- Environmental Compliance
- Environmental Management
- Water Use
- Water Preservation
- Paper Consumption
CH2M’s environmental performance is managed, monitored, and improved through formal EMS programs, guided by ISO 14001:2004, in the following locations: North America (United States and Canada); the United Kingdom; Ireland; Romania; Italy; Hong Kong; Australia; Argentina (Buenos Aires, Campana, Bahía Blanca); Mexico; the Middle East (Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Doha), and India (Noida, Mumbai, and Hyderabad). The management systems map illustrates our EMS programs and the status of conformance and compliance throughout regional operations. The majority of CH2M employees are included within the scope of the EMS programs in these geographies. Throughout the world, environmental regulatory compliance is addressed by our firmwide HSE team.
The overall performance and scope of each formal EMS program are described in this section. Most of CH2M’s environmental aspects and impacts are managed through these programs in accordance with local regulations and opportunities, such as recycling and water conservation. Select programs, like the carbon emissions inventory, are managed at a corporate level. Although each region sets its own reduction goals and the means to accomplish them, we have one overall carbon reduction target for CH2M’s global operations.
North America EMS
2016 EMS Goals:
North America Offices
Internal CH2M Footprint
- Eliminate single-use disposable plastic at our North America area offices by the end of 2018
- Decrease paper purchasing by 36 tonnes (40 tons)
- Reduce electricity consumption at our company headquarters by 850 MWh by 2017
- Reduce CH2M's Scopes 1 and 2 carbon footprint by 25% compared to our 2012 baseline by the end of 2017*
External Projects and Services
- Through our Operations Management sustainability program, reduce fuel consumption by 20,000 gallons (76 cubic meters) and energy consumption by 5 million kilowatt-hours on behalf of our clients
* We have made this commitment to reduce our absolute GHG footprint globally.
Since 2005, the North American EMS team has worked toward continuous improvement throughout our United States and Canadian operations. The North American EMS includes annual goals for performance, as well as procedures for day-to-day operations, such as decreasing the amount of materials we use, increasing recycled content and improving other sustainability metrics on items we purchase, and seeking other ways to reduce our environmental footprint. The ISO 14001-conformant North American EMS includes our largest single office—our company headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
In 2015, the North American EMS set goals to reduce the footprint of our internal office operations, as well as for the operations management services we provide to our clients. Here’s how we did in meeting those goals:
- We surpassed our paper consumption goal, achieving a 92-tonne (101 ton) reduction, with 85 percent of the paper we used having recycled content. In 2016, we set a goal to save an additional 36-tonne (40 ton) reduction in the amount of paper we consume.
- In 2014, 80 percent of our North America area offices recycled paper; in 2015, we achieved our goal to increase that coverage to 100 percent of our area offices. In 2016, we will continue to strengthen our paper recycling programs in area offices that need enhancement.
- In 2015, we uncovered an increasing electricity consumption trend at our company headquarters, and set out to stabilize our consumption at 8,706 megawatt-hours (MWh) (2014 levels). We achieved this goal, with electricity at our headquarters at 8,513 MWh by year-end. We are striving for an additional reduction of 850 MWh at our headquarters by 2017.
- In our Operations Management sustainability program, we set out to support client projects in reducing fuel and energy consumption. Our 2015 goals included reducing fuel consumption by 20,000 gallons (76 cubic meters) and energy consumption by 3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) on behalf of our clients. We surpassed these goals, achieving a fuel reduction of 27,000 gallons and electricity reductions exceeding 20 million kWh. As described in the Client Services Footprint section, our Operations Management sustainability program continues to achieve measurable outcomes for our clients.
Our 2016 goals illustrate how we plan to manage our environmental program going forward for both our internal footprint and externally on our projects and services. In addition to our paper and energy reduction targets, we have set an aggressive goal of removing all single-use disposable plastic from our North America area offices by 2018. Single-use plastic is a widespread consumer good, and we believe we can enhance our office environment and communities where we live and work by moving away from products that provide short-lived purposes with long-lasting impacts. This goal is aggressive and will require transformative action – a willingness to embark on concrete steps alongside our staff and suppliers. The goal for carbon emissions reduction is set at the corporate level. Externally, our Operations Management sustainability program continues to support client projects in reducing fuel and energy consumption. Our 2016 goals include reducing fuel consumption by 20,000 gallons (76 cubic meters) and energy consumption by 5 million kWh on behalf of our clients.
