From the introduction of the Prius in 1997 to the debut of the Mirai nearly 20 years later, CEA Consulting has been part of Toyota’s external team of advisors. CEA has worked with a mix of business, legal, and technical teams to identify, assess, and develop responses to emerging regulatory proposals.
Recognizing the need to implement technology that reduces greenhouse gasses as quickly as possible, CEA works with Toyota to ensure alignment with draft regulation and to propose alternatives for implementing new technologies. For example, during the early introduction of electric vehicles, CEA helped shape and guide the strategy to convince the California Air Resources Board that more emissions reductions would be achieved by incentivizing the purchase of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles than by requiring manufacturers to build electric vehicles. More recently, CEA has supported the Toyota team to ensure California keeps its long-held policy of fuel neutrality so that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles can compete on a level playing field.
Our work to support Toyota showcases a hallmark strategy of the Environmental Policy & Advocacy Group: we help our clients understand the true implications of a proposed policy, map scenarios, engage regulators and policy staff with whom CEA has longstanding relationships, and chart a path forward.
Range Energy Storage Systems (Range) is a developer of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) systems. For the past five years, CEA Consulting has worked to promote the company’s 320 MW project in Utah to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and other Southern California utilities as a resource to facilitate the transition away from conventional fossil fuel electricity generation.
CEA has been responsible for developing the project’s political and communications strategy in California. Leading a team of legal, communications, and technical representatives, CEA has leveraged its network of state and local government officials and environmental organizations to advocate on behalf of the project. We’ve led the Range team through several planning sessions to develop strategies to combat inertia and promote alternative resource planning, to respond to the changing political environment in the state and locally, and to build stakeholder support for the project. CEA has also represented Range in trade associations and in proceedings of the California Public Utilities Commission.
California’s energy agencies are increasingly recognizing the importance of large-scale storage to achieve the state’s renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. These advances represent a major leap forward from the project’s early reception in the state.
In 2017, the Southern California Public Power Authority issued a Request for Proposals for a CAES project. CEA helped develop Range’s proposal as part of this solicitation and continues to coordinate the project team through the bid review process. Range is hoping to have its first project online and serving Southern California in 2025.
California Supply Chain Jobs Alliance
To support its freight sector clients, CEA Consulting created the California Supply Chain Jobs Alliance (CSCJA) to provide an opportunity for invited California goods movement industry representatives to share information in the face of increasingly stringent regulations and pressure to limit the growth of the goods movement sector. Our primary geographic focus is Southern California; however, recent state actions by Governor Gavin Newsom, the California State Legislature, and several local and state air agencies have expanded the focus statewide.
CSCJA helps participants (1) prepare for upcoming working groups, workshops, and board hearings; (2) organize coordinated industry letters and position summaries; (3) develop outreach and education strategies; and (4) support other trade associations and industry groups.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization formed to implement the largest dam removal project in U.S. history by decommissioning four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. KRRC was formed by signatories of the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement in 2016.
In 2016, KRRC’s Board of Directors hired CEA Consulting to design and implement the launch of KRRC. CEA led organizational development activities, which included facilitating agreements to secure a total of $450 million in project funding; coordinating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state water quality certification filings; establishing internal financial controls and key organizational policies; and recruiting and onboarding board members, staff, counsel, and contractors.
Even with significant economic and environmental benefits, the project faces local concerns and opposition as a result of the Klamath Basin’s complex natural resource management history. In response, CEA has provided strategic guidance on communications and external affairs activities to combat misinformation and to ensure transparency and cooperation with all stakeholders. CEA has implemented proactive traditional media and social media strategies in collaboration with communications and technical teams.
CEA continues to coordinate outreach and communications activities with a wide range of stakeholders, including tribal nations, state and local agencies, businesses, environmental groups, and private landowners in an effort to minimize nuisance or negative impacts while enhancing the project’s local benefits. CEA also provides regulatory support and strategic advice to KRRC management and board members as needed.
The Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) Standards Alliance is a consortium of electric utilities and technology suppliers developing communication standards for the energy storage industry. In 2014, 10 founding utilities and technology companies engaged CEA Consulting to set up the trade association, staff the organization, and pursue funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
CEA launched MESA and worked with the founding members to develop bylaws, an intellectual property policy, and membership agreements. CEA also provided ongoing member services, conducted outreach to industry stakeholders, recruited new members, identified and engaged contract technical consultants, and managed the Board of Directors.
Under CEA’s direction, the MESA Standards Alliance received funding from the CEC, grew from 10 founding members to 30 members, and developed multiple standards for utility control of energy storage resources. The MESA Standards Alliance has propelled a broad industry effort to coordinate distributed energy communications efforts and enable the smart grid of the future.
Southern California Edison (SCE) and its co-owners officially announced the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in June 2013. The multi-stage decommissioning and demolition project planning began shortly thereafter and involved federal and state agencies including the US Navy, the land owner; the California State Lands Commission (CSLC), the tidal land owner; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the California Coastal Commission.
As SCE finalized its plans to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for the decommissioning and dismantlement, SCE staff developed a comprehensive approach that emphasized safety, stewardship, and engagement. SCE hired CEA to help the company grow and maintain relationships with nonprofit stakeholders and to advise the SONGS team on stakeholder outreach and a comprehensive permitting strategy.
CEA’s professional connections and considerable experience in the environmental sector informed effective outreach strategies for SCE. CEA was able to engage key stakeholders during the permitting process and help the SCE team respond to questions and concerns. As a result of CEA’s work, SCE identified and addressed several important issues for stakeholders throughout the CSLC California Environmental Quality Act process. The CSLC certified the project’s Final Environmental Impact Report and approved a new lease for the decommissioning project in March 2019.
Catalyzing the Growth of Electronic Monitoring in Fisheries
Almost twenty years ago, the British Columbia Dungeness crab fishery adopted the first electronic monitoring (EM) program in fisheries. Using integrated systems of video cameras, gear sensors, and positional sensors on vessels, the crab fishery was able to put an end to problems of gear theft and ensure compliance with trap limits. The use of cameras to monitor fishing activity was a novel approach that offered great promise to improve fisheries management more broadly. However, despite the game-changing potential of EM to provide granular data on fishing activity to inform more sustainable management, uptake of the tool has been slow. Nearly two decades since the development of the first EM program, approximately 1,000 vessels globally are now using EM systems. Yet EM appears to be at an inflection point on its adoption curve and is well-positioned for rapid uptake in the coming years. A series of policy commitments, expanded pilot projects, increased private-sector interest, and entrance of several new EM providers to the market have set the stage for the tool to become a standard practice for monitoring many of the world’s commercial fisheries.
In light of EM’s potential for more rapid growth, The Nature Conservancy commissioned CEA in 2018 to research and draft a report on the current state of EM in fisheries, the benefits of the technology, and the main barriers to broader adoption. Based on this research, CEA developed a set of recommendations and near-term priorities to catalyze growth of the tool. We hope the findings in this report will spur further conversations about the role of EM in improving fisheries management and delivering value to the seafood industry, and help build alignment within the fisheries stakeholder community around how best to advance this tool.
CEA was hired to provide ongoing content and strategy support in the development of a new oceans-focused foundation. Activities include sharing guidance on foundation strategy, providing due diligence in project proposal review, and executing discrete research on threats to and solutions for the marine environment. CEA developed a 2-page overview of marine threats (available below), which acts a primer in foundation communications and in the marine field more broadly.
This report seeks to aggregate the best available data and provide light analysis on marine fisheries statistics and trends in Indonesian politics, policy, and government priorities to provide an evidence base for stakeholders. The importance of sound data was the impetus for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to commission this report by CEA. The Packard Foundation has been engaged in marine conservation grantmaking in Indonesia since 1999. Through two decades of in-country experience, it has observed the role of sound data in informing decision-making. Having access to regularly updated, valid information not only facilitates decision-making but also can help to streamline collaboration across partners.
