Ethics and business conduct

Little Yellow Book

9th consecutive year

recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as a World’s Most Ethical Company®

"World's Most Ethical Companies" and "Ethisphere" names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC.


Our values

  • We are respectful
  • We are collaborative
  • We are entrepreneurial
  • We are compassionate
  • We are positive

CH2M’s unwavering commitment to ethics, integrity and corporate responsibility dates back to the firm’s founding, as articulated in the Little Yellow Book by cofounder Jim Howland. An affirmation of the firm’s core values, CH2M has published the Little Yellow Book in English, Arabic, French, German, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

CH2M’s Employee Ethics & Business Conduct Principles serve as an employee code of conduct aligned with the simple and enduring philosophies outlined in the Little Yellow Book, providing values-based guidance about the behaviors expected of all employees.

In addition, CH2M’s Anticorruption Compliance Guidance brochure educates employees about compliance protocols to avoid corruption, while our Supply Chain Ethics & Business Conduct Principles and Supplement for U.S. Government Work detail requirements for our suppliers, subcontractors and business partners.

Employee reporting and communications

We exercise vigilance and transparency, empowering employees to make ethical decisions and report concerns without fear of retribution. Among a variety of training programs and reporting tools, employees and supply chain partners can use The GuideLine to seek confidential guidance, discuss concerns or report potential violations of laws or policies. Where allowed by law, individuals may report such issues anonymously.

In 2016, we received a slightly lower number of GuideLine contacts (174) than the rolling 5‑year average of 233 contacts. Contacts are categorized by concern, such as ethics and integrity, accounting and fraud, human resources, safety and security. We saw more reports related to human resources than any other category (this includes bullying, discrimination, retaliation and workforce violence). Of the GuideLine contacts resolved during the year, which included concerns submitted before 2016, 35 percent were found to be substantiated. In addition, 36 requests for advice were tracked and answered via The GuideLine in 2016. A majority of the reports received in 2016 related to human resources issues. CH2M’s Ethics and Compliance and Human Resources teams meet regularly to review the reports, status of investigations and lessons learned to assist employees in making sound decisions.

CH2M introduced a new, standalone nonretaliation policy in 2016 to promote and maintain a work environment free from all forms of retaliation. The policy briefly explains prohibited retaliatory behaviors and how employees and non-employees can recognize and report retaliation.

We regularly survey employees to test their knowledge and familiarity with our ethics requirements, training and methods of reporting. Our last survey indicated that over 90 percent of employees are familiar with our ethics materials and tools and believe CH2M demonstrates its serious commitment to ethics and integrity. The 2017 survey was conducted in April.

More information about our ethics program can be found here.

Anti-corruption policies and procedures

CH2M operates in more than 90 countries on five continents, where we support private and public clients including the United States and other national and local governments. Because we do business in some of the most difficult places on the planet (as rated by the global organization Transparency International), we have made our anti-corruption program a cornerstone of our Employee Ethics & Business Conduct Principles.

We educate and train our employees and supply chain partners on how to avoid corruption pitfalls that are common around the globe. Late in 2016, we partnered with the Institute of Business Ethics in the United Kingdom (UK) to provide the “Say No” app as an immediate resource to avoid corruption and reference common questions about ethics.

Because CH2M sometimes works with political and government relations consultants, our Government Affairs and Legal teams carefully evaluate those engaged to perform lobbying or business development on our behalf, with a zero tolerance policy for corruption.

More details about our anti-corruption policies and procedures, government participation and lobbying activities can be found on our website.

Global leadership in ethics

To promote ethical conduct as our business imperative, CH2M also leads by participating in global industry groups, including as founding signatory of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative. We also are active in the UN Global Compact Anti-Corruption Working Group, which is tied to the 10th Principle; Ethisphere’s Business Ethics Leadership Alliance; and the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative. As a testament to these proactive measures and ethical commitment demonstrated by our employees, the Ethisphere® Institute again named CH2M one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2016, marking our ninth consecutive year on the list.

Since 2012, CH2M has qualified for inclusion in the Covalence global ethics and reputation analysis service. Using six major international treaties as its framework — including the UN Global Compact and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational EnterprisesCovalence applies 45 criteria to track ethical performance among more than 500 of the world’s largest companies. In 2016, Covalence ranked CH2M in the top 2 percent of global companies for ethics and integrity. The firm ended the year ranked No. 10 overall of 581 companies surveyed and No. 1 of 31 firms reviewed in the construction and materials sector.

2017 Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Report