In the face of uncertainty and change, we look for ways to remain resilient—for each of our employee-owners at the firm, and especially, for our clients.
Let me share two priority areas that ESA is focusing on that relate to resilience: innovation and environmental justice.
In terms of innovation, we have greatly enhanced our ability to support our clients and the public to be more effective in the virtual meeting space that we all find ourselves occupying now. We want to move clients and stakeholders quickly past the novelty and awkwardness of working in virtual space to a productive environment that supports meaningful exchange, connection, and engagement in the work before us.
ESA is also pushing to innovate within the standard environmental review process. We have developed a web-based software program to handle the public comment-and-response process in a way that is more cost-effective and provides more meaningful public engagement.
Environmental justice needs more attention in the industry, and ESA will continue to spend time with our clients to deepen our understanding about how their programs and projects relate to and can address environmental justice issues in their communities. Decision-makers will increasing seek information about social and environmental justice issues before they move to approve plans and projects—and ESA will continue to provide clear, well-substantiated analyses of the relevant environmental issues for our clients and communities.
Lastly, we have brought in key educators and speakers who have opened the conversation within ESA to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization. While we learn (and unlearn) through this process, we will also strengthen our ability to contribute to the work ahead of all of us to address environmental justice issues.
In the face of uncertainty, we are drawing on and strengthening our resilience, both as a firm and as individuals, to change and adapt so that we may grow stronger and more flexible, nimble, and connected.
President/Chief Executive Officer