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What guides us

Our success is built on trust - our clients, teammates and the people our projects affect need us to be a responsible partner who minimizes risks.

We rely on principles that we believe are the right way to do business and also define how we want to live and work.

History highlights

1946CH2M Founded

Determined to tackle important problems with technology, creativity and ingenuity, three Oregon state College graduates - Holly Cornell, Jim Howland, and Burke Hayes - joined up with their enthusiastic civil engineering professor, Fred Merryfield, to found CH2M in Corvallis, Oregon. Their educations and their service during World War II had taught them the value of honesty, integrity, hard work and giving back to their communities. These principles guided their new company from the start.

Exactly when or why is a mystery, but at some point early on, the name of the firm evolved from "Cornell, Howland, Hayes & Merryfield" to a shorter version based on the founders' initials: CH2M.

The drive to create new solutions for hard challenges led CH2M to open our own materials testing laboratory in the carport of the Corvallis engineering office. What started in that carport is now the CH2M Applied Sciences Laboratory (ASL), an internationally accredited environmental testing and treatability research center with a staff of more than 30 chemists, biologists, scientists and support personnel.

ASL gives us expert real-world analytical, applied research and consulting help for CH2M projects all over the world, and it provides testing and research services directly to public and private clients.

CH2M was called in to help when the South Lake Tahoe (California, U.S.) Public Utility's wastewater treatment system couldn't keep up with population growth. Using a range of technology and process innovations we developed, CH2M helped Lake Tahoe design and build the world's first treatment system designed to clean wastewater to near drinking water standards.

This pioneering project became a model for many tertiary advanced wastewater treatment facilities that followed all around the world.

As our partnerships with water and wastewater clients expanded, we saw that they needed help operating and maintaining their systems. To meet that need, we created Operations Management International, Inc. (OMI). The business expanded quickly, providing public works and facilities management to local governments and private-sector clients.

Now a fully integrated part of the CH2M family with over 2,500 experienced team members, the operations management group partners with more than 200 clients around the world managing facilities and consulting on asset management, facility optimization and workforce development to drive business results.

We launched the CH2M Foundation to honor the firm's four founders and their dedication to the well-being of people and communities. In its first decade, the Foundation invested more than USD $2 million in college and university programs in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

In 2013, the Foundation got a reboot with a fresh, relevant mission to promote sustainable communities and CH2M volunteer efforts, along with STEM education. Over the next year, the Foundation doubled its giving, expanded its reach further around the world and developed new opportunities for our employees to volunteer their skills and creativity to build lasting, life-sustaining infrastructure in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

As the managing partner of Kaiser-Hill, LLC, we were awarded the opportunity to decommission a vast former nuclear weapons plant in Rocky Flats, Colorado, U.S. - no one had ever dismantled a nuclear facility like this before.

Over the next ten years, we pioneered a series of methods and processes to clean up and dispose of more than 20 metric tons of fissile and nuclear materials, as well as more than 800 contaminated buildings. We finished over a decade ahead of schedule and billions of dollars under the initial cost estimates, but the end result was even better: most of Rocky Flats is now a wildlife refuge.

The lessons we learned at Rocky Flats formed the basis of our global nuclear business and cemented our reputation for excellence in complex program management.

Environmental engineering and stewardship has been central to our work since we began, but in 2005, we made our commitment stronger. CH2M was the first company in our industry to create an Environmental Management System (EMS) that follows ISO 14001 guidelines and among the first to publish a Sustainability Report, both in 2005.

The EMS is a big part of how we live our promise. It encompasses people, procedures and work practices to improve our environmental performance. Our teammates evaluate our progress against measurable goals and drive continual improvement. We report on our performance in our annual Sustainability Report and publishing it is one part of our participation in the United Nations Global Compact.


CH2M Foundation

To extend the positive impact we make on the well-being of people beyond our client projects, we turn to the CH2M Foundation. The Foundation supports the volunteer service of passionate and skilled CH2M teammates with critical funding to promote sustainable communities and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Community service is core to who we are and how we serve the communities where we live and work.
Launch Foundation microsite

Company facts

$5.2 Billion in revenue
10,000 Communities impacted
50+ Countries we work in
9 Years as one of the world's most ethical companies

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