2016 EMS Goals:
- Continue reducing carbon emissions for our office-based activities through implementation of energy-saving opportunities where economically viable
- Maintain our paper consumption at less than 3,500 sheets per employee per year
- Maintain water use at less than 1,690 gallons (6.4 cubic meters) per employee per year (following industry and government good practice benchmarks as references)
- Decrease office waste by allowing local waste reduction and recycling targets to be set in each office and tracking progress
- Champion a green project involving one of the employee network groups (for example, JuMP Network)
In 2013, we launched and rolled out our environmental objectives across Europe. We set goals to either decrease our impacts or improve our understanding of the environmental impacts we have over a 3-year period, from 2013 to 2015. To understand and manage our environmental impacts, we have ISO 14001-certified EMS programs in place at our offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Romania, as shown on the management systems map. The footprint for the certified EMS in Europe has grown, and in February 2014, we added ISO 14001 certification for our Italian operation.
Our EMS programs throughout Europe are developed around both our office activities and environmentally responsible delivery of projects. All of our European offices now report on environmental impacts associated with their office activities and business travel, and our data accuracy continues to improve.
In 2016, we will review electricity supplies to those UK area offices for which we have responsibility, with the objective of purchasing electricity produced from renewable sources. We also intend to review lease and rental vehicle selection for relevant environmental factors, including emissions and fuel efficiency.
In 2015, CH2M’s business in the UK was affected by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations 2014. The UK government established ESOS to implement Article 8 (4-6) of the European Union (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). ESOS applies to large businesses, which are required to undertake ESOS assessments every 4 years. An ESOS assessment is an audit of the energy used by a qualifying business’ buildings, industrial processes, and transportation in order to identify cost-effective savings measures. ESOS is administered by the UK Environment Agency. CH2M’s UK operations qualified as a large undertaking on the qualification date, which was December 31, 2014.
To satisfy the ESOS requirements, we have conducted 14 surveys of our UK offices, involving an approved ESOS lead assessor. CH2M has complied with the ESOS requirements for the first compliance period from July 17, 2014, to December 5, 2015.
Our ESOS assessment will now be used as part of the UK sustainability program. Although participants are not required to implement the identified energy-saving opportunities, CH2M will track energy-saving opportunities as part of our continual improvement and active management of energy use across our UK business.
Throughout 2015, we continued to work on these environmental goals, which we rolled out in 2013:
- Reduce carbon emissions for our office-based activities by 5 percent by the end of 2015
- Decrease paper consumption to 3,500 sheets per employee per year
- Reduce water use to less than 1,585 gallons (6 cubic meters) per employee per year (following industry and government good practice benchmarks as a reference)
- Allow local waste reduction and recycling targets to be set and include waste reduction initiatives in a suitable tracker
Water consumption in Europe has been reduced over the last 4 years, and we met our goal of reducing 1,588 gallons (6.01 cubic meters) in 2015. We also achieved our paper consumption goal: we decreased to 3,241 sheets per employee in 2015.
Our EMS programs keep our employees involved in environmental management and help them understand how environment relates to home and work, in the office and on projects. Regular external audits from our certifying bodies confirm certification. Additionally, we are audited by other external parties, such as Achilles Verify, who provide confirmation of our system’s performance on behalf of our utility sector customers. In our most recent audit performance from Achilles Verify, we achieved a score of 100 percent.
We continue to measure and report on environmental and sustainability measures, including reporting to our clients to help them better understand their own supply chain sustainability. In 2015, we supported the Environment Agency in its supply chain sustainability analysis program, using Trucost's data collection portal. CH2M has also participated in the Corporate Assessment of Environmental, Social and Economic Responsibility (CAESER), a system used by the UK government. CH2M was required to use the CAESER online self-assessment, designed to measure sustainability performance, by providing details of our approaches to the main themes of environmental, socioeconomic, equality, and diversity. On completion of the self-assessment, ratings were awarded to highlight areas of risk and opportunity. CH2M will continue to report when required, using the CAESER tool; the results will feed into our program.
Our Asia-Pacific region has ISO 14001-certified programs in Australia and Hong Kong, as shown on the management systems map.
Our Hong Kong business operations have held ISO 14001 certification since 2007 for our consulting, engineering design, planning, and project management services. Projects continued to be delivered in accordance with ISO 14001, as verified by internal audits and the annual external third-party surveillance audit.
The Hong Kong EMS sets goals to reduce the carbon footprints from both office and project operations. Environmentally friendly measures have been implemented, including use of motion-sensor-controlled lighting after office hours to reduce energy wastage, and an electronic documentation system to reduce paper use, reuse paper, and recycle paper. Electronic waste is disposed of through licensed contractors. The office also uses sustainable products: paper certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification for printing, and FSC-certified paper for business card printing. All Hong Kong projects use an environmental checklist at project kickoff to consider environmental aspects.
