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I've been working with ESS, now the leading provider of EH&S software to the enterprise, for many years. As you know if you know me, Arizona companies have to be strong in order to survive, because capital formation is an issue here. As a result, management has to be continually on its toes; there's no money to "burn" through. Fortunately, quite a while back I introduced ESS to Harvard Investments, one of the Hill Companies, and they formed a relationship that allowed ESS to grow both by acqusition and by internal expansion.

But nothing prepared me for the last two years, during which ESS has emerged as a global market leader. Part of this is the vision and tenacity of founder and CEO Robert Johnson and a team that has been with him for years with minimal turnover, and the remainder is the awakening of the enterprise to sustainability issues. Interest in the company's sustainability solutions has recently surged as businesses seek ways to address their EH&S business challenges and drive corporate sustainability initiatives.

ESS' solutions have recently been selected by both public and private organizations:
— Abbott Laboratories             — Logan Aluminum Inc.
— Ameritek                        — Marathon Oil Company
— Amgen                           — N.K. Parts Industries
— BlueScope Steel North America   — NorthWestern Energy
— Barrick Gold Corporation        — Novelis Inc.
— ConocoPhillips-California       — Nucor Corporation
— Cytec Industries                — PPG Aerospace
— DuPont                          — Reynolds Packaging
— EPCOR Utilities Inc.            — Sutter Home Winery
— ExxonMobil                      — Tampa Bay Water
— General Motors Corp.            — Tidewater Barge Lines
— Google                          — TransMontaigne Inc.
— Interstate Brands               — Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Business and regulatory drivers are fueling interest in ESS' integrated solutions, because they collect, aggregate and communicate data for greenhouse gas management, worker health and safety management, environmental reporting, crisis management and Corporate Social Responsibility reporting. Recent CSR reports have really changed: they aren't simply lists of feel-good volunteer efforts and charitable giving, They are now replete with charts, graphs and tables that tell of company's efforts to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and improve working conditions for employees.
I don't seen much of this changing, because it is driven by investors and employees, who don't want to work for or invest in companies that waste, pollute, or poison our planet.