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Sustainability Management

Sustainability is a mindset and an increasingly important component of corporate management. ELM supports client corporate and project-specific goals to enhance environmental performance by delivering sustainable solutions. ELM’s focus on sustainability complements its analytical and results-oriented approach to all projects. This focus improves environmental planning and integrates the goals and values of the client while recognizing regional influences, limits of natural resources, and community needs in the project area.


ELM provides a range of services, supported by accredited Sustainability Practitioners and professionals.  The services include:

  • Sustainability analysis, corporate sustainability plans, metrics tracking and reporting
  • Green and Sustainable Remediation Planning and Evaluation – through integration of sustainability tools into project planning and alternative analysis (see figure below)
  • Compliance audits, monitoring and reporting
  • Waste management and minimization strategies
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Social-impact assessment of potential social impacts or benefits of projects
  • Life-cycle analysis – consider all relevant aspects of product (create > use >recreate)


For more information regarding ELM’s Sustainability services, please contact Mike Firth (mfirth@elminc.com).


Planning and Natural Resources Resource Inventories

The first step in most projects usually includes describing the existing environment and applicable regulatory standards.  ELM’s approach to environmental planning is to understand the goals, values and needs of the client and community while recognizing a complex regulatory framework. We approach each project with a mindset of achieving the client’s goals, accommodation of regulatory realities and identifying opportunities for sustainability. This approach links ELM’s integration of the sustainability mindset with planning through the use of assessment, management, and restoration plans. A guiding principle adopted by ELM is that disturbance to natural systems while altering existing conditions also creates potential opportunity for enhancement of the human and natural environment. When applying this approach to properties that are highly disturbed due to historic uses, ELM identifies future sustainable land use practices that are realistic and practical based on current and reasonable future resource needs along with practicable opportunities for ecosystem restoration and enhancement.


To support its approach to environmental planning, ELM uses multi-disciplinary project teams to ensure its management plans are compatible with the natural system and competing demands for resources. ELM offers a wide variety of related services, including: 

  • Regulatory Constraints Analysis
  • Wetland Delineations / Functions and Values Assessments
  • Flood Hazard Area Delineation
  • Plant and Animal Population and Community Surveys
  • Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys
  • Stream Geomorphology Evaluation
  • Aquatic Macroinvertebrates and Fish Community Studies
  • Lake, Pond and Reservoir Assessments 
  • Natural Resource Inventories
  • Groundwater Recharge Capability Analysis


For more information regarding ELM’s Planning and Land Resource Inventory services, please contact Brian Kirkpatrick (bkirkpatrick@elminc.com).

Land Use Licensing and Permitting Services

ELM’s Land Use and Permitting Services practices offer outstanding expertise and experience in land use permitting, ecological restoration and ecological risk assessment. We maintain a current, deep understanding of the regulatory requirements necessary for successful project completion. We have decades of experience working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), United States Environmental Protection Agency USEPA), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) United States National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to name a few. We help our clients understand and efficiently manage regulatory risk, providing the confidence to plan and implement complex projects.  We understand that land use permitting can be the biggest hurdle to project schedule and cost.  ELM offers our clients the ability to fully manage the application process from preparation of compliant plans or review of plans prepared by other consultants through application submission, response to agency comment and adherence of permit compliance during construction/operation. 


Examples of regulatory approval experience in New Jersey include:

  • USACE Clean Waters Act Section 404 and Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10 Permits
  • USFWS “not likely to adversely affect” Determinations
  • NMFS “not likely to adversely affect” Determinations
  • National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessments/Impact Statements
  • NJDEP EO 215 Environmental Assessments/Impact Statements
  • NJDEP/USACE Wetlands and Stream Jurisdictional Verifications
  • NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands Permits
  • NJDEP Flood Hazard Area Permits
  • NJDEP Coastal Area Facility Review Act Permits
  • NJDEP Waterfront Development Permits
  • NJDEP Scientific Collection Permits
  • NJDEP Waterfront Development Permits
  • NJDEP No Net Loss Reforestation Approval
  • NJDEP Tidelands Instruments


For more information regarding ELM’s Land Use Licensing and Permitting services, please contact Brian Kirkpatrick (bkirkpatrick@elminc.com).

Ecological Restoration

Whether it be implementation of a remedial action to address historic uses or construction of a new structure or facility impacts to natural resources are sometimes unavoidable.  Regulatory standards often require restoration of natural ecosystem functions or compensatory mitigation to address disturbance of wetlands, streams, or endangered species.  Settlement of Natural Resource Damage (NRD) claims can include creation, restoration, or enhancement of ecosystems. Sustainability plans often include creation of sustainable landscapes including grassland bird habitat and pollinator habitat.  Climate resiliency planning can include restoration of wetlands, habitat management for carbon sequestration, riparian zone enhancement and more. We create protected, self-sustaining biologically diverse ecosystems and habitats where the benefits would not be otherwise realized.


ELM offers a range of services to identify, design, permit, construct and monitor sustainable ecological restoration projects including:

  • 404 Clean Water Act Mitigation
  • Endangered Species Act Mitigation
  • State Regulated Wetlands and Stream Mitigation
  • Riparian Zone Mitigation
  • National Environmental Policy Act Mitigation Measures
  • State Protected Species Mitigation
  • Native Vegetation and Pollinator Habitat
  • Stream Daylighting
  • Living Shorelines
  • Vernal Pools
  • No Net Loss Reforestation Act Mitigation
  • Natural Resource Damage Claim Settlement Mitigation


For more information regarding ELM’s Ecological Restoration services, please contact Brian Kirkpatrick (bkirkpatrick@elminc.com).

ELM Launches


Welcome to ELM’s newly upgraded and updated website!  Please see our enhanced and expanded practice area descriptions and New Employee Spotlight and join us in congratulating recently promoted and/or certified ELM employees!!!

ELM Launches


Welcome to ELM’s newly upgraded and updated website!  Please see our enhanced and expanded practice area descriptions and New Employee Spotlight and join us in congratulating recently promoted and/or certified ELM employees!!!