Create vision and strategy document for their Fish Forever program
CEA worked with Rare to develop a vision and strategy for their Fish Forever program. Fish Forever is an ambitious program seeking to scale up TURF-reserve fisheries management systems in several countries including, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Belize, and Mozambique. The Fish Forever vision document has supported the fundraising of tens of millions of dollars for the program, which has increased Rare’s influence in the marine conservation landscape. CEA also worked with Rare staff to develop country-specific strategies for the Fish Forever program in the Philippines and Indonesia, and has analyzed philanthropic and development finance institution contributions to small-scale fisheries efforts to support Rare’s ongoing fundraising efforts.
A coordinated philanthropic approach to climate change
CEA was hired by a consortium of the world’s leading foundations to develop a rigorous roadmap for philanthropic investment in climate change. CEA conducted an analysis of the then-current philanthropic and NGO investments in climate change, a thorough scientific and economic literature review, and interviews with leading climate experts globally. Our team developed an exhaustive list of possible carbon reduction strategies. CEA quantified each strategy’s expected cost and prioritized potential investments based on their mitigation potential and ability to prevent the “lock-in” of long-lived emissions sources. CEA published the Design to Win report, a summary of this analysis and a strategy document for foundations. This landmark report was the basis for launching ClimateWorks, which has been a leader in climate philanthropy over the last decade.
Launching a major philanthropic network to reduce greenhouse gases
After producing the Design to Win report, CEA helped launch ClimateWorks, a global philanthropic network dedicating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CEA’s services included broad support for communications including writing, editing, developing presentations, and crafting a communications strategy. We developed materials for the executive team, board of directors, external partners, funders, and the public. CEA also helped to recruit key personnel and assisted in the design of the organization.
Expert Panel on Legal and Traceable Wild-Fish Products
The Expert Panel on Legal and Traceable Wild Fish Products is a multi-disciplinary expert group convened to promote a global framework for ensuring the legality and traceability of all wild-caught fish products. Organized by WWF’s Smart Fishing Initiative, the Panel was established in early 2013 to generate solutions to common challenges to establishing such a framework through complementary regulatory and private sector mechanisms. In the fall of 2014, CEA “ghost-wrote” a report summarizing the recommendations of the Panel. This report was submitted to the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, and shared among international leaders on IUU.
CSF is the leading organization advancing conservation solutions powered by economics. CSF analysts have proven the value of protected areas, shown how to build infrastructure at lower cost and with less damage, and nurtured local sustainable businesses.
Strategic planning for a growing non-profit
CEA worked closely with CSF’s leadership to evaluate the needs, challenges, and opportunities for the organization and help them make important decisions about key elements of the organization’s next five years of growth, including: funding model, program and geographic expansion, organizational structure, board structure, executive leadership, and communications. CEA developed expansion options and explored alternative business models and funding structures as well as the key steps, barriers, and risks inherent in each option. CEA led key staff through a day–long workshop to discuss key issues, and produced two final strategy plans, one to be used internally and one to be shared with funders and partners.
Sustainable Conservation works directly with farmers across California and advocates for adoption of sustainable business practices and important policy changes.
Manure management for California’s dairies
CEA has worked with Sustainable Conservation to better understand environmental approaches to manure management in California’s Central Valley dairies. In CEA’s first engagement, we assessed the range of potential options for reducing the environmental impact of California’s dairies, including methane digesters as well as several other options including nutrient recovery and co-digestion. We identified the range of possibilities and evaluated their tractability across several criteria (e.g., economic risk, environmental impact, regulatory risk, scalability). CEA summarized its findings for Sustainable Conservation and also helped the organization produce a Dairy Summit in May 2013, which engaged a wide range of stakeholders in dialog about the most promising opportunities identified by CEA’s review.
A few years later (in 2015), CEA worked with Sustainable Conservation, in partnership with both the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the dairy industry, to further investigate the economic implications of various options to reduce methane emissions from California dairies in the context of California’s emerging Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy. Sustainable Conservation was interested in assessing the underlying, sector-wide, economics of mitigating the environmental impacts from dairies, the life cycle costs and benefits of different mitigation solutions across a range of indicators, potential sources of funding, and the policies that could help tip the scales in favor of broader adoption of mitigation measures. CEA served as the project manager and lead researcher in this effort. CEA drafted both a comprehensive and summary report outlining the key findings of the investigation. These reports provide an assessment of the economics of methane capture, the suite of co-benefits associated with different scenarios, possible funding mechanisms, key barriers to adoption of the technologies, and a concrete set of recommendations.
