CH2M Hill - Denver, CO
FACTS ABOUT: CH2M Hill - Denver, CO
Types of TDM: Time Shift, Location Shift
Keywords: Telework, Intranet, Technology, Flextime, Relocation
Employer Demographics: Located in a suburban business park, little bus service, ample parking, adjacent to a large corridor construction project.
Program: Corporate Telework and Flextime policies, “Look Before You Leave” Intranet travel site, relocation based on commute time analysis, accessibility to roadways and future alternative mode infrastructure.
Results: 17% mode shift
8% Telework and Flextime 3% transit 5% Carpool .5% bike
Cost of Program: $60,000 includes 40 hours a month of staff time, Intranet upkeep and marketing costs.
Staff: 1 FTE with limited transportation related responsibilities.
Contact: Michele Wagner, firstname.lastname@example.org
CH2M HILL is an employee owned, engineering, construction, and operations firm serving a variety of public and private clients throughout the world. CH2M HILL’s mission states, “We are a global project delivery company making technology work to help our clients build a better world.” Fulfilling this mission begins with CH2M HILL’s commitment to fostering healthy employees and leaving as light an environmental footprint as possible. An example of this commitment to the environment and employees is reflected in the firm’s transportation benefits program.
CH2M HILL has 165 offices throughout the world with both corporate headquarters and regional operations located in Denver, CO. Prior to 2002, CH2M HILL’s corporate and regional employees were scattered in four locations throughout Denver. CH2M HILL’s executive leadership team decided to relocate employees to one campus-style office park. Prior to choosing the location of the new corporate and regional Denver offices, the leadership team plotted where employees lived and made relocation decisions based upon accessibility. After careful consideration, CH2M HILL chose an area south of Denver, along the I-25 corridor. The Meridian International Business Center, located less than 20 miles south of Denver and 30 miles north of Colorado Springs, boasts easy access to multiple east-west and north-south highways. The campus is in a traditional suburban business park setting featuring ample parking and sparse bus service.
Roadway convenience and employee residential locations were not the only factors driving CH2M HILL to re-locate to Meridian. In 2001, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the local Regional Transportation District (RTD) began to move forward with plans for a massive corridor-wide roadway expansion and light rail project. The corridor construction project, entitled Transportation Expansion or T-REX, included plans for a Denver light rail system with a station near CH2M HILL’s then-anticipated campus. The Leadership Team was keenly aware of the positive opportunities for increased mass transit use by the firm’s employees as a result of this new transportation infrastructure.
Corporate TDM: Telework and Flextime
At a corporate level CH2M HILL has established an aggressive Telework and Flextime program. CH2M HILL’s Telework Program Policy views telework as a “mutually beneficial work arrangement designed to attract and retain employees and reduce company costs.” Participation in the company’s telework program is based on job suitability, suitability of the employee’s skill sets, job performance and suitability of home work site. Employees must obtain supervisory approval to participate in the firm’s Telework Program. Once approved, employees are required to complete a two-hour telework training that covers IT and ergonomic aspects of teleworking. The teleworker is responsible for defining a safe and appropriate workplace using the tools provided by the company. CH2M HILL provides specific equipment and software tools and reimburses employees for appropriate office supplies and voice and data connectivity charges. While CH2M HILL is supportive of both full-time and part-time/occasional telework arrangements, only full-time teleworkers receive financial support. The company provides in-house “hoteled offices” or carrels within the CH2M HILL office, which come equipped with phones, networking capabilities and office supplies. Employees who telework on a full-time basis can utilize these workstations if and when they are required to work from the office. CH2M HILL also recognizes the need to provide employees with work hour options.
Regional Denver Office TDM: “Look Before You Leave”
Because the culture within CH2M HILL leans toward decentralized decision-making, there is no corporate mandate to offer transportation benefits. There are offices, (such as the Seattle, Washington office), which are required by the state to provide transportation benefits. Despite the lack of such a mandate in Colorado, CH2M HILL’s Denver office initiated an innovative TDM program. As the company moved forward with office relocation plans, recruitment and retention were forefront in managers’ minds. Management recognized commute times would increase for a number of employees either by virtue of the office relocation or by the up-coming T-REX project. Either way, they did not want highly valued employees dissatisfied with working at CH2M HILL due to the impending traffic, congestion and construction. To complicate matters, transit service to the new campus was severely limited as was bike accessibility.
With support from management, an employee in the Denver office asked other co-workers to volunteer their time to assist CH2M HILL in addressing transportation related concerns. Soon the T-REX Tamers Transportation Team was formed with the intent of helping managers create new services and programs aimed at improving accessibility and mobility to, from and around office locations all of which were in the direct path of the T-REX project. Utilizing employee survey results, the T-REX Tamers were able to focus efforts down to the types of information and programs that employees would respond to the most. First, they chose a TDM program theme: “Look Before You Leave” which encourages employees to look at traffic conditions before leaving home and/or work. As employees began to “look before they left” they were presented with the information they needed to make intelligent transportation decisions, including the decision to not drive at that specific time.
The central feature of the program is a transportation Intranet featuring current traffic updates, planned closures, T-REX project information (closures, construction updates), links to Denver International Airport, subscription service to a traffic alert service provided by MyTrafficNews.com and driving directions using popular websites. Employees can also access links to Denver Metro’s transit provider (RTD), carpool and vanpool information and rideshare matching services, bike to work information and links to company telework and flextime policies. The Intranet also provides links to local businesses that provide pickup and delivery of dry cleaning, meal delivery and car maintenance services. Finally, the site offers information on learning and professional development opportunities. Employees faced with a congestion-filled commute can opt to stay and earn CH2M HILL professional development credits. A transportation fair was held to heighten awareness of the T-REX project and introduce the new tools and alternatives available to employees.
CH2M HILL evaluates success through two main efforts. First, periodic surveys are provided to employees to learn more about travel modes and commuting concerns. Second, alternative mode users are encouraged to register with Teletrips, a web-based alternative mode data gathering resource. Employees who register with Teletrips receive a weekly e-mail survey requesting information about their commute and in return receive a aggregate report on the amount of pollution they reduced, number of drive-miles avoided and an estimate of time saved by teleworking, using the bus, carpooling or vanpooling. Additionally, CH2M HILL receives a company-wide profile, which generates air pollution credits through the e-Commute program. In 2002 alone, 81 Denver campus employees reported the following results: 115,130 miles saved, 3,689 hours saved, 61,325 lbs. of carbon dioxide saved and 3,497 lbs. of carbon monoxide not created.
CH2M HILL has been successful at getting 17% of its employees out of single occupant vehicles. A little more than 8% of employees take advantage of CH2M HILL’s Telework and Flextime programs; 5% carpool; 3% take transit and .5% bike commute. Given CH2M HILL’s remote location, lack of bus service and the on-going construction project, a 17% mode shift is a solid start. Furthermore, the light rail segment of the T-REX project includes a stop near the Meridian International Business Center. CH2M HILL provides solid stepping-stones to assist in further employee transit usage.