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In 2017, the review of the Golder Environmental Issues Register identified two high risk environmental issues related to project delivery, uncontrolled releases and waste management. In response, Golder developed two best practice guides in 2017, Project Waste Management and Prevention of Uncontrolled Releases, providing control strategies and practical measures for Golder projects where these risks are present.
Golder has set out the objective that, by 2020, every Golder employee will demonstrate proactive visible felt leadership (VFL) in HSSE. In 2016, Golder defined VFL to be “observable behavior that demonstrates genuine care for personal wellbeing and for the environment”. In 2017, senior leadership throughout Golder was assigned targets to demonstrate VFL and held accountable through the recording and tracking of VFL via their personal scorecards and an eForm style reporting system.
The learnings database provides a platform and system for the reporting of hazardous conditions, near misses, incidents including workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as commendations for demonstrating excellence, leadership, caring and teamwork in HSSE. The commendation is copied to the employee’s supervisor and recognizes the employee formally for his or her behavior and contributions.
The Learnings Database was modified to facilitate a reporting system of events likely to result in either significant incident or fatality. Where such an event has occurred, a global alert is prepared and circulated in the timeliest manner by our Chief Operations Officer to all Golder employees to raise awareness of the event and to prevent recurrence.
In response to work started in 2015 on psychologically-healthy workplaces, the first Global RU OK? Day was held on September 8, 2016. Timed to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, Golder offices around the globe paused to focus on health and wellbeing and extend caring to our colleagues by asking this simple question. On September 14, 2017, Golder employees around the globe came together again to ask “RU OK?” Employees are reminded and encouraged to check in with one another each day.
Bianca Vanzati from the Brisbane (Australia) office is the 2017 Care for our Future award winner recognizing the intentional investment she has made in mentoring, coaching and instruction in health, safety and security, on a day-to-day basis.
Bianca is a Field Geologist and spends a lot of her time on-site. She is well-known for helping others and making sure that anyone working with her or visiting is safe, paying particular attention to preparing for site conditions, clearly communicating with the onsite team and site visitors, and running engaging and effective prestart meetings.
Yasin Akçay, from our Ankara office in Turkey is the 2017 winner in the Responsive Measures category recognizing exemplary actions taken in response to unforeseen events that endangered the health, safety and security of our people and others.
Yasin is a Geological Engineer responsible for the supervision of the grading activities at a manufacturing site. During one of his night shifts, he observed another contractor working through a strong wind and thunderstorm in the vicinity of a high voltage (HV) pylon. A number of potential hazards including a lighting strike, strong wind, or any wind-blown debris could have potentially damaged the pylon or electric lines, resulting in high voltage wires coming down in the work area.
Although it was not Golder’s responsibility to monitor this construction activity, Yasin called the contractor and explained his concerns about their work during the thunderstorm in the vicinity of the pylon and associated risks. After receiving some initial resistance to his concern Yasin elevated the matter and work ceased until the weather conditions were suitable. An incident report lead to the development of a protocol to address these hazards. Yasin prevented a potentially serious accident due to his awareness and action. His initiative and persistence ensured the safety of everyone on site.
The winner in the Proactive Measure category was the Samarco Renova Project Team (Brazil), recognizing their work in identify and mitigate risk, resulting in preservation of the health, safety and security of our people and others.
Two weeks after the collapse of the Fundão tailings dam, Brazilian mining company, Samarco, appointed Golder as the lead consultant for the development of the environmental plan to rehabilitate the 640 km downstream area impacted by the release, which was the largest accident of this type in the global history of the mining industry. Since that time Golder has been providing environmental and social assessment, engineering design and field supervision for the environmental rehabilitation of aquatic and land ecosystems. Several H&S procedures were introduced for the first time in Brazil at this project including;
To combat the significant stress associated with the project, the team regularly promoted recreational activities that favor mental health and quality of life. Almost 2,000 hours of over 30 different work safety training, lectures and campaigns, were promoted as well. A highlight of this project is the record of more than 240,000 worked hours without any serious HSSE incident, an impressive performance formally recognized by the client.
