In our commitment to maintain the highest levels of health, safety and well-being in our work, we prioritize protecting the welfare of workers. Wherever we advise or manage projects, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy for human trafficking, child labor and forced labor. As program manager and engineering consultant on projects around the world, CH2M generally does not engage in construction work or employ construction labor. However, we hold project subcontractors and partners to the highest worker welfare standards, and we lead our industry in defining measures for clients and project supply chains to ensure fair and safe labor conditions for migrant workers. In these efforts, we worked with fair labor expert Verité to develop and implement a Worker Welfare Policy championed by our chairman and CEO and our board of directors, to expand our corporate citizenship scope to include worker welfare.
Our Worker Welfare Policy – including the UK Modern Slavery Act – is included in our mandated annual ethics training for all global employees, and we empower employees at all levels to seek guidance or report concerns on human rights, either directly or through our confidential hotline, without fear of retaliation. Upon joining CH2M, new employees receive the Employee Ethics & Business Conduct Principles, which include expectations on fair labor practices, human trafficking and other ethical principles. Furthering our expectations on human rights and fair labor practices, we distribute Supply Chain Ethics & Business Conduct Principles to our suppliers as a companion document to our Employee Ethics & Business Conduct Principles. In 2016 we advanced progress on human rights and worker welfare issues in our industry through the following activities:
- Screening suppliers: Applied new supplier screening procedures, including social criteria, to screen 100 percent of our new suppliers, aligned with our Worker Welfare Policy.
- Technology advancement: Successfully piloted a new mobile app to equip more than 100 workers on a major client project in the Middle East with technology to identify worker welfare concerns. Developing and applying the app further in 2017, with the goal of industry-wide adoption.
- Industry collaboration: Hosted a series of high-level roundtables to promote collaboration on human rights issues in partnership with the Institute for Human Rights and Business. Led founding of Building Responsibly, a new industry group of major engineering and construction firms that will work to protect the rights and welfare of workers.
- Public policy engagement: Strategized with government officials in the United States, UK and Middle East on ways to improve the conditions of migrant workers in the construction sector.
- Benchmarking: Sharing experiences and insights at international forums focused on ethical supply chain management and worker welfare, including an educational roundtable hosted with Verité for industry peers focused on the latest Federal Acquisition Regulation for Combating Trafficking in Persons, required for U.S. government contractors.