CEA served as a strategy partner to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Revaluing Ecosystems team, scoping new oceans and freshwater initiatives.
Assessment of philanthropic opportunities in freshwater
In the winter of 2014, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) selected CEA as one of its search partners to evaluate potential opportunities for philanthropic engagement in freshwater, globally. Specifically, RF was interested in sectoral competition for freshwater and its impacts on ecosystems and poor people, as a potential initiative within its Revalue Ecosystems program. CEA worked closely with RF staff to provide extensive and highly structured input into high level decisions and RF regarding programmatic direction.
Oceans and Fisheries Initiative: country scoping and strategy development
The Rockefeller Foundation’s Oceans and Fisheries Initiative seeks to restore fishery health in a manner that enhances ecosystem outcomes of small-scale fisheries management, while simultaneously promoting more equitable opportunities for poor and vulnerable people. One of RF’s theories of change is that market forces represent the most efficient means to restore the productivity of small-scale fisheries and reverse fisheries declines at a significant scale. To support the development of its programmatic strategy, RF asked CEA to test the applicability of this theory of change in key developing economies. CEA conducted in-country scoping efforts on behalf of RF in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal, and Gambia.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) is one of the largest conservation foundations in the United States.
New program area development
GBMF retained CEA to support the development of a new program area aimed at improving the sustainability of key globally traded seafood commodities. CEA seconded one of our Senior Associates to join GBMF’s marine conservation team and to support staff in their strategic planning efforts. The new strategy aims to create large-scale change by using the seafood market as a powerful force for improving fishing and fish-farming management practices. CEA mapped current philanthropic and NGO investments in the space, conducted extensive research, interviewed experts, and synthesized large amounts of complex information. CEA helped to identify the best opportunities for philanthropic investment, worked with staff to implement a portfolio of pilot grants, and developed materials to communicate the strategy to the foundation board and other external audiences. Since then, CEA has helped to facilitate gatherings of the Initiative.
CEA has worked intimately with the Packard Foundation’s global seafood efforts for over a decade. Over that period, we have helped to shape several elements of the strategy, performed monitoring and evaluation functions, conducted targeted research on key issues (e.g., tuna, Japanese market, retailer commitments), authored biennial reports on the state of oceans conservation, and generally supported the program on an as-needed basis.
After more than a decade of development, fishery improvement projects now engage fisheries on every continent and in every major seafood commodity. CEA conducted the first global landscape review of fishery improvement projects to answer questions about the conservation intervention’s history, evolution, best practices, lessons learned, and associated costs. CEA paired desk top analyses with over 140 expert interviews and FIP site visits in 13 countries. CEA produced a 200 page confidential report for the sponsoring foundations as well as a 20 page public summary in both English and Spanish to support the global conservation community. CEA presented its findings at the 2016 Seafood Summit in Malta.
The investigation was commissioned by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
NRG Energy is an independent power producer with a diverse fleet of generating facilities. At the time CEA Consulting worked for NRG they had 50,000 MW of assets nationwide and nine percent of its fleet consisted of renewable generation, making NRG one of the largest renewable developers nationally and in California.
As NRG expanded its diverse business portfolio in the Western United States, CEA provided research into the regulatory environment and energy markets in Western states. CEA assisted in a variety of NRG’s business areas, including residential solar, utility-scale renewable, traditional assets, and electric vehicle supply equipment.
CEA’s regulatory support ranged from regional overviews and assessment of high-level trends to in-depth, multi-faceted policy analysis as regulatory proceedings progressed. CEA consultants kept NRG teams apprised of regulatory developments, which helped inform decision making and strategy development in the region.
CEA also assisted NRG in growing and maintaining relationships with business, nonprofit, and governmental stakeholders. CEA’s professional connections and experienced interactions in the environmental sector—most notably in California— facilitated NRG’s development of outreach strategies that engaged key stakeholders early on about critical issues for projects of interest.
