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2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
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2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

It's all about the Power of We.

When tackling society’s intractable problems, we accomplish far more together than we ever do alone. In ICF’s experience, it’s the Power of We.

Game-changing innovations emerge from the ingenuity of ICF’s scientists, business analysts, policy specialists, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists, and creatives. Combining our skills and resources with those of our partners—clients, suppliers, and nonprofits—makes possible even greater achievements.

Letter From the CEO
About ICF
Our Employees
Our Planet
Our Communities
Our Clients and Stakeholders
About This Report

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power of we

The Power of We

As I looked back at our Earth from the orbital perspective, I saw a world where natural and human-defined boundaries shrank...I imagined a world where open, transparent collaborations become the engines that fuel tremendous economic growth and help us obliterate many of the problems facing our planet.


— Ron Garan, NASA Astronaut, The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles (p. 5-6). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Technology propels our collaboration. No longer bound by geography, instead we organize around a shared purpose and individual capabilities. United for a mission, ICF and our partners bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and skills to create robust solutions. Empathy is integral to our approach. While tackling big issues, we listen to our partners and enlighten ourselves about the people and places affected—widening our circle of concern. The Power of We arises from this passion to effect positive change.

 

This corporate citizenship report describes ICF’s efforts during the past year and tracks progress toward goals. Together, we make big things possible.

letter from the CEO

Letter from the CEO

Our work informs us about people, places, and situations that we might not otherwise encounter. This expands our circle of concern and further motivates us to make a positive impact—both through our business and our corporate citizenship efforts.


Sudhakar Kesavan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ICF

ICF’s work informs us about people, places, and situations that we might not otherwise encounter. This exposure motivates us to make a positive impact— through both our business and our corporate citizenship efforts.

Our expertise and resources, combined with those of our partners—clients, nonprofits, and other stakeholders—present tremendous opportunity for good. Here's what we saw in 2016: 

  1. Corporate giving increased by 17%. Our cash donations exceeded half a million dollars.
  2. ICFers’ generosity continues to inspire us all. Our employees engaged more than ever with our charity partners, volunteered thousands of hours for worthy causes, and donated nearly $50,000 through our giving campaigns.
  3. Even as we grow larger, we work to make our environmental footprint smaller. We prioritize leasing office space in buildings designed for sustainability and our Facilities team partnered with employees to minimize energy consumption in many offices.
  4. We purchased renewable energy. Guided by energy experts, we purchased renewable energy certificates—Green-e® certified and supporting renewable energy infrastructure—offsetting 100% of the electricity consumption in our U.S. offices.
  5. We advanced ICF’s climate resiliency. Our climate experts and Facilities team conducted the first ever climate and extreme weather vulnerability assessment for a professional services firm. In addition, we maintained our net-zero carbon footprint, as we have since 2006, by investing in two projects to offset our carbon emissions: One project converts landfill methane to energy, and the other generates wind-based power.

These are just a few highlights of our 2016 citizenship achievements. We continue to partner with clients and other stakeholders to make big things possible. It’s all about the power of we.

about ICF

About ICF

Selected Awards and Recognition

ICF is proud to have received numerous distinguished honors recognizing our recent efforts, including the following. Find a complete list of awards here:


  • Forbes: America’s Best Midsize Employers 2016
  • Forbes: America’s Best Management Consulting Firms 2016
  • Women in Technology: 2016 Corporate Leadership Award
  • Government Executive: 2017 Leading Brands in Government
  • PR Week: 2017 Top Independent Communications Firms
  • MarCom Awards 2016: 5 platinum awards for corporate citizenship reporting

ICF is a global consulting and technology services provider with nearly 6,000 professionals focused on making big things possible for our clients. We are business analysts, public policy experts, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists, and creatives. Since 1969, government and commercial clients have worked with ICF to overcome their toughest challenges on issues that matter to their success. ICF employees come from diverse backgrounds, but share common values, including:

  • Honesty, integrity, and mutual respect
  • A client-driven focus
  • Excellence derived from intellectual rigor, creativity, and practical experience

ICF is committed to being a good corporate citizen. Our corporate responsibility mission is to:

  • Invest in our employees
  • Serve our clients with integrity
  • Minimize our impact on the planet
  • Give back to our communities and society
  • Create long-term value for our shareholders
CSR at a glance

our employees

ICF Olson employees connect in one of many casual gathering places in our Minneapolis office.

