Marstel-Day is an environmental consulting firm that helps clients manage and prepare for environmental issues that could affect their operations. Founded in 2002, the company’s clients range from federal and state government agencies to universities and businesses. They have also been recognized as one of the fastest growing private environmental services firms in the United States by Inc. Magazine for the past seven consecutive years.
Their clients’ needs are highly diverse. “Some of our clients are very large federal institutions, like the military,” explained Rebecca Rubin, President and CEO of Marstel-Day. “They are profoundly affected by changes in climate, in terms of how that impacts their mission and operations.” Others have large land portfolios ranging from 25 million to 150 million acres of land, according to Rubin—and have to steward endangered species, something else climate change can make worse.
When it comes to businesses, there are a lot of potential variables at stake. Marstel-Day advises clients on how to think about risk exposure on climate—from how it’s affecting assets, the supply chain, or day-to-day operations, and how companies can reach out to stakeholders and constituents with actions to address climate change.
Marstel-Day’s studies vary from the long range —allowing companies advance knowledge of potential risks to take action early—to rapid turn-around studies completed in a few weeks if the need is more urgent. Marstel-Day’s knowledge extends to what they call “environmental gaming”—a sort of environment-focused “war games” where they identify potential scenarios companies might face, such as fires or drought, how stakeholders will react, and how decisions will be made as a result.
A major component of that is working with groups like Carbonfund to purchase carbon offsets, which helps to ensure the full costs of climate change are accounted for. That kind of perspective dovetails with ASBC’s carbon tax campaign—as Rubin described it, carbon offsets are part of a “larger mosaic” of climate action, but offsets and carbon pricing both recognize that the full costs of climate change need to be factored into the economy much better than they currently are. Otherwise, companies might have to deal with the issue of relocating or mitigating coming climate actions – other components of the strategies Marstel-Day creates for clients.
Working to avoid that kind of damaging climate impact is a major reason Marstel-Day joined ASBC—but not the only one.
“For us, it was the holistic approach,” Rubin explained. “There are a number of very good organizations that focus solely on climate or climate justice, and others that focus on social issues or health. What differentiated ASBC is that it wove a number of those pieces together, and addressed multiple issues simultaneously. We liked that ASBC was able to do that.”
Since joining ASBC, Marstel-Day has been active on climate issues, co-sponsoring webinars and adding their business voice in favor of smarter climate change policy. On the other side of that, the company has an annual Earth Day event where they send staff out into the community to help with things like planting trees.
It’s little steps like that that can have the biggest impact when added up. As Gail Dunn, Marstel-Day’s Chief Sustainability Officer, wrote in a blog post, “What we have found is that members of a given community have differing concerns, and what tends to bring disparate groups together is an interest in the common good. So whether it’s the rising cost of energy, the potential for terrorist threats to our water supplies, or the massive disruptions caused by hurricanes like Katrina or Sandy, people are willing to work together to find solutions.”