Throughout her career, Julie Sinistore has worked with companies to conduct Life Cycle Assessments that evaluate design processes and improve product and corporate carbon footprints.
Now, as a project director for the sustainability and energy team in WSP USA’s San Francisco office, Sinistore will provide strategic guidance for clients on building, transportation and infrastructure, and industrial and energy projects.
Sinistore, who joined the firm in May, will conduct Life Cycle Assessments on products and services for clients, quantify environmental impacts, and identify areas for improvement. She will also advise client product development on environmental considerations of specific design attributes.
“One of my first projects is assessing the environmental impacts of building and construction materials for a California rail project,” Sinistore said. “I am excited to be in this new role with WSP, supporting new and existing public and private-sector clients engaged by the firm.”
Sinistore’s experience spans many sectors and industries, including agriculture, food, electronics, infrastructure and construction, as well as fuels and chemicals from bio-based and conventional sources.
Previously, Sinistore worked at thinkstep (formerly PE INTERNATIONAL), where she advised Fortune 500 companies on product life-cycle assessments. A recent project was a comparative “cradle-to-gate” assessment for a food, nutrition and specialty ingredients company on the production of algae oil.
“We compared the greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption – among other impacts – of algae oil to that of sunflower, palm, palm kernel, soybean, tallow and canola oils, and demonstrated the environmental benefits of the algae oil over other oils,” she said.
Sinistore will also provide product-level water footprinting to help companies identify and address the areas of their production of a product or provisioning of a service that have the greatest impacts on water consumption, quality and scarcity.
“Data centers are a good example of this,” she said. “In the past, there has been a lot of focus on the energy used to store and process data in the ‘cloud,’ but the amount of water used in cooling these facilities, especially in drought-stricken California, is important. We can help cloud service providers and users identify and address water risks associated with this service.”
One of Sinistore’s goals is to make her clients aware of the tremendous value that sustainability adds to their products, services or company profile.
“Every company has a role to play in sustainability, no matter what products or services are at the core of their business,” she said. “There is a shift in sustainability focus from greenhouse gas emissions. Today, more companies are taking a holistic approach to environmental assessment, which includes a closer look at other impacts like water consumption and water quality.”
Sinistore is a graduate of Cook College of Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, and she holds master’s and doctorate degrees in agroecology and biological systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She serves as a member of a technical advisory committee for the California Air Resources Board to provide feedback on the environmental impacts and technical and economic feasibility of renewable drop-in fuels such as bio-based gasoline, diesel and jet-fuel. She also teaches Life Cycle Thinking, a graduate course at the University of California-Berkeley that provides students with tools for sustainable design innovation and metrics to measure improvement in environmental performance.
“I love working in sustainability,” Sinistore said. “Every day I get to make meaningful contributions to preserving this planet upon which we all rely. The opportunity to interact with people across industries and help them make their products and services more sustainable is very rewarding.”