CH2M HILL Among 2009 "World's Most Ethical Companies"

DENVER, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Apr 15, 2009 -- CH2M HILL, a global full-service engineering, procurement, construction, and operations firm, announced today it has been named one of the 2009 World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. CH2M HILL earned a coveted place on the list by going beyond legal minimums, introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public and forcing its competitors to follow suit by consistently upping the ante for what it takes to be an ethical leader.

"CH2M HILL is honored to be named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies," said Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL's Chief Executive Officer. "This recognition is a testament to the values and integrity of our 25,000 employees who focus on respect for our customers, each other, and the communities we serve."

With advice such as, "Integrity is the all-important prerequisite to employment," CH2M HILL's Little Yellow Book (, written by one of the firm's co-founders, Jim Howland, continues to guide the firm's management practices and how the company operates and interacts with clients and community stakeholders. Open, two-way communication at all levels of the organization engages employee-owners in candid dialogue on how to resolve issues and improve the firm's ethics program. CH2M HILL's GuideLine provides a confidential way for employees to seek guidance or report suspected ethics violations. All employees reaffirm their commitment to uphold the firm's business conduct policy through an annual re-signing process. Internal articles highlighting ethical dilemmas, executive communications, "ethics moments" during meetings and training keep ethics at the forefront of business decisions.

"Having ethics and integrity woven into the fiber of our company and communicated at all levels of the organization makes everything else that we do that much easier," says Margaret McLean, CH2M HILL's Chief Legal Counsel. "CH2M HILL's strong ethics program is a differentiator for our clients in selecting us as their service provider; it also differentiates CH2M HILL in the recruitment and retention of top talent."

As employee-owners and members of the communities where the firm works, CH2M HILL employees embrace all elements of corporate citizenship. Sustainable solutions are incorporated into CH2M HILL projects and each year the firm sets more ambitious goals for reducing its internal environmental footprint through a rigorous Environmental Management System. CH2M HILL partners with strategic non-governmental organizations, including Water For People, Engineers Without Borders-USA, Engineers Week, and a host of local community organizations, to provide financial, in-kind, leadership and volunteer support to assist in providing clean water, safe infrastructure, and educational outreach.

Through a rigorous, multi-step evaluation process, Ethisphere's researchers and analysts reviewed more than 10,000 companies in order to determine the finalists.

"CH2M HILL has proven to be one of the world leaders in upholding high ethical standards, making it a true standout in its industry, especially as unethical business actions and decisions grab headlines each day," said Alex Brigham, Executive Director of the Ethisphere Institute. "The competition for this year's list was very strong and we applaud CH2M HILL for rising to the top. CH2M HILL recognizes that being ethical is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business practice and leads to more successful and profitable operations."

The methodology for the ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers; and feedback from consumer action groups. Ethisphere researchers further analyze information provided by the companies through questionnaires.

CH2M HILL is one of four engineering and constructions companies on the 2009 list of approximately 100 companies. To view the complete list, visit


Headquartered near Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, management and operations for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $6.4 billion in revenue and more than 25,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2008). The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of energy, water, transportation, environmental, nuclear and industrial facilities. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For (2009). Visit

About Ethisphere Institute

The research-based Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. The Institute's associated membership group, the Ethisphere Council, is a forum for business ethics that includes more than 200 leading corporations, universities and institutions. The Ethisphere Council is dedicated to the development and advancement of individuals on its membership council through increased efficiency, innovation, tools, mentoring, advice, and unique career opportunities. Ethisphere Magazine, which publishes the globally recognized World's Most Ethical Companies Ranking™, is the quarterly publication of the Institute. More information on the Ethisphere Institute, including ranking projects and membership, can be found at

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Review Article
  • We're In Big Trouble May 29, 2009
    Reviewed by 'Get Real'
    CH2M touts that it is against corruption and conflict of interests, but when it happens in its own backyard, it's a whole different story. Here are just two examples:
    (1) Robert Card served as the US Department of Energy Undersecretary under GWB. In this position, Card maintained financial and personal ties to CH2M while overseeing its work as DOE Undersecretary. "Questions Raised Over Energy Dept. Official's Industry Ties," 6/6/02, NY Times. After protest by Senator Reid, Card resigned his position as DOE Undersecretary and immediately returned to CH2M as a board member and executive. Id.
    (2) Especially disturbing is what happened to Colorado resident Tom Huntsinger and his family. When Tom Huntsinger, a long time CH2M employee and executive vice-president of CH2M, directed his staff in the Transportation Group of CH2M to withdraw its interest in a large Colorado transportation project due to a potential conflict of interest, CH2M proceeded to terminate Huntsinger's employment and blackball his career to the point where Huntsinger took his life. See Huntsinger v. E-470 Board of Directors, US Court of Appeals, D.C. No. 99-S-260. Ralph Peterson, CH2M's CEO and Chairman, was aware of the situation, although he attempted to deny any knowledge (but that didn't fly), and volleyed the responsibility for Huntsinger's removal and retaliatioin against him to CH2M legal counsel. Id. All the while, Peterson continues to position himself as a leader in anti-corruption efforts globally. Id.; See also 1 . Because of Colorado's high threshold for outrageous conduct, CH2M's actions were not found to be illegal by a Colorado court; however, leaders in the engineering industry found CH2M's actions to be highly unethical. Id.
    It appears when it comes to winning work to feed the CH2M Hill corporate machine, CH2M Hill either simply doesn't know what a conflict of interest is or denies that a potential conflict of interest exists, and to the point of leaving dead bodies behind (as in Tom Huntsinger).

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