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Our employees infuse CH2M with sustainability-inspired principles, knowledge, technologies, tools and methods needed to achieve better management of our company and better long-term solutions for our clients.

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Reinforced by our history of environmental services and invigorated by our employees’ passion, we take our environmental responsibility seriously. We believe it is not only is the right thing to do, but also sets us apart in the marketplace. With our EMS we monitor resource use such as water, paper and energy and track waste reduction and our carbon footprint.

CH2M’s environmental performance is managed, monitored and improved through formal EMS programs guided by ISO 14001:2004. Most employees work in offices with EMS programs.

Safety and Environmental Management Systems

Most of our environmental aspects and impacts are managed locally in accordance with local regulations and opportunities. Select programs, like the carbon emissions inventory, are managed at a corporate level. Throughout the world, environmental regulatory compliance is addressed by our firmwide HSE team.

United States and Canada

2017 EMS goals:
North America offices

Internal CH2M footprint

  • Eliminate single-use disposable plastic by the end of 2018
  • Reduce electricity consumption at company headquarters by 850 MWh by 2018, compared to 2016
  • Reduce CH2M's Scopes 1 and 2 carbon footprint by 25 percent compared to our 2012 baseline by the end of 2017*

* We have made this commitment to reduce our absolute GHG footprint globally.

The ISO-14001 conformant EMS for the United States and Canada, in place since 2005, manages our environmental footprint in North American offices, including our corporate headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Using a framework of continual improvement, we set goals, track and record progress and evaluate performance to manage our impacts.

In 2016, we surpassed our paper reduction goal by 26 percent and achieved an all-time low in paper consumption. Our headquarters made strides towards reducing electricity consumption by taking the first steps towards implementing a demand response program. Last year we also set an aggressive goal of removing all single-use disposable plastic from our offices by 2018. We rolled out our strategy, analyzed our current single-use purchase trends and evaluated durable goods gaps in our kitchens. To promote potable water use and reduce purchase of single-use plastic bottles, we asked employees to pledge to “tap in” and commit to drinking tap water.

In our Operations Management sustainability program, we continued supporting client projects in reducing fuel and energy consumption. Our 2016 goals included reducing fuel consumption by 20,000 gallons and energy consumption by 5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) on behalf of our clients. We surpassed these goals, achieving a fuel reduction of 57,800 gallons and an energy reduction of an estimated 10.8 million kWh.


2017 EMS goals:
Europe offices

  • Continue reducing carbon emissions for office activities through energy-saving opportunities where economically viable
  • Maintain paper consumption at less than 3,500 sheets per employee per year
  • Reduce water use to less than 6.4 cubic meters per employee per year (following industry and government good practice benchmarks)
  • Reduce waste and increase office recycling
  • Where electricity is procured directly by CH2M and within our control, procure electricity from a supply backed by the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin
  • Review use of lease and hire vehicles, including vehicle selection criteria, with respect to CO2 emissions and miles per gallon
  • Sponsor a graduate development project with a sustainability theme

The Europe EMS sets goals to decrease impacts, maintain performance below recognized benchmarks and improve understanding of our environmental impacts so we can set future reduction targets. We have ISO 14001-certified EMS programs in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Italy and Romania. The EMS footprint has grown, and in 2016 we added ISO 14001 certification for our Global Design Production Center in Krakow, Poland.

Our EMS programs are developed around office activities and environmentally responsible delivery of projects. All European offices now report on environmental impacts associated with their office activities and business travel, and our data accuracy continues to improve.

In the UK, CH2M continues to focus on changes needed for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations 2014. Large businesses are required to undertake ESOS assessments every 4 years. CH2M’s UK operations qualified as a large undertaking on December 31, 2014 and complied with the ESOS requirements for the first compliance period from July 17, 2014, to December 5, 2015.

Our ESOS assessment was incorporated into the UK sustainability program in 2016. Although participants are not required to implement the identified energy-saving opportunities, we have begun tracking them as part of our continual improvement and active management of energy use across our UK business.

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, which confirm our system’s performance on behalf of our utility sector customers. In our most recent audit performance from Achilles Verify, we continued to achieve a score of 100 percent.

We continue to measure and report on environmental and sustainability measures, including reporting to our clients to help them understand their own supply chain sustainability. In 2016, we again supported the Environment Agency in its supply chain sustainability analysis program, using Trucost's data collection tool. We also participate in the Corporate Assessment of Environmental, Social and Economic Responsibility, a system used by the UK government. This online self-assessment measures sustainability performance in the areas of environment, socioeconomics, equality and diversity. CH2M will continue to use this self-assessment when required to do so; the results feed into our EMS program.

Latin America

Latin America’s EMS began in early 2012 and launched the first ISO 14001-certified program in Buenos Aires in 2013. The program has since expanded to include external ISO 14001:2004 certification in Campana, Argentina; Bahia Blanca, Argentina; and Mexico City. External surveillance audits reconfirmed compliance. The Sao Paulo, Brazil office is ISO 9001 certified and compliant with OHSAS 18001. In 2016, the Latin America EMS focused on office activities and environmentally responsible delivery of projects, such as:

  • Included environmental aspects of design in our training plans. 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.
  • Worked with the DISCAR Foundation in Argentina and the MT Corporate recycling company to provide programs for the disabled to collect recyclable toners and printer cartridges.
  • Featured articles about sustainability and the environment in newsletters and posters.
  • Shared our EMS evaluation process with more clients that are including EMS requirements as an important part of their evaluations.

Middle East, North Africa and India (MENAI)

2017 EMS goals:
MENAI offices

  • Reduce paper consumption by 3 percent per employee as compared to 2016 levels
  • Achieve 5 percent of all purchased paper as recycled content
  • Increase volume of paper recycled by 3 percent as compared to 2016 levels
  • Reduce electricity consumption by 3 percent per employee as compared to 2016 levels

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 United Arab Emirates (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). In 2015, a third-party surveillance audit resulted in continued certification.

In 2016, we set the following goals to improve performance and implement best practices across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE; Doha in Qatar; and the India offices:

  • Use less than 22.3 kilograms 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
  • Achieve electricity consumption at a level of less than 2,065 kWh per employee

By the end of 2016, we achieved one of the goals by increasing paper recycling from 62 to 78.5 percent (an increase of 16.5 percent). The paper and electricity consumption goals were not achieved. Paper consumption increased by 0.9 percent, from 22.2 to 23.1 kilograms per person. Electricity consumption increased by 14 percent, from 2,065 to 2,399 Kwh per person. On average, 1 percent of our paper had recycled content (only in Doha, Qatar). Most MENAI offices have difficulty identifying a supplier for recycled paper because the local market lacks high-quality paper with recycled content. However, the majority of the virgin paper purchased across the Middle East is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

We established new goals for 2017 to improve our environmental performance: stabilizing paper consumption, increasing purchase of paper with recycled content, increasing our paper recycling and decreasing electricity consumption in UAE, Qatar and India.

2017 Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Report