The Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future turns the spotlight on its member companies to congratulate and promote their sustainability best practices, key milestones, or applicable project/product developments.

Take your turn in the spotlight and submit your story to us!


CDM Smith cdm-smith

About CDM Smith: CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.

For seven decades, our firm has been focused on working with cities like Cambridge to build stronger communities and a more sustainable future. Not only do we engineer our designs with sustainability in mind, we strive to embed sustainability into every facet of our organization and throughout the places where our employees live and work. Every day, CDM Smith collaborates with our clients to apply best practices of sustainable design and construction. By focusing on safety, prioritizing efficiency and emphasizing smart growth, we deliver value to our clients and provide leadership to our industry.

Tell us about your recent sustainability-related accomplishments.

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CDM Smith designed a photovoltaic (PV) system at the Water J Sullivan Water Purification Facility, which will supply power on-site for water treatment operations. Photo courtesy of CDM Smith.

CDM Smith is currently working with the City of Cambridge to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of municipal operations. For example, we developed an “energy savings toolbox,” a set of strategies and tools that gives the City’s Water Department the broad flexibility to maximize efficiency while ensuring high‐quality water for Cambridge’s health and growth. The toolbox lets City staff mix and match an array of energy reduction components as opportunities evolve. This innovation led to a 35% reduction in energy demand within months of its implementation, with no capital investment and without compromising the quality of the City’s drinking water. In addition to energy savings, the toolbox has helped City staff deliver better treatment performance, reliability, ease of operations, and safety.

In early 2016, CDM Smith prepared a drought management plan for the City, in service of Cambridge’s proactive focus on managing risks even in a water-rich region. Only months later, this plan helped guide the City through one of its most severe droughts in decades.

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To support the City of Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan, CDM Smith is incorporating geothermal energy to achieve a Net Zero approach of eliminating all on-site fossil fuel use at the new King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex. Photo courtesy of CDM Smith.

We’re excited to be part of the City’s ongoing Net Zero Emission project, the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex. The complex will be the first Net Zero Emissions project implemented through the City of Cambridge’s Net Zero Action Plan. CDM Smith experts are carrying out engineering designs and geotechnical assessments for the installation of approximately 190 geothermal wells that will provide all the heating and cooling energy for the complex. Previously, we provided similar services to the Martin Luther King Jr. School, which uses 65 geothermal wells. These showpiece projects are truly state-of-the-art. Although our sustainability professionals work on facilities all over the U.S., the projects we work on here in Cambridge are among the most challenging, exciting and rewarding.

Based on what you mentioned above, why is this important to your company and/or why is this important to your target audience?

CDM Smith is dedicated to helping our clients operate more efficiently, capture renewable resources, and build stronger and healthier communities. By working in partnership with cities like Cambridge, we can help address complex environmental and infrastructure challenges with smart, integrated solutions.

What is one piece of advice you would give to others interested in what you mentioned above?

When it comes to sustainability, we’re all in this together. The challenges we face are very real, but the opportunities are limitless when we collaborate to find innovative, creative ways to make our communities more sustainable.

CDM Contacts: Carol Rego, regoca@cdmsmith.com or Lauren Miller, millerlm@cdmsmith.com