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A Message from Brian House, President and CEO

Team, there is no question that 2020 was a challenging year. It brought an unprecedented crisis of health and racial injustice. In many ways, the fabric of the stewardship program carried on due to the fact that as an organization we always strive to operate in ways that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

I’d like to thank you all for your commitment to following our workplace COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols. As an essential business that supports critical infrastructure industries, we continued to work throughout the pandemic, and adhering to the protocols not only allowed us to do so but also helped to protect our business, our families and our communities while also doing our part to support the mitigation of the spread of the virus.

Due to the pandemic, most community impact initiatives and events were canceled. We managed to continue making strides in our sustainability focus, inventorying our activities, offering environmental impact tips and activities to employees, and planning for a robust 2021. Across the nation, nonprofit organizations took a hard hit in 2020 as companies and individuals struggled to plan for an unpredictable future. To the extent possible and appropriate, MER continued to support our primary charities, though in some ways different than in the past. A new initiative that came out of 2020 was our Employee Connection Commitment. During the months that the country was in the stay-at-home order, the stewardship team quickly pivoted their focus to curate activities and communications to keep employees engaged, connected and uplifted. Several of the initiatives will continue; stay tuned.

Empowering our people to give back to their communities has always been an important part of our company culture. 2020 has caused us to deepen our commitment to the greater good. I look forward to taking on our collective challenges ahead with all of you, and together we can make an impact.

CORPORATE INITIATIVES

Green Business Bureau

Early in 2020, MER was certified by the Green Business Bureau as an environmentally responsible business. MER reached the Green Gold tier by adopting principles and practices that demonstrate our superior commitment to conserving the environment.

Some examples of our efforts include:

  • Adopting a company-wide purchase policy by working with supply vendors to ensure all office paper products and breakroom supplies are made from 35-100% post-consumer recycled materials.
  • Continue paper recycling and expand our recycling program also to include glass, plastic, and aluminum.
  • To seek out opportunities to actively work to improve the environment both globally and locally.
  • Company-wide, where available, we have installed a PURE water filtration system in our Resource Centers in an effort to reduce plastic water bottles from going into landfills or oceans.

The commitment to being a "green" business is an ongoing, transformative process. Our company's reputation is increasingly held to higher standards, and stakeholders are seeking businesses committed to sustainability. MER believes our commitment to this certification will continue to positively influence our internal operations and externally our role in the global community. Sustainability goals and practice building lifelong improvement and growth so MER and its subsidiaries can prosper in a changing world, to serve their communities for generations to come.

The Green Business Bureau seal recognizes our contribution to making the environment a healthier place for our customers, employees, and the community. We appreciate the continued support of all MER employees toward this achievement.

We will continue to seek "green" initiatives to strengthen our accreditation with the Green Business Bureau. The MER Stewardship team is developing a program to encourage our employees to continue to help in the office and at home for 2021.

Friendship Home & Pine Castle

During this unprecedented year, nonprofit organizations needed support more than ever. MER Corporate Stewardship continued our long-standing relationships with Friendship Home serving the South Shore of Massachusetts, and Pine Castle in Jacksonville, Florida. Both organizations enrich the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by providing quality respite care and support services in a safe and caring environment. We are proud of the individual MER employees that also volunteer, serve on boards, provide assistance for Friendship Home and Pine Castle on their own time.

PHA Donation for Anna Volino

In June of 2019, MER team members joined together to participate in the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Boston PHA Walk to support colleague Joe Volino, his daughter Anna, and the entire Volino family. PHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on donations to fund its many programs, including the nation's largest PH patient and caregiver support group network, lifesaving early diagnosis awareness and education programs, specialty care resources, and research to find ways to prevent and cure PH.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Annual Walk was canceled. To support this worthy cause, MER donated to the 2020 PHA "virtual" walk in honor of Anna.

REGIONAL / COMPANY Initiatives

MER is comprised of geographic regions and industry specific companies. We strive to look for collective ways to capitalize on these grouping of employees to support the businesses, clients and areas we serve. Regional and Company specific stewardship projects are an important focus for employee and community engagement.

Operation Lifesaver & Rail Safety Week

Embracing Drummac's history, railroad industry alliance, and best-in-class safety culture, Drummac embarked on a national program involving Operation Lifesaver.

Currently, the FRA, FTA, FHA, National Safety Council, and Amtrak endorse the Operation Lifesaver programs. Most major freight railroads also participate in the education program. Each year, Operation Lifesaver's network of authorized volunteers conducts free programs on rail safety education for hundreds of groups worldwide.