Our Employees

The power of we starts with empowering “we,” which is why we make our highly skilled employees our first priority. We strive—through leadership, resources, and training—to help employees grow and thrive.

"What a person thinks on his own, without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of others, is in the best case, paltry and monotonous.” — Albert Einstein, Article in Der Jungkaufmann, April 1952

Empowered to Express

Our internal social channel offers an unfiltered, uncensored communication hub for all employees, regardless of location. We surface gnawing issues, suggest new market approaches, and post photos of ourselves, our work, even our pets. The newsfeed reflects our culture—open, curious, receptive, and responsive.

Cultivating an Open Culture

Environments where creativity, idea generation, and collaboration thrive don’t occur naturally. That’s why ICF cultivates a culture of openness—and a powerful sense of community—by encouraging debate, collaboration, and transparency.

  • Tools and an environment for collaboration. Desktop videoconferencing, community sites, and screen sharing connect ICFers around the world. We seed collaborations through communities of practice, business development, and our mentoring program—among many other opportunities. We model free expression in our corporate communication channels and welcome contrary opinions.
ICF learning institute

  • Senior leaders. Our senior leaders share news and business strategy at all-hands meetings held at various organizational levels, including biannual company-wide meetings. These leaders report on transformational projects that improve lives and protect the environment. Our leaders also seek feedback from the ICF community. Ask Sudhakar is a series where our CEO, Sudhakar Kesavan, meets employees at their offices to hear what’s on their minds. Our President and COO, John Wasson, publishes the Straight Talk Blog and encourages candid feedback.

  • Knowledge and learning resources. ICF’s professional development program offers training through the ICF Learning Institute (thousands of courses on topics ranging from management to technology to communications and design), tuition reimbursement, support for professional certifications, and more. These resources empower employees to grow our business and their careers.
leadership opportunities ICF

Tapping Into Our Diversity

We come from different fields, different backgrounds, different perspectives, different countries. We are scientists, business analysts, policy specialists, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists, and creatives. From policy advice to program management to digital marketing, our solutions deliver deeper engagement, more confident decisions, and measurable impact.

Meritocracy Benefits Business and Employee Development

Our meritocracy supports advancement and professional development. As a result, we’re ahead of the pack when it comes to things like gender-balance in leadership teams. Of S&P 500 companies, just 14% have boards comprising 30% or more women—compared to 38% at ICF from 2014-2016. (Changes in our board membership during 2017 will be reflected in the next corporate citizenship report.) Of our five operating groups, three are led by women. Across ICF, 50% of our leaders are women. Greater gender balance of corporate leadership isn’t just good for our community; it’s good for business. Research found that companies with strong female leadership (primarily measured by women on boards) were correlated with higher return on equity than companies without, as well as a higher price-to-book ratio. Companies with fewer women on boards had more governance-related controversies than average.

benchmarks

Uniting and Engaging for a Mission

ICFers have this in common: a passion for making a positive impact on the world. This shared purpose contributes to longer tenures, which in turn make us more stable and help us retain knowledge leadership.

Our voluntary turnover rate—the rate of employees who chose to leave ICF—remains below the industry average. Senior staff remain for an average of 13 years.

ICF Around the World

ICF offices

Where We’re From: Our nearly 80 homelands represent 75% of global population: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Republic of, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Languages We Speak: We’re fluent in the mother tongue of our clients and stakeholders worldwide: English, French, Hindi, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, American Sign Language, Chinese (Mandarin), Cantonese, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Urdu, Nepali, Greek, Thai, Hungarian, Arabic, Assamese, Japanese, Faroese, Danish, Indonesian, Armenian, Kyrgyzv, Punjabi, Afrikaans, Swahili, Tagalog, Kikuyu, Dutch, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Akan, Turkish, Kazakh, Canadian French, Vietnamese, Persian, Bambara, Uzbek, Romanian, Malay, Albanian, Latin, Korean, Bosnian, Croatian, Kiswahili, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Chichewa, Bahasa Malay, Bulgarian, Galician, Bengali, Hebrew, Khmer, Burmese, Amharic, Catalan, Serbian, Finnish, Bihari, Kashmiri, Kongo, and Norwegian.