This award recognized a comprehensive program of proactive measures by a project team. The Sydney Metro City and Southwest Geotechnical Investigation team delivered a large, technically complex investigation, with an extremely high public profile, including significant political and media attention, through exemplary planning and rigorous execution. A number of best practices for projects of this nature were implemented, including hazard identification workshops, sub-contractor on-boarding and Permit to Work processes. The result in this case was project delivery with zero injuries and a very satisfied client. Golder has since publicized these best practices and broadened their application throughout the company.
Graham Scholey, Principal, who led the Sydney Metro City and Southwest Geotechnical Investigation team, accepted the award.
This award recognized exemplary actions taken in response to unforeseen events that endangered the health, safety and security of our staff and others. The specific circumstances around this award involved a medical emergency on site experienced by a subcontractor, leading to a loss of consciousness, falling from height and significant injuries. Golder’s field personnel responded immediately as a team. Their actions were recognized by the attending physician as limiting the health consequences for the injured worker, and by the subcontractor’s management who noted “the professional response by the Golder team was exactly what we would hope for from an associated party in such circumstances”. The subcontractor recognized this response by making a contribution to the Golder Trust for Orphans. The Golder team followed up both by checking on the status of the subcontractor employee, and by introducing new work practices, adopted by Golder and the subcontractor, to limit the consequences of any future emergency of this nature.
Hannah Hamling, Principal and President Asia Pacific, accepted the award on behalf of the Christchurch Ground Improvement Team.
This award recognized an individual who demonstrated intentional investment in mentoring, coaching and instruction in health, safety and security, on a day-to-day basis, and was won by Heather Di Lauro from the Leeds, United Kingdom, office. Heather, a compelling role model for both junior and senior staff, demonstrated exemplary health and safety performance, and developed a group of staff who routinely implemented best practices in the area of health, safety, security and the environment.
Simon Copping, Principal and Managing Director UK & Ireland, accepted the award on behalf of Heather, and noted that the exceptional health and safety performance of the Leeds office is undoubtedly due to the sustained efforts of Heather and her colleagues.
This award recognized an outstanding contribution in the area of proactive measures to identify and mitigate risk, resulting in preservation of the health, safety and security of our people and others. The global emphasis placed on fatality prevention and six Fatal Risk Controls is a result of the passion and personal initiative of Andy Haynes. Andy’s effort powerfully illustrates the contribution a single individual can make, and because of his inspirational leadership we have adopted a simple yet powerful approach to address our highest consequence risks.
A Golder project team working on BHP Billiton’s Jansen project finished first in the Summer Safety Campaign conducted on site. Jansen is a $14B potash mining operation, located approximately two hours east of Saskatoon. Golder has been an active partner in this project since 2014 and has been providing quality assurance / quality control material testing and surveying services for the construction of the mining shafts (shaft sinking) as well as various above-ground construction projects.
The Client Choice awards are organized and governed by Beaton Research and Consulting, an independent benchmarking and customized research consulting group serving organizations that provide professional, financial and member services to clients worldwide. These awards are conducted in partnership with the Australian Financial Review.
Nominations are based on client feedback about Golder and assessed against other contenders in each category. Golder is the most decorated firm in the awards’ 13-year history, with a total of 27 awards, reflecting Golder’s ongoing commitment to technical and client service excellence.
In 2016 Golder won in the following categories:
Winning awards for:
In 2017 Golder won the Construction & Infrastructure award.
Golder’s Canadian Legal Team was honored with the Risk Management, Small Department award in the 4th Annual Innovatio Awards. The team continued their internal “Making Legal Services Better” campaign with a focus on risk management as a key vehicle for the legal department to help improve Golder’s risk management.
Catharine Shaw, Mining Client Program Manager from the Toronto (Canada) Office, was the first-ever recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Award, given by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
This award was created to recognize exceptional contributions towards improving diversity and inclusion in the mining industry in Canada. Founded in 1898, CIM has more than 11,000 members and is the leading not-for-profit technical society for professionals in the Canadian minerals, metals, materials and energy industries.
