- Environmental Compliance
- Environmental Management
- Water Use
- Water Preservation
- Paper Consumption
Client Services Footprint
Mitigating the Environmental Impacts of Our Services
In collaboration with our clients, CH2M offers sustainable design services that improve our built environment. For more information about these services, the projects where we have actively helped our clients reduce their impacts on the built environment, and the people who make it possible, visit the CH2M Web site.
We offer sustainable solutions across a broad range of services, from remediation to climate change adaptation, and work throughout the energy-water-food sustainability nexus. From all of that work, we have selected a few service areas to focus on in this report. We discuss specific service areas where we have implemented programs to measure our environmental impacts and metrics across a portfolio of projects and programs. We also report on projects and programs where we have operational control.
In this section, we also explain the sustainability impacts of our green building design and construction practice and facility operations and maintenance.
After decades of successful green building design, we established a database in 2010 to document our green projects and track their progress toward third-party certification. We include projects that are pursuing a third-party independent green building certification such as LEED, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), Greenroads™, GreenMark, Estidama, Global Sustainability Assessment System, and Envision. As new certification programs, such as PEER and WELL, come online we are incorporating those certifications into our database as well, and applying them to the overall level of sustainability work we deliver over the year. In 2015, we provided over US$122.8 million of work, delivering third-party certified sustainability solutions across our projects worldwide, and made a global impact we are proud of. Furthermore, our revenues for the 2014 calendar year resulted in CH2M being ranked number eight on the Engineering News-Record Top 100 Green Design Firms list for 2015 (up from number nine in 2014).
We recognize that the certified projects in our portfolio only tell a part of our sustainability story. Much of our most innovative work in sustainability falls outside of certification programs, and it is that work that best exemplifies our leadership. From supporting the removal of toxic materials from product supply chains, to establishing net-zero energy and waste strategies for industrial campuses, the sustainability work we embed in projects goes far beyond complying with checklists and following prescriptive requirements. Whether a project is pursuing certification or not, we take a holistic approach to building design and operations that enables optimized system performance and easier-to-manage capital investments for all of our clients.
For the last 4 years, we have been working in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and a consortium of global manufacturing companies (LEED User Group for Industrial Facilities) to develop pathways for compliance with the LEED rating system standards. Using this internationally recognized rating system has allowed the manufacturing sector not only to gain recognition for the green building strategies implemented on its projects, but also to provide a standard method for determining building performance across an industry portfolio. CH2M is proud to be a founding member of the LEED User Group for the Industrial Facilities Building Sector and to play a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of how industrial facilities affect the greening of the built environment. In 2015, the user group developed a pilot credit for evaluating energy performance using alternative metrics and established a methodology for developing a whole building water usage calculation for complex systems with multiple water pathways. In both cases, the work of the user group has made it easier for manufacturers of any industry to determine their performance relative to their competition.
CH2M continued implementing our unique, site-driven sustainability program across the facilities and water and wastewater treatment sites that we operate and maintain on behalf of our clients, separate from our North American EMS. Because we operate these facilities, we have a rare opportunity to be part of the day-to-day decision-making at varying levels of responsibility based on the contracts. Our award-winning sustainability program leverages the passion and ingenuity of our project employees to develop site-specific sustainability goals, such as efficiency improvements, community projects, and wildlife habitat improvements.
Our 2015 annual results included fuel and energy reductions, beneficial reuse of biosolids, waste diversion, ecosystem enhancements, and cost savings.
With 2015 marking the program’s sixth year of implementation, the impact of our efforts to make operations more sustainable for clients continues to grow. Since program inception, we have generated significant electricity reductions, reused 55 billion gallons (20 million cubic meters) of effluent, and recorded over 13,000 volunteer hours.
Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure and Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
In today’s environment, the conditions and constraints under which infrastructure must perform are increasingly challenging. The collaboration between the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) provides several resources and tools to address those challenges. CH2M has been a key player in the collaboration since the inception of the Zofnass Program in 2008. As a founding member of the Zofnass Program’s Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory Board (SIAB), we also became a charter member of ISI after it was formed, continuing our commitment to embed sustainability throughout our infrastructure practices.
The Envision rating is system is the flagship product developed by the Zofnass Program and ISI. The rating system is the first to provide a holistic, cost-effective framework for evaluating and rating the environmental, community, and economic benefits of large infrastructure projects; it recognizes projects that incorporate sustainability throughout the project life cycle. The system applies to all types of infrastructure planning and design: energy, water, waste, transportation, landscape, and information. Through our in-depth involvement with Envision, we have found that the rating system helps leaders, planners, and engineers more completely account for the tangible and intangible outcome of promoting green and sustainable infrastructure. It provides the missing link to economically, environmentally, and socially assessing natural capital.
Throughout 2015, we introduced dozens of clients to the benefits of using Envision. Many clients have applied the tool informally or have completed assessments with our experts to explore how the tool functions. We also completed a focused initiative with Alexandria Renew Enterprises in which, through our Envision training program, we trained more than 20 client staff members to become credentialed ENV SPs and will complete a full project certification in 2016.
As a member of the Zofnass Program SIAB, we have also brought together our experience, clients, and partners to engage in the program’s ongoing work to develop and promote methods, processes, and tools that quantify sustainability for infrastructure. We have presented at two Zofnass symposia in 2015 and have contributed two essays to the 2016 publication Planning Sustainable Cities: an Infrastructure-based Approach.