Governance and Corporate Citizenship
Solid corporate governance enables CH2M to implement the appropriate balance between the objectives and priorities of our employees, stockholders, clients, and other stakeholders. CH2M’s leadership structure includes Chairman and CEO Jacqueline Hinman and a board of directors. Corporate citizenship is embedded within CH2M’s corporate and operational governance, with specific functions that address multiple facets of citizenship and sustainability.
The Board of Directors established a “Governance and Corporate Citizenship Committee” to more robustly engage the board in all aspects of CH2M’s sustainability and corporate citizenship strategy. The committee periodically reviews the materiality chart to align efforts with company strategy and receives regular reports on progress towards goals. Management of and authority over economic aspects of CH2M’s financial operations are described in Economic Performance. For the social and environmental aspects of our operations, authority is delegated to our Executive Sponsor for Sustainability and Senior Vice President of Innovation and Corporate Citizenship, Elisa Speranza, who is also a member of the Board of Directors. The lead outside director of the CH2M Board of Directors, Chad Holliday, has also been active in CH2M’s sustainability program. As former Chair and CEO of DuPont and a former Chair of the WBCSD, Chad coauthored a book called Walking the Talk: the Business Case for Sustainable Development. Read more about Chad’s perspective on the importance of corporate sustainability governance in this Thomson Reuters article.
Our Sustainability group, led by Global Sustainability Director Brandy Wilson, is responsible for coordinating with CH2M’s sustainability and corporate citizenship functions to produce this report, expanding sustainability service offerings to our clients, managing our internally focused environmental program, and fostering a culture of environmental stewardship within the company. Her counterpart in corporate social responsibility is Ellen Sandberg, executive director for the CH2M Foundation, and leader of our community partnership and philanthropy programs. Bill Brierly, chief counsel for ethics and business conduct, oversees our ethics and integrity programs.
Day-to-day management of sustainability and corporate citizenship is delegated to the departments most directly responsible for that aspect (for example, Corporate Affairs, HR, or HSE). For our client service organizations, the Sustainability Leadership Board identifies and manages sustainability project opportunities and risks; trains staff to identify client challenges and propose sustainable solutions; and develops tools that provide breakthrough value for our clients. The Sustainability Leadership Board, active since 1995, includes representatives from all business units and operates under the executive operations and governance councils of the company. This collaborative approach enables us to deliver integrated sustainable solutions for our clients.
Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Leaders
Jacqueline Hinman, Chairman and CEO
Growing up in Maryland, Jacqueline Hinman was born to an engineer father and a biologist and teacher mother. She inherited their knacks for creative problem-solving and interests in building sustainable communities.
Her father traveled the world extensively, and Jacque became fascinated with the many countries he visited. When her mother served on the local county council, Jacque recalls listening to her discuss siting and design for a new landfill. Not surprisingly, Jacque earned her bachelor's degree in civil/environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
During the past 31 years, Jacque has worked for the EPA and other consulting firms, but most of her career has been at CH2M. She thrives on high-profile, extremely complex projects and programs, such as the EPA Superfund Program, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Panama Canal Expansion, and the MASDAR sustainable city in Abu Dhabi, major programs that have raised CH2M’s sustainability profile. She has held a wide variety of executive leadership positions and led CH2M’s acquisition of Halcrow Group, a UK-headquartered engineering firm with US$1 billion in annual revenue.
Jacque feels that the best part of her career has been working all around the world in different cultures, while being able to count on the consistent quality and values of CH2M coworkers to deliver the best projects anywhere. She loves meeting clients who come up with creative solutions to protect our planet, and she is inspired by people who promote sustainable communities, economic growth, gender and cultural diversity, and social tolerance.