Kevin Anderson (left) VP, Utah Mining Association and Kent Houghton (right), Director of the Office of Coal Mine Safety at the Utah Labor Commission present safety award to Golder’s Dave Fadling at a ceremony in Salt Lake City on April 12, 2017.
Golder received a safety award at the 6th Annual Mining & Manufacturing Safety Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award was in recognition of Golder’s commitment to safety, and presented by the Utah Mining Association for “advancing a culture of safety in Utah.”
The Australian Geomechanics Society 2016 Don Douglas Youth Fellowship Award for the most outstanding Australian paper at the 11th Australia and New Zealand Young Geotechnical Professionals Conference was made to Nigel Ruxton, Design Group Leader in the Brisbane (Australia). Nigel’s paper, Geotechnical Challenges of Brownfield Sites for Use as Landfill, detailed the Queensland Waste Management Team’s work to develop a 3D model of underground mine workings and the detailed design for a challenging brownfield landfill in south-east Queensland.
Nigel Ruxton was presented with his award by Darren Paul, Golder Principal and Senior Engineering Geologist from our Melbourne office and past President of the Australian Geomechanics Society, and Charlie Price, Chair of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society.
Golder was recognized for engineering excellence at the 2017 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards, held in Ottawa, Canada. Golder received an Award of Excellence for the City of Barrie Landfill Reclamation and Re-Engineering Project.
We were also recognized as part of the winning team, led by Ausenco Engineering, for Metro Vancouver’s Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel project, which took home the top prize – the Schreyer Award, in addition to an Award of Excellence.
These awards represent the highest honors for excellence in consulting engineering. Now in their 49th year, the awards are a joint program between the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine. Winning projects are selected based on high-quality engineering, imagination and innovation, and showcase the important role that Canadian consulting engineers play in every aspect of our lives.
Victor Milligan Award
Named after Victor Milligan (1929 – 2009),one of the founding fathers of Golder Associates, the Victor Milligan Award is an internal award open to ground engineering practitioners in any Golder office worldwide, and goes to the best technical paper published by a Golder employee in a given year. Victor was recognized worldwide for his expertise in geotechnical engineering and served as president of Golder from the early 1960s until the early 1980s, after which he continued as Chairman of the Board. Read more about Victor’s legacy.
2017 Winners: Dennis Becker and Peter Thompson
Significant material saving on fit for purpose design: Peter Thomson and Dennis Becker, Principals and Senior Geotechnical Engineers form the Calgary, (Canada) office, are the Victor Milligan Award Winners for 2017 for the work they have done on a fit-for purpose design of driven steel pipe piles for a large oil and gas processing facility in the Fort McMurray area. Their collaborative and innovative method presented in their paper resulted in savings of millions of dollars while maintaining the integrity and safety of structures on the large industrial project.
2016 Winner: Jason Cox
Jason Cox from Golder’s Irvine, California, office was the 2016 Victor Milligan award winner. Jason’s paper Implications of variable waste placement conditions for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills, detailed a comprehensive field- and laboratory-scale investigation that involved studying systematic moisture addition to MSW during compaction with the goal of improving placement efficiency, optimizing airspace, and increasing revenue potential.
Golder Associates received a safety award from Teck as part of the team working in a geotechnical field campaign, including borehole drilling, test pit excavations and surface geophysics carried out on the Quebrada Blanca project (Northern Chile).
Despite challenging conditions, including an altitude of over 4,000 meters and extreme temperatures, no incident with lost time had been reported for more than a year.
Each year our organisation advances in its goal to provide innovative sustainable solutions for our clients’ projects, while at the same time reducing carbon consumption and contributing to the preservation of natural capital. Before delving into our projects, let’s consider the current state of the planet.
The latest CO2 atmospheric measurements from NASA show levels to over 400 ppm (in comparison, the 1950 values were around 300 ppm). The annual increase in global surface temperatures is 0.99°C (2016 was the warmest year on record). Sea levels measured in late 2017 show rises of about 8 cm since 1993. This rise is attributable to global warming, resulting in water added from melting ice sheets and glaciers (which has accelerated since 2009), and other factors such as land subsidence.
