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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Nov/Dec 2007 : Building


Success & Sustainability

by Katie Sosnowchik

began as a small office in the Midwest providing civil engineering services to the surrounding areas. Ninety years later, this engineering and architecture firm has more than 150 offices with over 6,500 employees throughout the United States.

A key factor in this spectacular growth has been the ability to provide staff with exciting opportunities for professional development, flexible benefits and, most importantly, ways that they can achieve a successful balance between work and home issues. “The result is a tremendously dedicated group of employees who are committed to providing practical solutions and innovative ideas for their clients and their communities,” describes Michaella Wittmann, Senior Vice President and Director of HDR’s Sustainable Solutions Group. “This is achieved by always creating integrated solutions for clients that deliver the best possible economic, social and environmental value.”

“Additionally, HDR credits much of its success to the rewarding relationships our employees have formed with the communities in which they work,” she adds. “Our objective is to continually strive to always be a valued and valuable corporate citizen.” HDR employees are active leaders and participants in a diverse range of community organizations and activities including The United Way, CANstruction, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and many others.

For more than a decade, HDR has advocated for increased environmental responsibility. A tangible symbol of HDR’s own corporate commitment to sustainability was the recent relocation of one of its Texas offices to the award-winning McKinney Green Building, which was designed by HDR’s architecture group. The McKinney Green Building is one of only a handful of buildings in the country to have earned a LEED® Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. HDR is one of the top A/E/C firms in the country designing “green” projects, with 15 full-time dedicated sustainable design consultants. Also, with 191 LEED Accredited Professionals, HDR was recently ranked seventh in terms of the number of LEED APs in architectural/engineering firms in the United States, according to Building Design & Construction magazine.

Currently, over 8.6 million square feet of LEED-certified and -registered buildings have been designed by HDR, which makes the firm one of the top design firms providing LEED services to clients. These projects are diversified into various market sectors, including general architecture, healthcare, labs, transportation, universities, federal, and airports.

HDR’s commitment to environmental responsibility is grounded in the vast array of services it offers in building design, mobility, water resources, energy management, waste management, community planning, and economic and environmental modeling. HDR is the proud recipient of a 2007 Champions for Change award from Hospitals for a Health Environment (H2E) in recognition of improvements in its own environmental performance and for leadership in environmentally responsible healthcare. HDR is also involved in discussions at the national and international levels regarding Climate Change.

“The bottom line,” Wittmann notes, “is that HDR is committed to making the communities in which we live, work and play both successful and sustainable. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

For more information on career opportunities at HDR, visit

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