Advance Degrees We Hold: We’re experts in topics that shape our world. We hold 2200+ advanced degrees in: Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Public Policy, IT/Mathematics, Planning, Engineering, Economics, Business and Management, Human Capital/Training, Law, and more.

ICF Fairfax

Our people are drawn to environments that foster collaboration, such as where these folks gathered in ICF-Fairfax.

tuition assistance

2016 Employee Development

Feedback on performance and academic training are essential to professional growth. ICF employees benefited from both—and many employees received promotions.

Rewarding and Accommodating for Life's Journey

While our work is rewarding, most employees have additional expectations related to growth, balance, community, health, and wealth.

ICF supports our journey. Read about our benefits.

our planet

Employee Photo Contest Winner: Aneesh Jain

Our Planet

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.


Native American Proverb

Since 2006, ICF has maintained a net-zero carbon footprint. We’ve instituted policies and procedures to reduce the company’s environmental impact and set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But we can’t fulfill our commitment alone: We need help from our employees, clients, suppliers, and industry.

2016 Sustainability Recognition

Advancing Best Practices Award: Climate Change Adaption and Resilience, 2016: Climate Change Business Journal recognized ICF for building a framework to evaluate energy asset vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge, along with asset-by-asset and system-wide resilience strategies.

Consulting & Engineering: Low Carbon Energy Practice Award, 2016: Climate Change Business Journal recognized ICF for improving the Integrated Resource Planning framework to include an extensive scenario-based analysis to assess more resilient resource options.

Technology Merit Award, 2016: Environmental Business Journal recognized ICF for development of Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s Environmental Data Viewer, an interactive online planning and analysis platform for transmission expansion. The Viewer enables smarter early-stage transmission planning that considers likely environmental issues.

Understanding Our Impact

ICF is recognized internationally for our leadership in carbon accounting, greenhouse gas mitigation, climate vulnerability assessment, and resilience planning.

Our climate experts conducted the first climate and extreme weather vulnerability assessment for a professional services firm when they assessed our own climate resiliency.

After 10+ years of conducting our own greenhouse gas inventory, we thoroughly understand the impact of our operations.

 

Our greenhouse gas reduction goal and carbon-neutral status requires the commitment of our leadership and employees. Together, we aim to minimize our environmental impact by diminishing energy use at ICF facilities and reducing the impact of employee commutes and business travel.


Our Carbon Footprint

As a result of our efforts to reduce energy use, emissions generated by ICF’s facilities have decreased—even while our employee population has grown. We’ll continue to focus on reducing impacts from employee commuting and business travel. Our 2016 emissions will be reported in the next corporate responsibility report.

Each year, we inventory greenhouse gas emissions generated by our facilities, business travel, and commutes. Our strategy to reduce our footprint focuses on the three main sources of these emissions:

  • Energy that powers our facilities: 6%
  • Business-related travel: 39%
  • Fossil fuels used to drive our commutes: 55%

Read more about our approach to corporate sustainability.

Based on this information, in 2013 we set a greenhouse gas reduction goal: By 2018, we will reduce the average greenhouse gas emissions per ICF employee (including facilities, business travel, and commuting) by 10% from a 2013 baseline.

With our 2015 GHG inventory we achieved a 24.7% reduction in our intensity measure: emissions per employee. (Why report "emissions per employee"? In our fast-growing company, it's challenging to measure changes — because so many metrics are changing simultaneously. We chose to normalize or align our emissions metric with the number of employees — so our reduction goal is measured per employee.) But our efforts to reduce our emissions won’t stop. For the remaining years of our goal period, we are focusing on further decreasing our emissions per employee, and setting a new reduction target beyond 2018. We’re also exploring opportunities to implement a science-based reduction target, using methodologies recommended by the Science Based Targets Initiative. (Decrease in Scope 2 emissions due to purchase of renewable energy certificates.)

To achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goal and maintain our carbon-neutral status requires the commitment of our leadership, as well as employee participation. In the following pages, we describe our initiatives, our employees’ engagement, and the opportunities for partnership with our clients and suppliers.

emissions scope

Taking Corporate Actions

We identified a set of key initiatives to help us achieve our reduction goal. We describe some of our efforts. Read more about how we’re working to…

Supporting Renewable Energy

Guided by our renewable energy experts, ICF purchased Green-e Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset 100% of the electricity used at our offices in the United States. A REC represents the environmental benefits associated with 1 megawatt-hour of energy generated from renewable resources. Purchasing RECs helps make renewable energy projects financially competitive with traditional energy producers.

green buildings

Managing For Continuous Improvement

Environmental management systems provide practical tools to help organizations identify and control their environmental impact and continuously improve their environmental performance. ICF’s London and Birmingham, UK, offices have environmental management systems that are certified to the ISO 14001: 2004 standard (certified each year since 2012). Our Brussels office was awarded the “Eco-dynamic Company” label by Brussels-Capital Region, which recognizes excellent environmental management (certified each year since 2009).

Investing in High-Quality Greenhouse Gas Offset Projects

Since 2006, we've achieved a net-zero carbon footprint (removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we emit) by investing in projects that offset the carbon impact of our operations. In 2016, we invested in two such projects — ones that also benefit financially disadvantaged communities.

Using Landfill Gas Instead of Fossil Fuel to Power Facilities

The New River Resource Authority (NRRA) in Dublin, Virginia, owns a landfill that emitted methane, a greenhouse gas that impacts climate 25 times more than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. With the help of ICF, NRRA now captures the methane and channels it to a conversion plant where it generates electricity to power 2,600 homes each day. In addition to its environmental benefits, this project:

  • Uses generators made from retrofitted truck engines, extending their useful life
  • Provides jobs for the community
  • Is verified by the Climate Action Reserve
recycling ICF computers

Harnessing the Wind in India: Mytrah Energy

Mytrah Energy wanted to generate power from a renewable energy source. Using wind turbines, Mytrah generates electricity that is exported to the regional grid. The power produced displaces an equivalent amount of power from the grid,which is fed mainly by fossil fuel-fired power plants. The project expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,317,410 tons of CO2 during 10 years of operation.

 

Other benefits of this project include:

  • Generating capacity of 233.1 megawatts of clean energy
  • Investing in neighborhood schools for infrastructure and education support, with particular focus on supporting education of girls
  • Providing safe drinking water and sanitation for surrounding communities
  • Improving access to preventive and primary health care for surrounding communities
  • Developing training, resources, and skills for local unemployed youth and farmers

Be Mindful. Act Green

For Earth Month 2016, our Green Team challenged us to rethink how we acquire, use, and dispose of goods. The theme: Be mindful. Act green. The 5 Rs of Sustainability served as the framework for the campaign. Green Teamers engaged colleagues by hosting no-waste lunches; holding “shops” where we exchanged clothing, books, and household items; volunteering for community plantings and clean-ups; initiating a compost program; and promoting the benefits of a low-waste lifestyle.

Engaging Employees

 

Our sustainable policies and procedures alone won’t enable us to achieve our reduction goals; we need our employees’ help to reduce our footprint. Fortunately, ICFers are particularly committed to operating in a more sustainable way.

 

Green Team. Green Teams in 14 offices surveyed their facilities regarding sustainability indicators like waste disposal, lighting, water efficiency, and building services. The results highlighted opportunities for improvement and serves as a baseline for future initiatives.

 

Earth Month. Employees in ICF offices across the globe participate in Earth Month initiatives. Recent events focused on a low-waste lifestyle and making our meetings more sustainable.


bike to work

Bike to Work Day. Each year our, cycling commuters employ imaginative approaches to increase participation in Bike to Work Day. Our western U.S. offices competed with each other for the most miles biked during the entire month of May. The winner: ICF Portland. Highest participation among all offices went to Sacramento, Brussels, and Gillette—large, medium, and small offices, respectively.