The effects of these shifts in the global climate are being felt by some of the world’s poorest countries. In the Solomon Islands and Palau, entire populations are losing land mass, leaving families homeless. The Maldives are predicted to be lost by the year 2020 if CO2 emissions continue to rise. Bangladesh is already severely impacted by flooding and rising sea levels, and is anticipated that flooding and rising sea levels will create over 20 million climate refugees in the coming decades. First-world countries are not exempt: a 2°C rise in global temperatures will displace 18 million people in Japan. Increased flood events in low-lying areas are impacting the UK, Ireland the Netherlands and parts of the United States. The cost to governments of adapting to climate change is in the billions. The City of Miami Beach, for example, is investing at least $400 million in raising street heights and installing water pumps in the most flood-prone areas.
The mitigations required to address this issue are of concern to us all. In early 2017 I met with the Canadian High Commissioner to New Zealand. Through his work in the region, he had deep knowledge and understanding of what many small countries in the South Pacific are facing with rising sea levels. We had the opportunity to speak about Canada’s aid program in the Pacific Islands related to climate change and how Golder skills and expertise were well-placed to play a critical role in addressing this pressing issue in the Pacific and around the world.
When I first read the 1987 Brundtland Report (Our Common Future) and became acquainted with the words “sustainable development”, the problems facing the planet were in the distant future. I now realize that the far-off future is now the present. As scientists and engineers, we can provide solutions to prevent runaway climate change and help create a sustainable presence for our planet.
We are seeing our clients moving towards developing renewable energy and creating resilient infrastructure. In this report, we showcase how we have supported our clients in achieving their sustainability goals and adapting to the changing climate.
The Award-winning Jasper National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) project shows how Golder has worked to protect mountain goats and bighorn sheep. The Vancouver water supply project is another example where Golder worked to future-proof the water supply while protecting habitat for rare bird species. A great story is included on the WestConnex tunnel in Sydney and the Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in Hong Kong where we suggested an alternate and innovative design delivering significant cost and resource saving, while meeting regulatory requirements.
Collaboration with stakeholders and use of GoldSET (a proprietary decision analysis tool developed by Golder) at the Smoky Range Boreal Caribou Rearing Facility allowed a rigorous assessment of options to protect the endangered boreal caribou. The Hot Sands Beach project in Canada demonstrates the advantages of taking an alternative approach to shore restoration, reducing costs and energy (50% of the original budget) while increasing habitat for wildlife. I trust you will be inspired by the dedication of our people and the expansive range of sustainable solutions Golder provides.
Hannah Hamling President Asia Pacific, Principal Global Sustainable Development Leader
Sustainability, has been core to Golder’s mission since the company was formed nearly 60 years ago, although we may not described it in this way. Before the term sustainability came into the modern lexicon, Golder was focused on the social, environmental and economic interdependencies to our business. For example, our ownership model was designed at the outset with a vision of inter-generational transfer, attending to the social and financial benefits of our people and their communities. In addition, some of our earliest technical work involved assisting clients seeking to provide renewable power or mitigate environmental impacts. That mission continues today.
Whether you use the word “sustainability”, the phrase “corporate citizenship”, or some other term, it all remains the same within Golder. We are aware of the larger world around us, recognize the positive impact our expertise can provide, and foster the passion of our people to make the world a better place, through our work and our giving.
Richard Beddoes Lead Director – Board of Enterra Holdings Ltd
For seven continuous years, a team from Brisbane, Australia has participated on a project to help re-establish and maintain ecologically-healthy catchments in the inner-western suburbs of Brisbane. It is an initiative of the Cubberla Witton Catchments Network, a volunteer organization formed in 2001, and is focused on creating environmental and community benefits in the catchment. Since that time, Golder has been working on this project to restore and maintain native plant species on riverbanks within the catchment.
