culture of sustainability in our offices by promoting sustainability through office improvements, education and events and working towards our GHG emission reduction target.

In 2014, during our first- annual Green Team Awards, our Anchorage Green Team won Most Active Green Team. They are making sustainability a priority in their office and community through their Alternative Transport Incentive Program (ATIP), office waste reduction efforts, trail clean-up, local Green Business award and more.  ATIP tracked all alternative transportation trips taken and calculated that 1.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e) were prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere, thanks to the efforts of 34 employees who logged over 3,350 miles of alternative transportation from March- November.

The Green Team Awards are held by HDR's Office of Sustainability in December and recognize Green Teams for implementing sustainability practices in their offices' day-to-day business practices. Support your Green Teams efforts in your office or get involved with your team!

BLiNK Blog: 4 Ways Green Teams Make a Difference

Omaha Food Waste & Composting Study

The Omaha Green Team participated in a food waste and composting study at its Omaha location for two weeks in September 2014. Bins were placed in strategic locations to collect and quantify the food waste and compostable disposables and paper items. During the study, our food and paper towel totals ranged from approximately 60 lbs. to 100 lbs. per day, and only one of the two dumpsters we currently have on site was needed each day. Reducing our landfilled waste is not just good for the environment, it also saves us money! As a result of the study, the Omaha campus continues to compost and has increased our weekly compost average from 375 lbs. per week to 450 lbs. per week.

BLiNK Blog: Feeding the Worms at Wiggly Field

Environmental Services

We live in times of great challenge and change – sustaining our natural environments is a paramount concern. We collaborate with our clients to create resilient environmental solutions that are revolutionizing the marketplace. We have some of the sharpest minds in the industry, on the ground across the country, to anticipate environmental trends and keep our clients and deigning programs to conserve and enhance our natural environment. Balance this with the growing need to expand and develop the infrastructure that supports our communities and drives our economies. To keep pace with changing environmental regulations demands forward thinking and an approach that is relevant and responsible. We deliver high-performance built environments that value the economic, social and natural environments.

We bring together environmental experts who think big and consider every aspect to meet the challenges of sustaining both economic growth and environmental quality. Most importantly, our experience has taught us how to manage a project so environmental responsibility and sustainable growth can work together for a win-win outcome.

Our services include:

  • Wetlands & Permitting
  • NEPA Compliance
  • Environmental Measurements
  • Environmental Restoration
  • Air Quality
  • Cultural Resources
  • Evaluation/Compliance
  • Noise & Acoustic Services
  • Public & Stakeholder Outreach
  • Biological Services
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Protected Species
  • Marine Sciences and Planning
  • GIS/geospatial solutions

BLiNK Blog: Earth Day is for the Bats


The climate will change. This is now becoming an accepted reality across a broad spectrum of stakeholders. We do not have to debate carbon to accept this change. The U.S. Conference of Mayors in the Summer of 2014 voted to change their climate change action plan to include climate adaptation and resiliency. Where sustainability deals with the chronic stresses on our communities such as drought, disease, flood supply, carbon reduction; resiliency deals with the shocks – the earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, tornados and hurricanes. This is a matter of survival. The questions that we need to be asking are: "Can a community survive a disaster? Will it recover? And, if so, how long will it take?" When considering this issue, scale matters. Are we talking about a small Kansas town that can be destroyed by a tornado, or thinking about Los Angeles having a major San Andreas Fault earthquake? The scale and type of shock will dictate the response and actions required. Many of our clients have said, "resiliency is in the response." Having a good response takes creating a series of plausible disaster scenarios and planning effective response actions prior to, during and following the event.

Lynette Cardoch and Bob Beduhn discuss the issue further in their Earth Week blog: It's Best Not to Anger Stepmother Nature.