The FCS team reflects on this past year as a year of impact and growth amid the continuing pandemic.
For FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), 2021 has undoubtedly been another year of mixed emotions with the pandemic’s continuing impact, while trying to remain focused and agile. As we reflect on this past year, we couldn’t be more proud of our global community and everything we have accomplished together. Join us as we look back and reflect on some of our own highlights from the past 12 months, as a business and a growing team.
Bringing resilience, energy, and drive to the forefront.
Closing in on two years since March 2020 when the world went into lockdown with COVID-19, our business units and teams are well versed at working from home, juggling family and work schedules from one location, adapting office spaces, changing plans at short notice, and following continually changing guidelines to keep us all as safe and healthy as we can.
As well as ensuring the team is set up effectively and efficiently for remote working, we have been mindful of their work/life balance and have accommodated everyone’s wishes with regard to flexible working to the extent possible. The resilience, energy, and drive that we continue to see across our teams is fantastic. Attitudes, approaches, and ways of working and engaging have changed, and the necessity to think differently has brought tangible improvements to how we all operate.
In a year of impact and growth, our blog continued to provide current information on CEQA litigation, state Executive Orders, impactful projects, the ways COVID-19 is affecting regulatory updates, safety measures and protocols, and so on. Here, we round up some of the most popular posts with our audience this year:
- The 30,000 Foot View: 2020 Was a Year Without Precedent
- AAPI Heritage Month: Early Pioneers in Equality
- Update: California's Executive Order Tolling CEQA's Public Notice Requirements is Ending
- AB 819 Establishes New Statutory Requirements for Submitting CEQA Documents
- A Look into Early AAPI Labor
- 6 Times You Need Visual Simulations
- Managing People Operations through a Global Pandemic: Perspectives from HR
- Cities and Environmental Planning
Creating impactful work.
Through it all, we remained focused on a path driving us towards growth while striving to go above and beyond for our clients with their important projects. Our teams continued to work harder than ever to deliver high-quality work to our clients while adjusting back to pre-Covid requirements for public meetings, and Covid requirements related to field work and public access to CEQA documents.
FCS comprised a vast portfolio of impactful work and increased Environmental Services on-call contracts for cities and counties. This achievement, alongside some of our key projects below, is a testament to our Team’s high-quality standards and strong reputation.
Scannell Project. FCS prepared the EIR, Cultural Resource Assessment, and Noise Study for the Scannell Properties Project in the Bay Area. This innovative project has laid the groundwork for future projects, creating a Transportation Demand Management Plan to reduce emissions and improve air quality by utilizing vehicle electrification and transitioning to a zero-emission fleet. With a lack of resources to develop the sustainable project upfront, the Scannell Properties Project set the tone to develop a solution to phase in a green development plan within the next 8-10 years with an accelerated schedule starting in 2021 and ending in 2027. The Scannell Properties Project went beyond what was otherwise required in the California Building Code concerning installing preferential and clean air vehicle parking and EV charging infrastructure, as well as a nonresidential rooftop solar system.
Kelsey Ayer Project. FCS prepared an Initial Study and supporting technical documentation, including a Historic Resources Assessment, for The Kelsey Ayer Station project, a multi-family residential project in downtown San José. The project included the demolition of an existing office building and the construction of a new 6-story, 78-foot-high residential structure with 115 units. Approximately 77% of units would be affordable with approximately 23% set aside for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The ground floor would house an “inclusion concierge” desk and flexible community gather space open to the public during business hours. The Kelsey Ayer Station will be a first-of-its-kind fully inclusive mixed ability, mixed-income housing community.
CityWalk Master Plan Project. FCS prepared an EIR and a fiscal impact analysis and provided planning services for the CityWalk Master Plan. The 134.98-acre planning area is located in the Bishop Ranch Business Park and encompasses the Bishop Ranch 1A, Bishop Ranch 3A, and Bishop Ranch 2600 complexes. The 2007 City Center Subsequent EIR (SEIR) encompassed the Bishop Ranch 1A and Bishop Ranch 3A sites. The applicant (Sunset Development) is proposing a Master Plan to guide the mixed-use development of residential and commercial uses within the planning area, including up to 4,500 dwelling units, a 169-key hotel, 170,000 square feet of retail/office uses, several new parking structures, and approximately 40.7 acres of publicly accessible, privately owned and maintained, parks, open space, and other public facilities. The hotel and retail/office uses were previously evaluated in the 2007 City Center SEIR and are being carried forward into the Master Plan, while the residential uses will help meet a substantial portion of the 5,111 units allocated to San Ramon by the State’s Regional Housing Need 2023-2031 cycle.
Bishop Ranch City Village Project. FCS prepared the City Village (Bishop Ranch 6) Project Addendum to the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan EIR and supporting technical documents to determine whether and to what extent the EIR sufficiently addresses the potential impacts of the proposed project. The City Village Project would develop a 404-unit for-sale residential community on approximately 31 acres. In addition to the preparation of the Addendum, FCS prepared the Air Quality and GHG Emissions Analysis and Noise Analysis. FCS also peer-reviewed the Biological Evaluation Tree Report and Archaeological Resources Study. Architecture would be modern and contemporary in character and would be consistent with the surrounding uses. The architecture and the site plan are intended to integrate the design guidelines of the Specific Plan, with a mixed density all residential project. The design would be compatible with the framework of the CityWalk Master Plan, adopted in 2020, creating a transition and a pedestrian connection between the proposed project and surrounding land uses.
In addition to contributing to these industry-leading projects, FCS featured several articles in AEP’s quarterly Environmental Monitor publication.
It’s been an exciting year for us in terms of growth with our team continuing to expand. Our new additions have further strengthened the existing cross-discipline teams and developed our capability to support our ambitious and important projects.
In September, ADEC Innovations, of which FCS is a part, acquired Cameron-Cole, a full-service environmental services and regulatory compliance consulting firm with decades of nationwide operations in the United States. With this acquisition, we expand our pure-play environmental and sustainability consulting businesses. The addition of Cameron-Cole increases our depth and reach in environmental and regulatory compliance, air quality and GHG services, and environmental assessments.
This partnership marks a new collaboration, bringing together our collective resources and expertise to elevate the local, national, and global reach surrounding the environmental and sustainability consulting industry.
As we look ahead to 2022, we will continue to add to our team and are very excited about what we are building here at FCS. We have some very exciting projects in the pipeline and ambitious growth plans to expand key service areas of our business. Building on and supporting the amazing work we have done to date will be a key focus for us going forward.
We close the year with a fantastic, talented team and we are hugely excited for the year ahead with all the opportunities 2022 brings. Heartfelt thanks go to our teams, clients, and community for supporting us and being with us on our journey.
Are you interested in joining our collaborative team at FCS? We are always on the lookout for sharp, energetic team members to share their ideas and make an impact.
Check out our current career opportunities to learn more about joining us in this exciting New Year.