Our commitment to worker welfare
CH2M is committed to maintaining the highest level of human dignity on any project we touch.
CH2M’s ability to help deliver major infrastructure programs relies on the construction workers who make our clients’ visions a reality. On some projects, there are no local laborers available so non-native workers must be recruited into the country. These people often endure great hardship to both secure and perform their jobs. CH2M does not recruit or employ construction workers in the Middle East and rarely elsewhere. However, in our role as program manager and engineering consultants, we exert our influence by advising clients on how to meet international labor standards and by collaborating with key stakeholders to improve conditions for workers.
CH2M strives to lay the foundation for human progress in the face of the world’s most complex challenges. Expanding upon our world-class health and safety culture, we recognize we have a role to play in improving conditions for workers on any project we touch. Thus, we are working to effect systemic change on this issue.
Actions we have taken include:
Policy: CH2M engaged a world-renowned fair labor expert, Verité, to help develop a global Worker Welfare Policy. This policy applies to CH2M operations and suppliers. We also provide the policy to clients and partners to guide their worker welfare best practices.
Toolkit: Verité further assisted CH2M in developing a toolkit of practical resources for implementing the new policy, including detailed worker accommodation standards, prequalification questionnaires, auditing checklists and key performance indicators.
Screening: We are incorporating comprehensive worker welfare screening questions into our supplier prequalification process. CH2M has relationships with over 30,000 suppliers, adding hundreds of new companies each month. As part of this improved process, every new supplier must complete the worker welfare questionnaire in order to do business with CH2M.
- Business – We cannot solve this problem alone. Systemic change must occur at an industry-level and thus, we openly share our policy, toolkit and best practices with our peer companies. CH2M is also working with a leading supply chain monitoring firm to help develop a new tool that incorporates fair labor metrics into the due diligence process.
- Clients – CH2M strives to provide our clients with best practices in worker welfare based on international labor standards. We regularly share our knowledge and experience to help drive positive change to improve the conditions of construction workers.
- Non-Governmental Organizations – CH2M engages with leading human rights organizations to stay abreast of best practices and share our progress. These relationships have led to new partnerships and enhanced employee education.
- Government – CH2M engages with U.S. and foreign government officials to discuss challenges related to worker welfare. We believe that governments should fully enforce and enhance labor laws to improve conditions for workers.
Connectivity: CH2M signed a memorandum of understanding with ICTQatar and other major organizations operating in Qatar’s construction sector to provide access to the Internet and technology tools and training to migrant workers. This “Better Connections Program” will help improve the workers’ digital literacy and their ability to communicate with their families back home.
Awareness: In 2014, CH2M launched an internal employee education campaign aimed at informing staff of worker welfare challenges and what to do if abuses are observed. This includes regular news stories, visuals, targeted trainings and incorporation into CH2M’s annual ethics training, which reaches all 26,000 employees worldwide.