 

GHG inventory. Taking inventory of our GHG emissions requires the participation of thousands of employees. We invited every ICFer to provide information about their commutes in a detailed survey and nearly 2,000 responded. Managers of our business services and operations provided data for the inventory—including teams supporting facilities management, business travel, corporate IT, accounting, and procurement. Experts in our climate, energy, and survey practices lent their proficiency in collecting and analyzing the data—and charting the path to a lower carbon future.


environmental impacts

ICF partners with clients to manage their environmental impacts. We manage our own impacts, as well — just like these folks at ICF-Sacramento celebrating Bike to Work Day.

Partnering with Stakeholders

Combining our efforts with those of our partners—clients, suppliers, and industry—makes possible even greater strides for a sustainable future. Here are some examples of how we work together.

 

Clients. We help clients understand their emission impacts, advise them on actions to reduce their emissions, and help them build resilience to climate challenges. We trained hundreds of experts in dozens of countries and in all 50 U.S. states to measure and manage carbon emissions. We also help clients reduce their impact by adding net-zero carbon to their supply chain footprint. Each year we offset our carbon emissions by investing in high-quality offset projects that remove as much carbon as our operations generate.

 

Suppliers. We work with suppliers to measure, manage, and minimize our environmental impact. Our travel management vendors provide reports of our business travel, tailored for our GHG inventory. Car rental companies know that we want fuel-efficient options. Hotel chains hoping to win our business should demonstrate sustainable measures. Computers must be registered as EPEAT Gold. Office supply vendors must include sustainable products. Our expressed preferences serve as votes for greener products and services.

 

Industry. As a member of the Professional Services Sustainability Roundtable and the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship ICF collaborates with other leading companies to establish best practices, address challenges, and advance the field of corporate sustainability. ICF partnered with NSF International and other professional services firms to develop NSF 391.1, the proposed sustainability standard for professional services. We’re a member of CDP, an organization that helps investors and companies understand their environmental impact and improve the quality of disclosures. These and other efforts help drive industry toward more sustainable practices.

Making Progress Toward Goals

Each year, ICF sets sustainability goals and informs stakeholders of our progress. We report on our environmental performance through several channels: the CDP climate change program, the CDP supply chain program, supplier questionnaires from many of our clients, and this corporate responsibility report. In 2015, we reduced emissions resulting from our facilities (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 88.2%. We achieved that reduction by taking the measures described here. Emissions from business travel and employee commuting (Scope 3), however, increased at a rate of 13.5% and represent our next opportunity to reduce our footprint. Here we describe some of the measures we’re taking to reduce Scope 3 emissions.

ICF carbon reduction goal

communities

Our Communities

Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good, put together, that overwhelm the world.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We routinely work with clients on issues that improve our world and daily lives. Beyond our 9-to-5, we’re engaged citizens who contribute our time and resources to important causes. Our employee volunteer leaders engage us in fun, meaningful, and challenging opportunities that make a positive difference.

power of collective good

Supporting Health, Education, and Social Programs

During 2016, ICF made cash contributions to a variety of health, education, social, and civic organizations totaling $328,000. The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society. were two of the beneficiaries of those donations.


cancer research

Fighting Cancer and Supporting Those Affected

In the six years since our employees selected American Cancer Society (ACS) to benefit from our corporate giving, ICF. and our employees raised $419,000. We held bake sales, chili cook-offs, pancake breakfasts, book sales, and contests of every sort—all to fight cancer, support those affected, and strive to ensure more birthdays.

Supporting Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Response, Public Safety, and Veterans


We’re dedicated to protecting and improving cherished land, air, and water resources in their most serene and most disastrous conditions. We help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies. And we support our veterans, who have devoted themselves to protecting us.


We are involved in these issues through our work, our personal service, and, of course, our corporate giving. We donated to a variety of organizations that focus on environmental sustainability, disaster response, public safety, and veterans. ICF’s cash contributions totaled $227,000 in 2016. The Red Cross and Water For People were two of the beneficiaries of those donations.

