Left color

A Message from Tony Cortese, Senior Fellow at Second Nature

Posted August 31, 2012 by

Dear friends,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer!  I am writing about some important changes at Second Nature where I have worked for 20 years.  David Hales, Former President of the College of the Atlantic and one of the 12 Founding Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) became president of Second Nature (SN) this month (see attached).

I cannot tell you how delighted I am that the Second Nature Board of Directors has selected David as the next president and that he has agreed to accept this responsibility.  He and I have had an outstanding and productive professional relationship for 3 decades that started back in the public policy arena when David led the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and I led the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.  I am forever grateful for his mentorship as Chair of Second Nature Board of Directors for the last several years.

I cannot imagine having had a greater opportunity to follow my passion for transforming higher education in service of creating a healthy, just and sustainable society especially with such outstanding colleagues at Second Nature and in the higher education, business, NGO and businesses communities.  Nor could I have imagined in 1993 that the higher education system would have embraced this responsibility and opportunity as well as it has, especially in last decade.   In just over 5 years, nearly 700 colleges and universities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia that educate 6 million students have committed to and are acting on deep sustainability through the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org).  We had a terrific 5 year Anniversary Summit in June at American University with over 50 college & university presidents in attendance.  Here is an article from a business journal about the progress and importance of this effort.  http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/07/02/college-campuses-lessons-companies

I am not retiring in the traditional sense – my passion for sustainability and the role of higher education is too great for that.  David and the Second Nature Board have asked me to continue to work with Second Nature in a different capacity after taking some time off this summer and fall to rest, reflect and write.  For now, I intend to focus on leadership development around sustainability for senior executives in higher education and in other sectors.

Thank you for all the support you have given Second Nature and me as I pursued this passion for an education system that will help every current and future human have a decent quality of life, live in strong, secure and thriving communities and have fulfilling economic opportunity by keeping our life support system healthy enough to fulfill that goal.  It is no easy task and it gets harder every day.

I hope that you will give David and Second Nature the same kind of support you gave me.

Thanks again and warmest regards,
Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D.
Senior Fellow, Second Nature
18 Tremont St., Suite 308
Boston, MA 02108
Cell:  617-549-4736
E-mail:  acortese @ secondnature.org


New EBC Member – Encore Images – Provides Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

Posted August 22, 2012 by

Since 1989 Encore Images has focused on the task of bringing a closed-loop, cost effective, sustainable business practice to reality. Located in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Encore has its own full service and remanufacturing facility producing the finest toner cartridges in use by long time clients like The Boston Symphony and CDM Smith. Woman-owned and local with an A+ rating from the BBB, Encore Images would appreciate the opportunity to introduce themselves, their products and services. Visit their  website at www.encoreimages.com or call 800-868-4568 to arrange a call or visit by an Encore Images representative.


Massachusetts Appeals Court Decision is Good News for Peer Review Consultants

Posted August 22, 2012 by

August 9, 2012 
Advisory Engineers and other professionals who provide peer review consulting services for municipalities in Massachusetts can breathe easier after the decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in Meridian at Windchime, Inc. v. Earth Tech, Inc., 81 Mass. App. Ct. 128 (2012).

In Meridian, the developer of a subdivision in North Attleborough claimed that the town’s peer review consultant, Earth Tech, negligently failed to discover deficiencies in work performed by the developer’s contractor (who was out of business). As a result, the developer needed to correct these deficiencies at a considerable cost. Although Earth Tech owed the developer no duty under its contract with the town, the developer argued that Earth Tech was still liable for the foreseeable consequences of its failure to perform under the contract. The developer reasoned that because Earth Tech was the sole engineering inspector approved by the town, the developer reasonably relied on Earth Tech™s inspections as its “best protection against costly problems down the road.

Nutter obtained a dismissal of Meridians claims on summary judgment in Bristol Superior Court. Meridian appealed, and Nutter obtained a favorable decision from the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which affirmed the Superior Court’s decision.