Drummac team members participate in the national training program and then contribute to this cause by educating youth and civic groups in the communities where they live and work about rail safety.

This Fall, Drummac joined Operation Lifesaver, passenger rail clients, and partners in observing Rail Safety Week (RSW) on September 21-27. The goal was to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and empower the general public to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroads rights-of-way.

Safe Harbor Children's Center

For all of 2020 MER crews worked side-by-side with Gallagher Marine Systems and members of the Golden Ray Response Team charged with removing the capsized Golden Ray from the St. Simons Sound. We were proud to join with them in partnership to raise awareness and urgently needed funds to support Brunswick, GA area where children and youth who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and those experiencing homelessness in supporting the Safe Harbor Children's Center.

Founded in 1991, the Safe Harbor Center serves children, families, and individuals who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, homeless or have run away from home, or otherwise at risk or feel threatened.

In addition to a corporate donation, MER delivered a carload of collected donations from Southeast MER resource centers to Safe Harbor Children's Center in Brunswick, GA.

Seattle Children's Hospital Donation

For the last 13 years, Global Diving & Salvage has supported the Seattle Children's Hospital with an annual charity golf tournament with over $450,000 donated in proceeds.

Due to COVID-19, the tournament was canceled for 2020. MER reached out to Seattle Children's to continue to support areas of need. MER is honored to contribute this year to the hospital's Employee Emergency Assistance Fund. The fund was developed to provide financial relief for Seattle Children's employees, so they can continue providing compassionate, expert care to children throughout this pandemic. The proceeds will support staff who may be experiencing economic hardship during COVID-19 or other emergencies. MER is happy to assist the heroes "behind the scenes" during this pandemic.

Baking Memories Cookies – Drummac

Maintaining and cleaning passenger trains around the country is a 24/7 job. Keeping up with the holiday season tradition of recognizing the extra effort of servicing our clients 365 days a year–including holidays, we sent buckets of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to Drummac locations throughout the U.S. for our crews to enjoy. The cookies were sourced again this year from Baking Memories 4 Kids.

Baking Memories 4 Kids, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) foundation, utilizes the money generated from cookie sales in a very special way—to help children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses make memories. From each container sold and every donation received, children with life-threatening and/or terminal illnesses and their families receive an all-expense-paid vacation to ALL the theme parks in Orlando, Florida. For one week, these courageous families can focus on each other in a positive, uplifting environment instead of beside a hospital bed.

LOCAL Community Impact Initiatives

2020 was a difficult year for many nonprofit and charity organizations. MER is very proud of its employees who continued to support local causes through the MER Community Impact Grant program. These efforts continue to reinforce our employees’ commitment to goodwill programs.

Amy Wine – Johnson County Human Society & Senior Center

MER logistics coordinator in our Midwest region, Amy Wine, was married on January 4, 2020. Instead of receiving wedding gifts, she and her new husband Eric asked guests to donate to or bring items to support two local charities that are special to them. The charities they chose were, The Humane Society of Johnson County and the Johnson City Senior Service Center. Amy also submitted a MER Community Impact Grant application to support the effort, and MER was happy to do so! We are honored to be included in this 'good neighbor' efforts as part of Amy and Eric's wedding celebration.

Friendship Home Walk

Friendship Home held its 7th annual charity Walk/Run with Friends virtually this year on June 27. In an effort led by marketing specialist Michele Able, MER teams across the country joined other supporters to walk in their neighborhoods, on their treadmills, or on their favorite route to help raise money and awareness for Friendship Home! Over $30,000 was raised.

Boston area Friendship Home's mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through quality respite and support services provided in a safe and caring environment.

MER has been a long-time supporter of Friendship Home, based in Norwell, MA. MER employs two Friendship Home clients through their Bridges to Work program. We hope to bring JR and Caitlin back to the office soon when it is safe to do so!

Murray, KY FOP Santa, Cops and Kids

Our MER Murray Team was happy to support the Fraternal Order of Police, Murray Lodge #23 Santa, Cops and Kids program again for 2020. While the officers didn't get to shop with the kids due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program still helped 67 kids make sure they had plenty of Christmas presents.

WRI/Pine Castle/Boy Scout Landscape Project

MER employees Ashley Dopf, Eddie Maylon, and Amanda Kimball assisted Boy Scouts of America's Scout, Sean Wheatley of Jacksonville, FL's Troop 522, with his Eagle Service Project along with more than 30 other volunteers from Troop 522 at Pine Castle. A MER Community Impact Grant helped provide landscape enhancements to residents' workshop. This landscape enhancement compliments renovations currently underway and will provide Pine Castle residents with a warm entry to their workshop as they begin their day or take a stroll around their campus. MER has been a proud supporter of Pine Castle.