Supporting Our Employees' Leadership: Employee-Initiated Giving


Employees drive much of our corporate giving. Philanthropy is not part of our employees’ jobs. They aren’t compensated for their efforts. They give their time, talents, and money because…that’s who they are. We’re pleased to commend their contributions and broadcast their successes. The following pages present some examples of how ICFers support causes important to them.

Improving Access to Clean Water Worldwide

Our employees chose to support Water For People (WFP) because of its focus on providing safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in the developing world. Since forging our partnership three years ago, we raised $98,000 for WFP. With co-financing from project partners, local governments, and communities, WFP stretches our donations.

GiveForward

Many employees engage in philanthropy at ICF by joining GiveForward®, our volunteer organization focused on giving back to the community. We chose the name GiveForward because, like “paying forward,” we hope our giving will encourage others to do the same.

Recognizing Employee Volunteers

In 2016, we honored our employees’ commitment to causes with our first annual Employee Volunteer Awards. ICFers nominated each other in several categories focused on humanitarian and sustainability causes. We also recognized employees who are early in their professional careers and already making an impact. Here are some of the winners and their inspiring volunteer efforts. Their awards included a donation of $1,000 to their favorite charity.

  • Laura Hayward volunteers multiple times a week for Simon Community, a London-based nonprofit that provides services to people experiencing homelessness. She provides food and friendship to those in the shelter and set up a monitoring framework to help the charity realize its 2016 goals.

  • Emily Hite volunteers for several organizations. She serves on the board of Girls on the Run, a nonprofit that motivates girls to be confident and healthy through a curriculum that creatively integrates running. Emily also rescues and fosters dogs that need care, training, or urgent placement.

  • Eliza Johnston is a founding member of Mothers Out Front, a movement dedicated to averting catastrophic climate change to ensure a better future for children. Her dedicated support helped the group grow from six mothers in a living room to a booming organization with a national presence, paid staff, and thousands of volunteers.

  • Nick Yohannes volunteered more than 1,000 hours supporting Red Cross and A Wider Circle during a single year. Further evidence of his dedication: He used three weeks of vacation to deploy to South Carolina during the historic hurricane and floods that devastated the state.

Providing Support During Emergencies 

In the three years since employees selected Red Cross to benefit from our corporate giving, ICF and our employees raised $174,000 on its behalf. And we gave other resources: our volunteers installed smoke alarms in vulnerable homes, held blood drives, and responded to disasters. Some of our volunteers apply their professional expertise at disaster sites, such as logistics, technology, and disaster assessment. Others serve on Red Cross operations and communications advisory committees.

$174,000 will fund…

  • Shelter, 3 meals per day, and comfort kits for 100 people for 1 week—plus the Red Cross staff to support them.
  • 100 days of deploying a Red Cross emergency response vehicle so it can serve disaster victims.
  • Financial assistance ($550) for the immediate needs of 100 families impacted by a local disaster, such as a fire or flood.
  • 100 smoke detectors installed in homes of at-risk communities, paired with fire safety education.
governance

Clients and Shareholders

A strong, ethical culture isn’t a passive ideal. It requires proactive effort from every employee, every day.

Eileen Auen, ICF Board, Lead Director

Our corporate policies and structure are designed to help us operate efficiently, ethically, and in compliance with laws and regulations. This governance benefits all ICF stakeholders by mitigating risk and safeguarding against mismanagement.

Plus, it increases access to capital, creating more opportunities for our business and our employees while building long-term value for our shareholders. As such, we follow a strict Code of Business Ethics and Conduct and hold ourselves to the highest professional standards.

ICF board members

Governance Framework


While governance involves the actions and behaviors of all employees, it is a particular responsibility of ICF’s leaders. Our leaders guide the firm in accordance with our values.