The Appeals Court found that, absent a contractual relationship, a professional employed by a town to inspect the construction of a subdivision does not owe a duty of care to a developer or its contractor unless the developer reasonably relied on the professional’s services to the town and the professional was aware of this reliance. Focusing on the reasonableness of the developer’s reliance on Earth Tech, the Appeals Court distinguished Meridian from the Supreme Judicial Court’s holding in Craig v. Everett M. Brooks Co., 351 Mass. 497 (1967). In Craig, the plaintiff relied on the services performed by an engineering firm on behalf of a third party. The SJC held that the plaintiff’s reliance was reasonable because the engineering firm knew that the services it provided were intended to enable the plaintiff to perform its job successfully.

Here, the Appeals Court found that the developer’s reliance in Meridian differed from the plaintiff’s reliance in Craig in three crucial respects. First, the contract between Earth Tech and the town specifically provided that Earth Tech did not bear responsibility for the contractor’s construction choices. Second, at the outset of the project, Earth Tech informed the developer in writing that Earth Tech would not be responsible if the contractor deviated from the approved subdivision plans. Finally, the developer hired its own project engineer, yet chose to rely on Earth Tech in lieu of relying on the advice of its own engineer. In view of these facts, the developer’s reliance on Earth Tech was not reasonable.

The Meridian decision is a victory that preserves the role of peer review consultants. The case suggests, however, that the most prudent course of action for peer review consultants entering into a municipal contract is to specify in the contract that the consultant does not have control over a developer’s work or the means and methods of construction, and to provide written notice to developers whose work the consultant will be overseeing that it will not be responsible for deviations from the approved plan.

This advisory was prepared by Julie Pruitt Barry, a member of the Real Estate/Land Use and Environmental Litigation practice group at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. She was assisted in drafting this advisory by Nutter summer associate Jori Gravelyn. For more information, please contact Julie or your Nutter attorney at 617.439.2000.

This update is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. Under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered as advertising.


Alicia Kabir Joins the EBC Rhode Island Chapter Leadership Team

Posted August 13, 2012 by

Alicia Kabir is a Partner with ERM and the Branch Manager of the Providence, Rhode Island location. ERM is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, sustainability, and social consulting services. ERM has over 140 offices in 40 countries and employs around 4,000 people. ERM delivers innovative solutions by helping our clients understand and manage the sustainability challenges that the world is increasingly facing. Alicia has been in EHS consulting for 15 years, with experience in EHS compliance and permitting, management systems, and remediation. Her experience spans the oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing sectors. Alicia currently focuses on developing compliance assurance management systems to help clients understand and meet their regulatory obligations, and then she helps to implement management of change processes to ensure ongoing EHS compliance. Alicia is a Professional Engineer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The mission of the EBC Rhode Island Chapter is to identify and address issues of concern and of interest to EBC members and their clients in Rhode Island. Issues include legislative, regulatory and policy developments in Rhode Island, recent project successes and how they were accomplished, and networking and business development opportunities at the federal, state, regional, and local level. These issues are addressed by providing objective information from up-to-date and reliable sources including government officials, technology developers, and business experts. For more information on the EBC Rhode Island Chapter, please follow this link on the EBC website.

Current members of the EBC Rhode Island Chapter’s Leadership Team include:

  • J. Craig Swanson, Principal, RPS ASA,Committee Chair

  • Kristen W. Sherman, Attorney, Adler Pollock & Sheehan,Committee Vice-Chair

  • Patrick Hughes, New England Regional Manager, CDM Smith

  • Alicia Kabir, Partner, Environmental Resources Management

  • Christopher Rein, Senior Vice President, ESS Group

  • Sam Whitin, Project Manager, EA Engineering, Science & Technology

If you are interested in joining the EBC RI Chapter listserv, please send an email to ebc@ebcne.org and include EBC RI Chapter listserv in the subject line of the email.

Daniel K. Moon
President & Executive Director
Environmental Business Council of New England