Pottstown Area Children's Foundation Winter Wonderland

Occasionally we have the opportunity to team up with our industry colleagues and partners to support philanthropic efforts together. This holiday season, Lewis Environmental, based out of PA, invited us to join them in supporting the Pottstown Area Children's Foundation (PAC). This organization serves the underprivileged kids in the greater Pottstown, PA area. It seeks donations to ensure a brighter holiday season for children and their families by providing a holiday experience. Over the past 37 years, the Pottstown, PA, Area Children's Foundation has held a Winter Wonderland holiday party for local children and families in need. This year, with pandemic restrictions, they held an outdoor, contact-free, drive-through event. MER was happy to support this event and assist with providing 600 area kids with gifts.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Donation – Night of Lights (Richmond)

This year, MER joined the Dominion Energy corporate team and helped raise almost $40,000 for the Richmond area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. MER donated to the "Light the Night" fundraising campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) funding of research to find blood cancer cures. Each year friends, families, and coworkers form teams to raise money in support of our mission. Fall 2020 looked different as they prioritize the safety of patients, volunteers, and supporters. With these priorities in mind, 2020 "Light The Night" was a virtual event.

Thanksgiving Food Drive – Yates Construction "CanStruction," Richland, MS

MER Diving joined Yates Construction in their annual Thanksgiving "CanStruction" food drive challenge. For the past six years, Yates has held a CanStruction collecting/purchasing can goods to donate to shelters, churches, soup kitchens.

2020 funds were used to support the Tupelo Children's Mansion – A faith-based mission of offering hope to orphaned & disadvantaged children providing physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and educational needs.

Pacific Railroad Preservation Assoc. – Chris McLarney Charity

In conjunction with the annual awarding of outstanding performance to a Drummac employee in honor and memory of Chris McLarney, MER supports the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association. The PRPA is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to restoring, maintaining, and operating historic railway equipment of the Pacific Northwest. Chris McLarney started this organization in 1977.

Toys for Tots

The Newtown, CT and Randolph, MA offices held their annual holiday toy drive for area Toys for Tots collections.

International Veterans Care Services, Inc.

Many of our MER employees are connected to the military personally or through family. JT Torres, MER Abatement Supervisor (USMC Ret.) donates his time to the International Veterans Care Services Inc. The Randolph, MA operations group submitted a Community Impact Grant application for the International Veterans Care Services' local office to support their holiday drive for local veterans. In addition, the team collected items to donate to the cause.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Indiana Department of Natural Resource – Recognized MER for Falls @ Ohio State Park Clean Up

In early March 2020, the MER – Midwest team was recognized at the annual volunteer ceremony hosted by the Indiana Department of Natural resources for their cleanup effort at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

Earth Day Challenge

For Earth Day 2020, employees were encouraged to get outside and help the environment by cleaning up litter in their communities. Team members sent in photos from all regions in the country.

Employee Connection Commitment

In a year unlike any other, the way that MER employees interacted was dramatically affected. Social distance, mask wearing, remote work for some, and other significant changes to the way we work meant a sudden loss of comradery and connectivity. While the daily work of the company continued, many were no longer able to enjoy the regular, informal interactions that helped us connect with each other. Maintaining a sense of unity and communication with the MER family was crucial for our mental health and the health of our business. An important component to the MER Stewardship mission is to ensure all our employees are supported and connected. A focused effort was developed and communicated to keep our employees engaged. MER colleagues across the country showed compassion, enthusiasm and innovation during this difficult year.

Jeff Medor, Drummac East Coast Regional Manager, who is also a licensed Respiratory Therapist, spent much of his time when not working for Drummac his off-time serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response treating and testing patients. We’d like to thank Jeff and all of the healthcare and essential front line workers who continue to demonstrate courage, strength, and humanity throughout these trying times. We are grateful for your service.

Looking Forward

MER Stewardship is looking forward to an active and engaging 2021. Together, we will all:

  • Reignite the 2019-2020 momentum!
  • Continue to support Corporate charity initiatives.
  • Initiate and support environmental sustainability efforts.
  • Grow the Community Impact Grant Program.
  • Seek new and innovative initiatives that support our employees, our communities, our industry, and the environment.
  • Continue the Employee Connection Commitment.

We encourage all MER employees to seek out meaningful ways to get involved. Contact the Stewardship Team at email: Stewardship@MoranEnvironmental.com for more information and how you can participate.

As part of our sustainability commitment, this report is published in digital format only.

Visit MER's Corporate Stewardship page for more information...