A Strong Foundation for a Sustainable Future
The CH2M Foundation partners with organizations in our operating countries to develop sustainable communities and inspire the next generation of STEM talent. We focus our support on sustainable communities; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; and employee engagement.
CH2M launched its corporate foundation in 1992 to honor the firm’s founders–Holly Cornell, Burke Hayes, Jim Howland and Fred Merryfield– (pictured above) and support their legacy of strengthening communities through engineering excellence and community engagement.
For more than a decade, the CH2M Foundation helped further academic excellence in engineering and technology by investing more than US$2 million in college and university programs. In 2006, the Foundation kicked off a grant program to benefit Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB) to support CH2M’s commitment to attracting, developing and retaining top talent in the industry. Today, the CH2M Foundation is a robust philanthropic organization with an expanded global scope and a focus on three strategic areas of giving: building sustainable communities; science, technology, engineering and math education; and employee engagement. Its Board of Directors and staff are comprised of employees from all over the world to provide the professional guidance and direction expected of CH2M’s 25,000 employees.
CH2M Foundation: investing in our values
In 2016, the CH2M Foundation awarded $1 million supporting our strategic partners in promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and building sustainable communities.
“I’m continually inspired by our employees,” says CH2M’s Foundation Executive Director Ellen Sandberg. “Our company’s core values and employees’ passionate engagement are central to our success.”
Governed by an employee board, our award-winning Foundation makes significant impacts delivering greater social, environmental and economic benefits around the world.
Inspiring, educating and mentoring to promote STEM education
- Dow-CH2M Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers: A partnership with the Dow Foundation to send 34 teachers to the Smithsonian’s six-day academy, heightening their ability to inspire and enlighten students in STEM education.
- Summer Engineering Residential Programme: Working with the Social Mobility Foundation to introduce high school students to engineering through hands-on activities, coaching and visits to London’s most iconic infrastructure projects.
- Green Infrastructure and STEM Education Pilot Project: Working with The Nature Conservancy at W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia to design and construct a green stormwater project, which received the US2020 STEM Mentoring Award for Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships.
- STEM Partnerships Program, Denver School of Science and Technology: Provided funding to ensure DSST’s graduates persist and succeed in higher education STEM fields of study through special partnerships with universities and colleges, internship programs and STEM career events.
- Girls Inc. of Metro Denver: Funded the five-year Eureka! STEM program for middle and high school girls, including a four-week summer program; a Transportation Engineering Week by our Denver Women’s Network; an internship; and a travel-abroad experience.
- Let’s Talk Science Challenge: Supported the Canada-wide program for 3,300 middle school students to engage in team-based study and science competitions with employees serving as judges and mentors. Also worked with Chevron and Shell to support STEM education in remote British Columbia schools.
- Think Science Expo, Emirates Foundation: Sponsored the “Think Science” Expo where 3,000+ Emirati high school and university students experience the wonders of science by learning to design, develop and build science-based innovations, apply science skills in solving practical problems and learn directly from CH2M employee volunteers about the role STEM education plays in the world’s infrastructure.
- Polish Children’s Fund, STEM Workshops: Supported underserved, gifted high school students with a math workshop as well as an innovation workshop in 2017
“Our people make a difference through their daily work,” says CH2M Foundation Board President Patrick O’Keefe. “The CH2M Foundation reinforces its commitment by focusing on the communities we serve.”
CH2M also granted funds to strategic partners promoting lasting, life-sustaining infrastructure, working with communities to build and maintain their water and transportation projects.
Building sustainable communities
- Bridges to Prosperity: Funded employee-volunteers to build bridges in Nicaragua and Rwanda. Since 2014, 56 employees have built seven footbridges in Panama, Nicaragua, Rwanda, the Philippines and East Timor, providing safe passage across dangerous rivers, enabling medical and economic access and improving thousands of lives.
- Engineers Without Borders-USA: Funded a team of employee-volunteers to conduct a feasibility study of a micro-hydro dam in Guatemala and provided support for planning, monitoring, evaluating and learning. Our funding has changed the landscape of what is possible for the organization.
- WaterFor People: Awarded a grant for Nicaragua and raised $200,000+ in employee donations to support Water For People’s programs to ensure access to clean safe drinking water and sanitation.
The CH2M Foundation also provided matching funds for employee contributions to American Red Cross disaster relief in response to wildfires in Alberta, Canada and flooding in Louisiana.
CH2M has a proud history of supporting charitable causes in the communities where we live and work. In alignment with our CH2M Foundation’s mission, all charitable giving by the company and employees now aligns with the following three strategic criteria:
- A focus on STEM education and/or environmental stewardship.
- Alignment with the interests of our key clients.
- Support for organizations that share CH2M’s core values.
By implementing this strategic and focused approach to community investment, CH2M’s charitable giving achieves these objectives:
- Greater overall impact by aligning donations with our core business.
- Enhanced business relationships by investing in the shared charitable interests of our clients.
- More rigorous governance and risk mitigation of charitable giving through the use of a required workflow process.
Want to learn more about the CH2M Foundation? Contact Ellen Sandberg or Patrick O’Keefe.