  • Board of Directors—Guides the management of the firm, overseeing strategies and priorities with the best interests of shareholders, customers, and employees in mind.
  • Executive Leadership Team—These leaders—who comprise ICF’s C-suite executives, primary operating group executives, and major corporate services group executives—determine our business strategy and corporate priorities.
ICF steering committee

  • Corporate Compliance Committee—Manages our Compliance and Ethics Program, creating awareness of the Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, promoting a culture of ethical conduct, and ensuring corrective measures if any improper conduct occurs.
  • Corporate Project Management Office—Works to ensure that the firm follows management best practices to maintain accountability, transparency, and fairness in our relationships with stakeholders.
  • Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee—Recommends strategies, policies, and initiatives that will enhance corporate citizenship.
governance

Putting Our Values into Practice


The proof of our ideals goes beyond adherence to appropriate polices, monitoring, and control mechanisms.


  • Ethical business training. From day one, ICF employees learn about corporate policies governing conduct, anticorruption, conflicts of interest, timekeeping, security awareness, data privacy, harassment, procurement, fair employment, diversity, and inclusiveness. Eligible employees also take an annual refresher course to determine where they can improve their understanding of ICF’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
  • Ethics hotline. We maintain a secure hotline, international phone line, and website—available in more than 20 languages— to gather confidential feedback from all stakeholders, including employees, clients, and shareholders. We publicize these channels, managed by a third-party vendor, via our intranet, training, email, and posters to increase visibility.
  • Stop human trafficking. ICF issued a statement and plan against human trafficking and modern slavery in the operation of our business. Policies against human trafficking are also built into our employee Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
  • Carbon neutrality. As a carbon-neutral firm, ICF serves as a model for clients and employees alike. This status helps the people we serve minimize their own environmental impact. Read more in the Planet section of this report.
  • Ethical procurement. ICF maintains a dedicated procurement team, along with a set of policies and procedures to govern our procurement process. We use management controls, such as training and internal audits, to ensure that we follow policies, regulations, and laws. We actively seek diverse and small business suppliers. And we ask our suppliers to commit to the same guiding principles we follow.
  • Data security and privacy. We work to establish and maintain data privacy and data security safeguards that protect employee, client, and partner data. To comply with globally recognized data protection laws and regulations, we provide employees training and guidelines on sensitive data management. We also take reasonable steps to evaluate our subcontractors and other suppliers who treat personal and business data on our behalf or access our information systems.
  • Objective advice. We provide data-driven, unbiased advice to clients. Our impartiality makes us a reliable resource for advocates on either side of an issue.

Governance Factors

key factors governance

about this report

About This Report

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.


Margaret Mead

This report is organized around our stakeholders: employees, the planet, communities, clients, and shareholders. As a professional services firm, we serve three primary roles for shareholders:

  • ICF as employer—providing careers to 5,000+ employees
  • ICF as solution creator—serving clients in areas critical to the world’s future
  • ICF as community contributor—investing where we work and live

This report addresses ICF’s citizenship performance during calendar year 2016. It includes activities throughout 65+ offices located in 12 countries. ICF’s emissions data account for emissions generated by our operations through 2015. Our 2016 emissions will be calculated during calendar year 2017. All financial data is presented in U.S. dollars—unless noted otherwise.

Looking Ahead


We outlined specific goals ICF plans to achieve during 2017 and beyond. We want to continue making a positive impact through our professional services and corporate citizenship. As we’ve demonstrated, we do not achieve our goals alone. We welcome your feedback to help us improve our performance.

Please email your recommendations or comments to our Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee at CorpResponsibility@icf.com. Thank you for your interest in our progress.

NOTE: The information in this report and ICF International, Inc.’s corporate responsibility/sustainability reporting and website, inclusive of charts, graphs, and discussion, and all other information presented (“Materials”), may contain forward-looking statements, estimates, or projections based on expectations as of the original date of those materials. Those statements, estimates, and projections are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are detailed in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Forms 8-K, 10-K, and 10-Q. Presented information may also discuss non-public financial and statistical information and non- GAAP financial measures. All information was current only as of the date originally presented. We do not update or delete outdated information contained in Materials, and we disclaim any obligation to do so. All content and related intellectual property is the property of ICF International or its respective referenced partners or clients.

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