Middle East, North Africa, and India (MENAI) EMS
CH2M has EMS programs in four of our Middle Eastern and three Indian offices. As a result of an external assessment of our EMS programs on UAE and Qatar projects and in regional offices in late 2014, the Middle East EMS program was recommended for certification for ISO 9001 (Quality), OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety), and ISO 14001 (Environment). A third-party surveillance audit, conducted in November 2015, resulted in continuation of the certification. This proves to our clients and other parties that our management systems meet rigorous standards.
In 2015, we set EMS goals at the beginning of the year to improve performance and implement best practices across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah in the UAE; Doha in Qatar; and the India offices.
By the end of 2015, we achieved most of the goals by reducing paper consumption by 26 percent, from 30 kilograms (66 pounds) per person to 22.2 kilograms (49 pounds) per person; increasing paper recycling from 52.3 to 62 percent (an increase of 10 percent); and reducing electricity consumption from 2,671 to 2,065 kWh per person (23 percent reduction).
2016 EMS Goals:
- Use less than 22.3 kilograms (49 pounds) of paper per employee
- Purchase 20 percent of all paper with recycled content
- Increase volume of paper recycled by 5 percent as compared to 2015 levels
- Achieve electricity consumption at a level of less than 2,065 kWh per employee
On average, 3.8 percent of our paper had recycled content for 2015. This decrease of 25 percent over 2014 is because the local market lacks good-quality paper made from recycled content. However, the majority of the virgin paper purchased across the Middle East is FSC certified. The Middle East offices also recycled 17,793 kilograms (39,227 pounds) of paper and 799 printer cartridges, in addition to recycling cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass.
We established new goals for 2016 to improve our environmental performance and seek continuous improvement. We are seeking to stabilize paper consumption, increase purchase of paper with recycled content, increase our paper recycling, and decrease electricity consumption at our offices in UAE, Oman, Qatar, and India.
Australia holds external ISO 14001 certifications for CH2M Australia (since 2007), CH2M HILL Australia Constructors Pty, Ltd. (since 2010), and Halcrow Pacific (in 2015). The system addresses the environmental management requirements for offices and projects, with implementation of environmental requirements achieved through the project delivery system. The Australian EMS implements policies to manage business efforts to reduce and recycle paper; manage electronic waste; and reduce energy use and carbon emissions, including both internal and project business travel. Through 2015, the triennial recertification audits reconfirmed compliance.
The Australia EMS office program continued to recycle batteries, mobile phones, and fluorescent light tubes; minimize energy consumption; and make responsible paper purchases. Similar initiatives are in place on established project sites. Project HSE plans address environmental aspects and impacts relevant to the work.
Latin America EMS
Our Latin America region began work on its EMS in 2012 and successfully launched the program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. In the same year, the office received an external ISO 14001:2004 certification, confirming the success of its waste recycling program, which includes electronic devices, plastic, paper, glass, and printer toners. Through 2014, external surveillance audits reconfirmed compliance.
In 2014, the Latin America EMS continued an aggressive rollout in the rest of the region, achieving external ISO 14001:2004 certification in Campana, Argentina; Bahía Blanca, Argentina; and Mexico City, Mexico. At the end of 2014, Buenos Aires achieved the safety certification for OHSAS 18001. During 2015, our Campana, Bahía Blanca, and Mexico City offices became compliant with regional certification.
In 2015, the Latin America EMS focused on office activities and environmentally responsible delivery of projects, such as:
- We included environmental aspects of design in our training plans as a step forward in the scope of our EMS. In our first stage of implementation, we focused only on office activities; we have included project delivery in the second phase, starting in Argentina and Mexico.
- In 2015, the Mexico City area office green team launched a campaign to eliminate plastic water bottles. Water purifying systems were installed to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottled water and 5-gallon water cooler dispensers, which also provided economic savings compared to traditional alternatives. Disposable plastic cups were replaced with glass and ceramic cups in the office break and meeting rooms. Using the slogan “small steps that change the world,” staff members were engaged through an educational campaign and awarded reusable biodegradable water bottles. Since the implementation of this program, the Mexico City area office has avoided the purchase and ultimate disposal of over 6,000 plastic water cooler dispensers and 4,800 plastic single-use bottles. Education and outreach continues to reinforce the local commitment to the success of this program.
- We supported the work of the Discar Foundation in Argentina, which provides programs to help the disabled collect toners and printer cartridges for recycling (sponsored by MT Corporate recycling company).
- We featured articles about sustainability and the environment in regular newsletters and posters to raise awareness.
- We shared our EMS evaluation process with an increasing number of clients from different markets, as they include EMS requirements as an important part of their evaluations.
Our Sao Paulo, Brazil, office is compliant with ISO 9001, and we are working toward launching an EMS during the first quarter of 2016.