Marketing and Outreach Strategy for a Wyoming Wind Developer
Pathfinder Wind, LLC, the developer of a 2,000+ MW wind project in Wyoming, approached CEA in 2012 to assist in outreach to California utilities, policymakers, regulators, and environmentalists. As a large-scale, out-of-state renewable energy developer, Pathfinder’s proposal faced early resistance from California decisionmakers, despite the project’s low cost and low environmental impact.
For the past three years, CEA has worked with Pathfinder and its transmission partner, Duke-American Transmission Company, to develop and execute the project’s communications strategy in California. Leading a team of legal, communications, and technical representatives, CEA has leveraged its network of state and local government officials and environmental advocates to conduct steady outreach and representation on behalf of the project. CEA has also provided strategic guidance to the project team on how to combat resistance to the project, respond to a changing political environment, and make a compelling case for Pathfinder’s wind and storage components.
In late 2014, the Pathfinder team connected with Burbank Water and Power, who introduced an opportunity to incorporate a large-scale energy storage project into Pathfinder’s regional renewable energy vision. Today, Pathfinder’s proposal is under review as a part of an option for replacing the coal-fired Intermountain Power Project, and California’s energy agencies are increasingly recognizing the benefits of Western regional renewable development and the importance of large-scale storage to achieve the state’s renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. These advances represent a major leap forward from the project’s early reception in the state.
Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) is a nonprofit organization launched in 2010 to accelerate a worldwide transition to cooler, healthier cities.
GCCA began as a project supported by the Energy Foundation. Initially, CEA conducted a scoping of cool roofs as a viable global cooling mechanism, and recommended how best to support their adoption.
The project attracted interest from a group of funders and advisors, which enabled CEA to write a business plan for a new nonprofit organization, GCCA. The nonprofit would be dedicated to advocating for cool roofs and designing policies and programs that accelerate their use. CEA incubated the organization, serving as interim staff until the organization could secure sufficient funding to hire a full-time Executive Director.
CEA continues to serve as part-time staff of GCCA, primarily focusing on the organization’s building code program.
Hiring of Founding Executive Director
CEA Recruiting conducted the search and hire of GCCA’s founding Executive Director.
In response to the decline of fish stocks worldwide, CEA led a team of experts (from institutions including McKinsey & Company, Environmental Defense Fund, and the University of California, Santa Barbara) to analyze the underlying causes and drivers of overfishing, and to present “an integrated vision” for future philanthropic interventions. The supporting scientific analysis led by UCSB was published in Science magazine, and the report has become a common reference for the marine philanthropic community.
This project was supported by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.
The Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) is a collaboration of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the ClimateWorks Foundation. CLUA’s objectives are to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use and the alliance has focused for several years on the tropical forests of Indonesia and Brazil’s Amazon Biome.
An assessment and strategy for Brazil’s Cerrado Biome
Over the last several years, the Cerrado Biome in Brazil has increasingly become a major frontier of deforestation, but it was not a formal part of CLUA’s strategy. CLUA engaged CEA to conduct an assessment of the Cerrado to synthesize the information available on the environmental, social, political, and economic resources in the region and to help the foundations better understand the trends and threats. CEA developed this assessment, in partnership with a Brazilian project manager and with guidance and input from several Brazilian civil society organizations and researchers. CEA also developed a set of strategic recommendations based on our research, designed to contribute to the development of CLUA’s emerging Cerrado strategy.
The prospect of contradictory federal, state, and local regulations that impact railroads led the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to ask CEA Consulting to find reasonable ways to reduce locomotive emissions while meeting the interests of railroads, government agencies, and community groups.
For the past twenty years, CEA has coordinated consensus-building efforts and served as the project manager of specialized teams from the AAR, Union Pacific Railroad, and BNSF Railway, including regulatory strategy, government relations, and technical analyses.
Under CEA’s management, this team has worked with state and federal regulators to develop a comprehensive, nationwide regulatory scheme. As a result, the US Environmental Protection Agency adopted a far-reaching locomotive emissions regulation that avoids conflicting state and local requirements. Meanwhile, the state of California and the railroads fashioned an aggressive—yet achievable and enforceable—locomotive emission reduction program for Southern California—the region where reductions were most needed.