In 2014, CH2M’s Board of Directors named her chair and she led us through difficult financial challenges, while following through on her commitment to communicate transparently and frequently with the firm’s employee owners. Her distinctions include being honored by WorldDenver at its International Women's Day event; being featured in STEMconnector®, a book showcasing 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM; delivering the commencement address at her alma mater, the Penn State College of Engineering; and receiving the Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction Council’s 2014 Glass Hammer Award on behalf of CH2M from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
Jacque is known as a leader who walks the talk. She feels a personal passion for triple bottom line sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. Her goals for the firm are market leadership, balanced growth, and client stewardship. To achieve these goals, she has prioritized sustainability, safety, quality, technology, diversity, positive employee engagement, and the highest standards of ethical behavior as drivers for CH2M’s success.
Elisa Speranza, Corporate Sponsor for Sustainability
Elisa Speranza is CH2M’s executive sponsor for sustainability. Elisa oversees the firm’s sustainability, innovation and technology, government relations, and community investment functions. She also serves as an elected employee-director on the company’s Board of Directors and on the Governance & Corporate Citizenship Committee. She manages several key client portfolios, is president of the CH2M Foundation, and sponsors the firm's partnerships with TNC and Encourage Capital.
“At CH2M, our focus on sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and corporate citizenship reflects our clients’ priorities,” Elisa says. “It's been really gratifying to see our clients step up and make a difference, investing in innovation and working with nature to build more resilient infrastructure. We are at our best when we're contributing to our clients' success, building thriving communities and healthy, sustainable economies and ecosystems."
Before her current role, Elisa was Chief Communications Officer. She previously served as president of the firm’s Operations Management Business Group and has held multiple leadership positions. Elisa started her career as a client, and keeps that client perspective foremost in whatever role she plays. She is also former board chair for the global nongovernmental organization (and our strategic partner) Water For People, who recently presented Elisa with the 2014-2015 Robert W. Hite Outstanding Leadership Award (named in honor of longtime volunteer Robert W. Hite) for her passion and enthusiasm in advancing Water For People’s mission. The award, given annually at WEFTEC to an individual who inspires a shared vision, is forward thinking, and truly envisions a world where all people have access to safe water and sanitation facilities, celebrated Elisa’s dedication and years of leadership and service to Water For People. She also recently joined the board of directors of the U.S. Water Alliance, a national organization advancing a sustainable water future for all. She is a passionate advocate for protection of our coastal resources, particularly on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Elisa tweets about sustainability, leadership development, corporate citizenship, and being a baseball fan @ElisaSperanza.
Brandy Wilson, Global Sustainability Director, LEED AP O+M
Brandy Wilson truly embraces environmental stewardship and knows that there is an art to sustainability. Brandy serves as our Global Director of Sustainability, responsible for helping the firm and our clients improve sustainability performance. She also serves as program manager for our work with TNC, an innovative collaboration to transform engineering practice and incorporate nature as a partner in engineered solutions.
Brandy’s career includes public outreach and technical documentation for environmental remediation projects, environmental analysis and decision processes, and sustainability framework planning for businesses. She helped start one of the firm’s first green teams in 1998, raising awareness of sustainability issues and encouraging environmental stewardship in our offices.
Brandy oversees CH2M’s strategic approach to sustainability, which includes working with stakeholders to set and meet company-wide goals for sustainability, collaborating with our business units to advance sustainability objectives for clients and partners, and overseeing production of the annual Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Report. Aligned with her work with TNC, Brandy helps integrate the value of nature in business and project planning. She also provides sustainability framework consulting and environmental communication services for clients, and publishes sustainability articles on behalf of the firm.
Last year, Brandy attended the WBCSD meeting in Paris, held alongside the UN’s 21st Conference on Parties (COP21) to combat climate change. Corporations, including CH2M, stepped up in a significant way to make a difference in the negotiations, as Brandy described in “We’re Ready to Get to Work: Corporate Support Helps Close the Paris Climate Deal.” In 2014, Brandy was selected by the Corporate Eco Forum to attend the Leadership Development Challenge in Chiapas, Mexico. This experience strengthened Brandy’s commitment to green infrastructure and natural capital. “I discovered a forest acting like a sponge to preserve and protect water sources, and saw governments, nonprofits, and for-profit corporations bonding together to protect it,” said Brandy. Brandy wrote about her experience in “Chasing Water in Chiapas.”
