Burns & McDonnell Environmental Work Honored With 2023 Business Achievement Awards
Burns & McDonnell Environmental Work Honored With 2023 Business Achievement Awards
03/07/2024 2 minute read

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Burns & McDonnell was recently distinguished with four 2023 EBJ Business Achievement Awards by the Environmental Business Journal and a 2023 CCBJ Business Achievement Award by the Climate Change Business Journal. These awards acknowledge remarkable contributions to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The publication will host an awards ceremony during its Environmental Industry Summit XXII, April 2-4 in San Diego, California.

“This recognition from two respected industry publications underscores our employee-owners’ dedication to environmental innovation and community contribution,” says Mark Knaack, vice president and general manager of the Environmental Services Group for Burns & McDonnell. “From rapid emergency response to air monitoring technology and inspiring the next generation through STEM engagement, we implement valuable solutions for the future of our clients and communities.”

EBJ Business Achievement Awards


Project Merit: Emergency Response Solutions — TC Energy engaged Burns & McDonnell in an emergency response to a December 2022 oil release in Washington County, Kansas, to mitigate environmental impacts to roughly 3.48 miles of creek. Burns & McDonnell implemented a solution that included 24/7 emergency response, diversion of 3.7 million cubic meters of surface water over land, design and implementation of the seventh-largest water treatment plant in Kansas, treatment of more than 200,000 cubic meters of impacted water, investigation and remediation of impacted soils, sediments and groundwater, and stream bank restoration. The comprehensive approach required close collaboration with TC Energy and local agencies to safeguard wildlife habitats, agriculture and the local community.

Technology Merit: Ambient Air Monitoring — The firm developed an ambient air monitoring system, featuring a network of sensors and a digital dashboard that is user friendly for field personnel, to maintain air quality during a time-sensitive, $300 million engineer-procure-construct project of a new manufacturing facility. This system provided real-time monitoring and display of on-site particulate matter concentrations with actionable alerts, enabling the project to progress without disruption and to adhere to construction-related ambient air regulations.

Social Contribution: Battle of the Brains — The Burns & McDonnell Foundation continues its dedication to inspiring students to explore STEM professions through the annual Battle of the Brains competition. Battle of the Brains provides K-12 students in Kansas City area schools an opportunity to dream up an interactive museum exhibit at Science City, a science museum in Kansas City, Missouri. The Burns & McDonnell Foundation has influenced interactive, engaging STEM curricula for area schools and helped to reimagine Science City as a leading science center. Since 2011, the foundation has distributed nearly $1 million in grants, fostering innovation and learning among more than 30,000 students.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Nalefski — Steve Nalefski, who retired at the end of 2023 as senior vice president and general manager of the Environmental Services Group, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. With nearly 40 years of environmental industry service, Nalefski was instrumental in delivering environmental solutions worldwide. His dedication to mentorship and education is reflected in his establishment of an endowed scholarship for geology students at Nalefski’s alma mater, Illinois State University, and his involvement with the Chicago ACE Mentor Program.

CCBJ Business Achievement Award


Project Merit: Low-Carbon Energy — The Wood County Solar Project, one of nine Alliant Energy solar sites constructed by Burns & McDonnell, received CCBJ recognition for its Envision Platinum designation, given by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The 150-megawatt Wood County Solar installation produces enough energy to power approximately 40,000 homes. Burns & McDonnell has 113 Envision Sustainability Professionals who guide clients and project teams through sustainable processes and considerations throughout the life of a project.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of more than 14,500 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects, planners, technologists, and scientists to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities. Founded in 1898 and working from 75 offices globally, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.