For Kevin Neumaier, MS '92, the concept of "going green" is not a new way of thinking or a mere fad; rather, it is intrinsic to the technologies he has been innovating and implementing both throughout the country and around the world as part of his work with Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E; NASDAQ:EEI), a Lancaster, NY based company that provides solutions to environmental issues globally. Whether addressing the damages resulting from oil fires in Kuwait in the 1990s, where daylight was masked in dark, billowing clouds, or developing alternative energy and working on wind farms in South America, E&E promotes environmental sustainability. With E&E since 1986, Neumaier was recently named president and CEO, succeeding his father Gerhard Neumaier, BS '63, one of the company's founders.
When considering a university for his graduate studies, Neumaier searched for a program that offered a range of approaches to the study of global ecology. He chose UB because it "was a unique program that offered interdisciplinary study in natural sciences, engineering, health and law - the full spectrum." At UB, he found a diverse approach to global environmental issues. He also credits his father's positive experience at UB with playing a part in his decision to enroll in the department of natural sciences.
Long before high gas prices precipitated a move to search out alternative means of transportation and energy options, Neumaier was a student focusing on what was then, the "study of a major future issue - global ecology." Well before the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment was understood or the concept of a carbon footprint became popular, Neumaier took on these issues while at UB. In his thesis project, he calculated the carbon dioxide emissions from Erie County and how to reduce them. Neumaier recognized that transportation was a major culprit of greenhouse gas emissions and that finding alternative modes of transportation was necessary - enter Green Ride, the web-based system created by E&E that is designed for people to find their optimum mode of transportation. Green Ride includes carpooling, biking to work, vanpooling, park-and-ride options, and public transportation with content mapping for users. The technology also aims to add another layer in understanding environmental sustainability and merging tech solutions with it. Green Ride is being used in 21 states, internationally in New Zealand and on corporate campuses that employ large numbers of employees, like Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington and right here at UB as part of Good Going WNY.
With its global headquarters in Western New York, E&E has a keen interest in regional environmental issues, and the company's culture wholeheartedly embraces what it preaches. One of only 11 existing buildings in the country with LEED Platinum certification and the oldest building in the world to have that designation, E&E's headquarters is situated on a 100-acre nature preserve, functions on 100 percent green electricity, and is a pioneer in recycling and composting practices among businesses.
In addition, E&E is heavily involved with the Alternative Energy - including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and carbon capture and sequestration. Neumaier says having a workplace that mirrors the company's philosophy is important to their work. "Not only is it the right thing for the environment, but it is economically efficient. Finding ways to cut energy and be more environmentally responsible, all while making it simple and cost-effective is key."
As president and CEO, Neumaier believes the future of E&E incorporates a similar approach that his father instilled - working from the base of whatever environmental problems exist and solving them using the most effective methods and technology, developing new technology where possible and of course, making a positive impact on the environment.
When not addressing environmental issues, Neumaier enjoys spending time with his wife, Shelly, and their children, Steven and Jenna.
--Gina Cali-Misterkiewicz, MA ‘05