Brandy tweets about sustainability at @Brandy_M_Wilson.
Melissa Mora, Sustainability Report Manager
Melissa Mora, P.E, Sustainability Report Manager, represents the new generation of sustainability experts who bring knowledge, passion, and leadership to help CH2M improve its sustainability performance. She manages the multifaceted production of the firm’s Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Report. As a licensed professional engineer, Melissa applies her engineering background when solving complex problems related to sustainability and environmental management. She also directs CH2M’s ISO 14001-conformant North America EMS, setting and tracking annual environmental goals and managing the North America team, while working with other EMS managers around the world.
Because Melissa believes that great ideas can come from anywhere and from anyone, in 2015 she co-led the launch of a crowdsourcing platform to engage staff worldwide in generating innovative and sustainable ideas to solve some of our clients’ most challenging problems. This kind of innovation and employee engagement continues to fuel Melissa’s entrepreneurial and inventive spirit.
In 2013, Melissa completed a Water For People monitoring assignment in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she performed household, public institutions, and water system surveys in Spanish as part of a potable water and sanitation coverage evaluation. Her work was featured in CH2M’s 2014 Sustainability and Corporate Sustainability Report.
Melissa tweets about sustainability @MeliMPrada.
Ellen Sandberg, Executive Director, CH2M Foundation
Ellen believes that strategic giving and impact investing are the hallmarks of effective corporate philanthropy. Since 2001, Ellen has worked for three Fortune 500 companies to develop and build corporate social responsibility platforms. Her current role as executive director of the CH2M Foundation is to strengthen and promote employee community engagement and bolster the firm’s commitment to STEM-focused education programs that develop the world’s 21st century workforce and promote sustainable communities through lasting, life-changing infrastructure.
Ellen played a leading role in transitioning the CH2M Foundation from a relatively small foundation in 2013, focused solely on funding grants at the university level, to a robust organization with an expanded global scope and a focus on three strategic areas. These key areas are promoting STEM education, building sustainable communities, and fostering employee engagement. “At CH2M, corporate citizenship is demonstrated in how we combine our entire portfolio of strengths, including our employees, our expertise, and our economic impact, to lay a sustainable foundation for human progress,” notes Ellen.
In 2015, the CH2M Foundation championed skilled employee volunteerism and awarded nearly US$1 million to nonprofit organizations across the globe that promote STEM education and sustainable community development. Now more than ever, the foundation is committed to deeper, longer partnerships for greater impact and volunteerism opportunities for employees. Among the foundation’s strategic charitable endeavors, the strongest social impact is our support for Bridges to Prosperity, through which CH2M employees from around the world have volunteered in Panama, Nicaragua, and Rwanda to build suspension bridges for pedestrian use where no safe transportation had existed before. “This transfer of skills from CH2M engineers to the local residents means that hundreds of people have safe crossing to schools, hospitals, and jobs, and can maintain their own bridge for generations to come,” said Ellen. “The foundation is committed to promoting lasting and life-sustaining infrastructure by supporting global not-for-profit organizations that work side by side with local communities to build, maintain, and scale their critical water and transportation projects.”
William H. (Bill) Brierly, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Bill Brierly joined CH2M in October 2012 to ensure that our ethics and compliance program has the tools and focus necessary to meet the challenges of our global growth strategy. As Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Bill oversees our award-winning ethics and compliance programs in more than 100 countries.
Bill applies his passion for lifelong learning and teaching to find creative ways to integrate his understanding of economics and the law. He brings real-world, collaborative solutions to ethical issues facing international businesses. Before joining CH2M, he served in a variety of executive roles, including as the Head of Legal Affairs at TeleTech, a publicly traded, global business process outsourcing company.
