Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announced that Co-President Robert DeScenza, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, has received a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) award from City & State Reports. DeScenza was among the 28 business leaders recognized for outstanding corporate citizenship at a July 28 event at New York University.

The affiliated organization of City & State Magazine celebrates companies and individuals who have embraced and successfully promoted the principles of corporate social responsibility. Throughout the year, City & State Reports hosts a series of events recognizing CSR leaders in major segments of the New York economy, including the construction, energy, transportation and food industries.


Key Points

  • DeScenza joined Thornton Tomasetti in 1978, served as chief operating officer from 2008 to 2011 and is currently co-president, overseeing the firm’s global operations.
  • DeScenza was instrumental in developing a corporate sustainability program at Thornton Tomasetti and the adoption of a triple bottom line framework, creating long-term value for a firm, its employees and its clients by taking into account how it operates on social, environmental and economic levels.
  • DeScenza’s emphasis on creating goals for sustainability and measuring progress has inspired the firm to become a carbon neutral business and the first structural engineering firm to join the American Institute of Architect’s 2030 Commitment and to set a goal to become a carbon neutral business. He provided support and approval for a green grant program that provides funds to offices to reduce operational carbon footprints and create healthful work environments.
  • Thornton Tomasetti is one of the few firms calculating the embodied carbon of its structural engineering projects for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector. it is working with MIT and the Carbon Leadership Forum to advance the understanding of embodied carbon in engineering, which is critical to the construction of sustainable buildings.
  • DeScenza advocated the value of a corporate sustainability report, which is published and shared with the firm’s contacts and public at large, a unique step for an AEC firm headquartered in the United States.
  • Thornton Tomasetti has a strong history of volunteerism and community engagement. In 2014, the firm’s leadership, led by DeScenza, approved a new benefit allowing all employees paid time for volunteering in their communities.
  • A licensed professional engineer in 14 states, DeScenza has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Cooper Union. He has guest lectured at several universities, including Purdue and Notre Dame in Indiana, Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois; The Cooper Union in New York; and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.