- A Sustainable Future
- Letter from the CEO
- Sustainability Strategy
- Ethics and Business Conduct
- Human Rights
- Economic Performance
Letter from the CEO
At CH2M, we stake our reputation and market leadership on delivering sustainable, socially inclusive solutions via engineering, program and project management addressing the most significant challenges in the infrastructure sector. Never before have the livelihoods of so many changed by such measures as we’re seeing in this decade of rising prosperity and a burgeoning, global middle class.
Global megatrends like urbanization and increasing demand for water, energy, and transportation drive unprecedented and escalating needs for infrastructure and natural resources. CH2M serves where these megatrends converge: in response to such challenges, we deliver the most sustainable and effective solutions — for the ultimate purpose of improving lives and the condition of our planet.
Our overall business strategy is explained in our 2015 Summary Annual Report, summarized in this illustration. We’re organizing around our clients, focused squarely at the intersection of the high-demand, megatrend markets we are uniquely positioned to serve. As we do this, we recognize that a foundation of ethics and integrity, corporate citizenship, and employment excellence will bring the most talented, skilled professionals to our clients’ challenges, globally and locally.
Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Strategy
I shared our sustainability vision and strategy at the Corporate Eco Forum gathering last June in my speech, The Power of AND. The Power of AND means living our passion for sustainability and corporate citizenship while maintaining our technical excellence, strengthening our business, and returning greater value to the bottom line. It would have been easy to stop halfway through that list, but the difference between being a follower and a leader is willingness to implement the Power of AND. Here’s how we use the Power of AND:
- Choosing to work with clients whose values, including safety and worker welfare, align with ours
- Reducing our carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2017, regardless of business growth or setbacks
- Committing to improve our financial performance, safety record, workforce diversity, business growth, and turnover rate
- Investing in our communities, including sustainability and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education
- Increasing our leadership and commitment in areas such as climate change and natural infrastructure
We commit to continuing to work with forward-looking clients and partners to put technology to work for our shared future.
Looking Back: Our 2015 Sustainability and Citizenship Performance
We’ve received a record number of honors and awards from our clients and the industry such as the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award and the World Environment Center’s Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development, and we’re honored to share these awards with our clients and partners. We also achieved record safety performance, were named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eighth consecutive year by Ethisphere® Institute, and were ranked in the top 5 percent of global companies for our ethics and integrity by Covalence. Last year, we delivered US$122.8 million of third-party certified sustainability solutions across our projects worldwide.
Focusing on People and Communities
We are engaged in multiple partnerships to advance sustainable communities, natural infrastructure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, such as The Nature Conservancy, Engineers without Borders (USA), Let’s Talk Science (Canada), Think Science Programme (UAE), and Bridges to Prosperity. We continue to be a significant corporate sponsor of Water For People, raising over US$2 million to increase access to safe water and adequate sanitation around the world. Working with respected governmental and nongovernmental partner organizations, we’ve worked hard to foster collaboration to advance worker welfare around the world—hosting industry roundtables, developing technology to improve working conditions, and helping connect workers with their families back home. In 2016, we’ll test a new mobile app for migrant workers on select projects in Qatar.
We believe that one of the best ways to ensure client satisfaction is to recruit, hire, and retain the best and brightest in the business, so we take our investment in our people seriously. CH2M employees received an average of 16.3 hours of training per person last year, a 39 percent increase over 2014. In our 2015 employee engagement survey, our people identified CH2M’s three key strengths: health & safety, work environment, and continuous improvement. Keeping our people safe is a high priority, evident in the continuing decrease in our recordable incident rate (9 percent), to a level 53 percent lower than the U.S. industry average. Still, we are not satisfied, and have set a goal to reduce recordables by another 10 percent in 2016.
Responding to Natural Resource Challenges
Water and energy are two of those megatrends that drive our business; they form a natural intersection with our sustainability work over the past year. Our people continued to look for creative ways to save money and conserve resources for clients, such as identifying cost-effective energy projects for the U.S. Department of Defense, with potential annual savings exceeding $23 million, nearly 1 million MBTUs of energy, and 330 million gallons of water. We saved our water and wastewater clients US$9.9 million last year, reducing fuel use by 111,000 gallons of fuel and redirecting 4,200 tons of wastewater biosolids for beneficial reuse. Pioneer Natural Resources, a large, Texas-based energy company, is using recycled water in the Permian Basin—an arid area with limited water—to reduce its reliance on fresh water sources. CH2M designed and helped install the water pipeline system that is helping Pioneer to improve its water strategy while extracting needed energy resources.
In partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and The Nature Conservancy, we launched the Natural Infrastructure for Business Guide (NI4Biz). The guide provides a roadmap—developed by business, for business—for incorporating resilient, hybrid infrastructure approaches to protect corporate assets while enhancing nature with climate-smart solutions. I invite you to check out NI4Biz and join us in building more case studies that demonstrate the value of growing economic and environmental outcomes simultaneously. Further, our award-winning work with The Nature Conservancy for the community of Howard Beach, New York, the Urban Coastal Resilience study, illustrated how to incorporate ecosystem functions and a hybrid engineering approach of grey and green infrastructure to build coastal and economic strength at the same time.
The sustainability and corporate citizenship strides we make with our partners and clients are huge, and it is critical to our integrity and culture that we take the same measures within our own walls. Last year, we stayed on track to reduce our carbon footprint 25 percent by 2017, were named a Climate Leader for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management (Goal Setting) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reduced potable water consumption on our Denver-area campus by 320,000 gallons, and advanced recycling and electronic waste disposal strategies in our offices worldwide.
Looking Ahead: Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship in 2016 and Beyond
Our clients face increasing public, regulatory, and financial pressure to improve their sustainability performance, and they call on us to help. We’re focusing on the need for resiliency as the challenges of accommodating more people, providing water supplies, and dealing with the impacts of climate change converge. And of course we’ll continue to walk the talk in our own operations, through energy and water efficiency, and integrated, lean, environmentally and socially responsible supply and value chains. We commit to transparency, setting specific measurable goals, and demonstrating results.
Recently, we became a collaborating partner with IMPACT 2030, committing to help combat the world’s most critical issues such as poverty, inequality, and climate change. IMPACT 2030 aims to convene hundreds of partner companies, mobilize private sector volunteer networks, and collaborate with stakeholders in civil society, the United Nations, government, and academia.
Finally, we’re preparing future sustainability leaders through programs like the CH2M Residential Programme (UK), which lifts up social mobility for people with economic disadvantages. By partnering with local residents in the developing world, sending employees into schools to promote STEM education, and bringing students into our offices and projects to expose them to STEM and sustainability opportunities, we hope to create positive role models for future generations.
Jacqueline C. Hinman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer