CH2M HILL was one of the first engineering and construction companies to publish a sustainability report in 2005. Every year since, we have continued this tradition to be transparent in reporting on internal operations related to sustainability.

By: Brandy Wilson, CH2M HILL Enterprise Sustainability Program Manager

With a portfolio of projects and 28,000 people scattered around the globe, CH2M HILL recognizes the significant impact we have on our world. Named a leader in sustainable consulting by Verdantix (an independent analyst firm), we have worked hard to create a culture that embraces sustainability, both in how we operate and run our firm, as well as the sustainable solutions we offer our clients.

Each year, we evaluate our environmental, social, and economic programs to benchmark the progress we are making towards a more sustainable world. Our 2013 Sustainability Report is reflective of this commitment and how far we have come over the years.

One of the major initiatives in 2013 was renovating our corporate headquarters in Denver, Colorado. With dual flush toilets in restrooms and water and energy-saving appliances in employee break rooms and kitchen areas, CH2M HILL is practicing what we preach to our clients on ways to cut down energy and water consumption. Additionally, we eliminated bottled water from our vending machines and no longer serve bottled water at meetings hosted in our offices.

Across the pond, we recorded water consumption data at 20 of our 21 offices located in the United Kingdom, and between 2011 and 2012, consumption decreased by nearly 20% (1.215 million gallons/ 4,600 cubic meters ).

Recycling and re-use efforts contributed significantly to our report. By the numbers, 70,169 pounds of e-waste, 3,436 pounds of batteries, and 6,500 writing instruments were recycled throughout our operations, and we purchased $557,000 of recycled- content office products or 38% of our total office supplies.

We recognize that our clients expect us to provide innovative, cost effective and comprehensive solutions and technologies that will help them become stronger environmental stewards. In 2012 CH2M HILL set a target to engage 20% of our operation management clients in discussions regarding water stewardship improvement opportunities, and this year, we surpassed our goal reaching more than 25%.

Beyond tracking water metrics, CH2M HILL’s employees actively contribute to engaging global communities in dialogue, learning, and collaborative problem-solving on the water issues facing our world. We invest our professional expertise, volunteer time, and financial resources in organizations and events such as Water For People, World Water Monitoring Challenge™ (WWMC), Engineers Without Borders USA, and WaterAid. Elise Speranza, CH2M HILL’s Executive Sponsor for Sustainability, President of the Operations and Maintenance Business Group recently completed her term as Board Chair for Water For People and CH2M HILL’s annual giving fund raised nearly US$ 263,000 in 2012, contributing to the almost US$ 1.5 million raised since the fund started in 2003.

Since our first sustainability report, we have made significant progress. However, the world is reaching a critical juncture, with aging infrastructure in need of repair, increasingly scarce natural resources, mounting pressure to do more with less, and greater demands for energy, water, and food. CH2M HILL is committed to facing these challenges and looking for innovative ways to make our world more sustainable. Sustainability is about way more than just being a good corporate citizen. It’s about mitigating risks and helping clients, communities, and organizations develop business practices that save money, utilize resources more effectively, support economic growth and make the world a better place to live now and for future generations to come.

Brandy Wilson, LEED AP O+M, embraces environmental stewardship and knows, firsthand, that there’s an art to sustainability. Since joining the firm 17 years ago, Brandy has been instrumental in the adoption of sustainability practices in daily operations. She serves as the Enterprise Sustainability Program Manager and directs the production of the company’s annual Sustainability Report. Brandy provides sustainability framework consulting and environmental communication services for CH2M HILL clients.