CH2M HILL experts facilitate Utility Management Conference workshop to discuss the value of integrating and aligning asset management and sustainability to promote effective utility management.

By: Andrea Ramage, CH2M HILL Sustainability Strategy and Planning and John Fortin, CH2M HILL Director of Asset Management & Reliability

On Tuesday, February 25, from 1:30-5 p.m., Ms. Ramage and Mr. Fortin will lead water and wastewater managers and professionals through a workshop on aligning asset management and sustainability initiatives as part of the Utility Management Conference 2014 in Savannah, GA. Utility managers and professionals will learn approaches for combining asset management and sustainability to achieve greater effectiveness; how to make the business case for implementing these change initiatives in tandem; and practical ways to link these initiatives together.

For a complete schedule of CH2M HILL’s participation in UMC 2014, click here.

Asset management and sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) are frequently viewed as separate initiatives by the same utility, because they are typically led by different departments within the utility and may be started at different times. However, asset management and sustainability initiatives often share strategic goals, affect the same operational processes, and engage the same people. By leveraging linkages between the initiatives, utilities can make better decisions about use of staff and budget resources, improve the results from both types of initiatives, and build a solid track record for sustainability performance. As a result, taking a holistic approach to asset management and sustainability can help utilities achieve organizational effectiveness and strengthen its performance over time.

When considering the integration of asset management and sustainability initiatives, organizations can pave the way for successful implementation by:

  1. Promoting an organizational culture that encourages questioning, innovation, and systems-thinking.
  2. Defining the meaning of sustainability for the context of the organization, identifying related strategic risks and opportunities, and developing plans to address them.
  3. Using sustainability commitments to establish strategies, goals, and decision factors to help guide the implementation of asset management programs.
  4. Recognizing the impacts of asset management programs on environmental and social sustainability considerations.
  5. Using asset management’s powerful data collection and tracking mechanisms to monitor and report continuous improvement toward applicable sustainability goals.
  6. Forging links between sustainability and asset management leaders (and programs), to avoid duplication of effort and take advantage of synergies.

Andrea Ramage is an expert in Sustainability Strategy, Planning, and Integration at CH2M HILL. She provides consulting and advisory services to clients in public and private sectors who are looking to integrate environmental and social sustainability into their organizational strategies, planning, decision-making, and operations. Ms. Ramage offers clients flexible and adaptable approaches culled from her nearly 20 years of experience working in a diversity of sectors, including water/wastewater, electric utilities, municipal, aerospace & airports, food and cosmetics manufacturing, and mining.

John Fortin is a senior asset management practitioner with more than 27 years of facilities lifecycle experience including design, construction and O&M. He has developed and implemented effective change management programs required to implement an asset management culture. Mr. Fortin is nationally recognized for his leadership in strategy development and implementation and change management approaches. He uses innovative techniques to provide sustainable change to client’s asset management improvement programs.