Golder’s Maquette office in Michigan (US) sponsored the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics (FTC) Team of 6 – 8th grade students from the North Star Academy. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international youth organization to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields. Known as the Robogators, the team had to complete a series of challenges using and programming their robot. The Robogators qualified at the FTC Qualifier competition in Petoskey, MI for the State competition in Battle Creek in December 2016. They were very successful and were honored at the FTC Qualifier competition with the 1st runner up for the Inspire Award. The Inspire Award is FIRST’s top award at every tournament. They also received the Connect Award and 1st runner up for the Think Award.
Over the past six years, the Golder London (Canada) office has worked with Community Living London (CLL) to sponsor needy families in their community. These families have at least one child in the home with an intellectual disability, and all of these families have required some help over the holiday period. CLL identifies families that need support and provide Golder with a story about each one, as well as a “wish list” for each person. Souper Thursday fundraising lunches were held during the year where Golder colleagues donate homemade soup and others pay to enjoy a “Souper Lunch”. Golder volunteers then use the funds to shop for and deliver goods to CLL just prior to the holiday break and CLL’s ‘Christmas Elves’ deliver gifts to families.
Golder’s Redmond (Washington) Office has been recognized for the fifth straight year as a Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling – reaching “Honor Roll” status. This King County initiative shines a light on businesses with “exceptional commitment to recycling and reducing the amount of waste their company sends to the landfill.” Harnessing their colleagues’ passion for taking care of the environment and their community, the Redmond Environmental and Sustainability Committee is the driving force behind the program of activities that has resulted in the ‘Honor Roll’ achievement. Activities include the King County Adopt-A-Road program and the “Office Trading Post,” which facilitates the reduction, reuse, and recycling of office supplies and equipment, instead of purchasing new items.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge in France in 1917 has become a defining moment in Canada’s history. Over four grueling days, Canadians from across the country fought side by side, as all four divisions of the Canadian Corps waged a bloody battle. The Canadians were victorious but with huge loss of life, and over 10,000 men killed or wounded. Thousands of those men killed in battle are still missing and for the families of those missing men, their stories remain unresolved. Volunteering their vacation time to work on the project, six Golder colleagues helped locate 44 of these missing men by leveraging expertise in geophysical, GIS, and archaeology and providing closure to the families of these men in time for observance of the one hundred year anniversary of the battle in 2016.
In May 2016, a wildfire swept through the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings, and forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 residents, including Golder employees from our Fort McMurray office. In the wake of this disaster, Golder people stepped up – donating more than $40,000 CDN – including corporate matching funds, to the Red Cross.
The ‘Golder Boulders’ volleyball team participated in the 22nd Heatwave for SickKids Volleyball Tournament at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay. This is the 7th year in a row for Golder Boulders and despite valiant efforts and having lots of fun, the team only had one win, but are winners for raising awareness and funds for SickKids Hospital.
Golder staff from the Tampa (Florida, US) office collected food and toys for Thanksgiving and Christmas for distribution through Metropolitan Ministries and the local crisis center. This collection program has been running for a number of years and is now a well-establish activity on the calendar of Golder’s Tampa office.
The Mt Laurel office in New Jersey (US) got into the back-to-school spirit by supporting Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack. One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child’s education. Operation Backpack is a program which aims to lessen the financial burden of families at-risk of homelessness or living in shelters by helping with school supplies.
Jeremy Yeglin, Senior Engineer from the Houston (US) office, volunteered his time for many weeks to help with the demolition of houses on the west side of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey that devastated large parts of the US and Caribbean in 2017.
Cam Stevens, Associate, and Aquatic Biologist from the Edmonton (Canada) office, endured 210 km of cycling over two days in Alberta’s Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraiser in support of cancer research. The event saw more than 1,500 riders raise $6.7M for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Cam and his team of riders raised nearly $80,000 in memory of a special friend who lost her life to cancer. They will do it all again in 2018.
Colleagues from Canada’s Whitby office helped in the annual clean-up of Lake Ontario’s Waterfront around the Heydenshore Pavilion, pictured here at the end of the day.