“Operating at all levels of our business with ethics and integrity is central to our success at CH2M and forms the basis for our approach, not only to large-scale engineering and construction projects but also in solving day-to-day issues in the workplace,” Bill notes. From our founding in 1946 through today, CH2M has a tradition and a reputation of doing business ethically and with integrity. This tradition is captured in our Little Yellow Book, which includes several tenets on how to run an ethical and productive business. These tenets, such as “Integrity is the all-important prerequisite to employment; the person must be honest with himself and others or we have no foundation on which to build,” are woven into the fabric of our culture and guide the actions of our employees.
According to Bill, “We cannot rest on our tradition of ethical business conduct; instead, we must view this tradition as foundation upon which we will continually improve our ethics program and enhance our reputation for integrity in our work and in our business practices.”
Katherine Johnson, Vice President, Global HR Enterprise Services
Katherine’s natural passion for people and supporting others’ successes led her to a career in talent management. She believes our 22,000 global employees are the foundation of not only our company success, but also living our commitment to social responsibility. She applies her passions toward developing the programs that strengthen the foundation of our company’s success and foster the “CH2M Way.”
Katherine began her 23-year career with CH2M as a college intern and has lent her expertise to delivering strategic human resources leadership to an array of business markets, both domestically and internationally. She has also played a key role on projects, including one of the firm’s marquee programs: the Rocky Flats Closure Program, one of the firm’s strongest examples of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
As vice president of Global HR Enterprise Services, Katherine leads, plans, and delivers strategic, global HR leadership and services. She is responsible for talent acquisition and deployment, talent management and development, compensation and benefits, workforce planning and analytics, diversity, equality and inclusion, global service centers, global mobility, and HR project management offices.
In 2015, her team was proud to support the SEEK program, where university mentors introduced elementary students to engineering concepts. An outreach program of the NSBE, the summer camp sponsorship reinforced CH2M’s commitment to its values of diversity, university relations, and mentoring.
According to Katherine, “Our diverse and engaging employees are critical to our business success. We take pride in the investment we make in our people by establishing learning and talent as strategic differentiators for the firm.”
Valencia (Faye) Tate, Director of Global Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
In the 15 years Faye Tate has been CH2M’s Director of Global Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, she has transformed the way the company focuses on these issues. In the past several years, Faye has helped to establish employee network groups for employees who are black, LGBT and allies, Hispanic/Latino, differently abled, women, veterans, and junior and mid-level professionals. In 2014, 150 employees representing 8 of these employee networks gathered in Denver to collaborate on diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Faye has played a vital role in making CH2M a global industry leader in supporting LGBT employees. Her leadership has helped create a culture of inclusion, a strong nondiscrimination policy, and domestic partnership benefits. In fact, the firm has found its domestic partnership benefits so beneficial that representatives testified at the Colorado State Capitol on their positive impacts to company culture and the bottom line. In 2012, One Colorado honored Faye and three other individuals with “Ally Awards” for all they do to change the hearts and minds of Coloradoans.
Giving back to the community is an important part of Faye’s life. She serves on the national board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that focuses on LGBT equality, and on several local boards of directors. In 2012, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce named Faye as one of the 25 most powerful women in Colorado, and in 2013 she received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award from the Denver Urban League. She has received much recognition for her work in the community: as a "Woman of Distinction" from the Girl Scouts of America; Leadership Denver and Distinguished Community Leader and Trailblazer by the National Council of Negro Women; finalist for Frances Weimar Jacobs Award, recognizing women who are leaders in philanthropy; and the Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Colorado Black Women for Political Action.
In recent years, Faye has been working with CH2M project teams and employee network groups to establish a culture of respect and tolerance on their teams. She traveled to the United Kingdom to assist with diversity, equality, and inclusion issues related to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. In addition, she has assisted with various business development endeavors for the firm.
CH2M’s safety and EMS programs (ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001) are illustrated on the following map. As mentioned in Health and Safety, our formal HSE management system is based on ANSI Z10-2012 and OHSAS 18001. We are working toward a transition to the updated ISO 14001 and 9001 standards, released in 2015, within the 3-year transition period.