Above and Beyond Compliance

by Balfour Beatty

February 22, 2024

In the construction industry, ethics and compliance are paramount to ensuring we are building responsibly. As new technology emerges, legislation changes and the industry faces ongoing challenges like supply chain and staffing issues, our strong principles guide us while navigating progress.

Balfour Beatty is a founding member of the Construction Industry Ethics & Compliance Initiative (CIECI), a nonprofit association that brings together major players in the construction industry that go above and beyond compliance with the law and are committed to the highest level of ethical conduct. Christine McAnney, VP and General Counsel for US Civils was one of eight general councils from major contractors to form the association.

In 2008, Christine was approached to aid in founding an organization to promote ethics and compliance within the construction industry. The group took inspiration from the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct, an organization with the goal of promoting a culture of ethical conduct within the aerospace and defense industry.

CIECI began with 13 founding members, united under the goals of advancing organizational cultures that encourage and support ethical behavior and legal compliance and identifying and sharing ethics and compliance best practices within the industry. Now, more than 15 years later, the organization has grown to 44 members and is affecting real change in the industry.

“When we first started CIECI, very few of the companies involved even had their own code of business ethics,” says Christine. “Today, almost every construction company I know of has a code of ethics, thanks in part to the opportunities we’ve created to share procedures and collaborate.”

Balfour Beatty was one of the few organizations leading the charge on this progress, having implemented our Code of Ethics around the same time the organization was formed. Since the advent of CIECI, our leadership has not only supported the organization, but been heavily involved in it.

For many years, Balfour Beatty CEOs have served on the steering committee of the organization. Most recently, President and CEO Eric Stenman spoke about the importance of ethics and compliance within our organization on the Best Practices Forum CEO panel last fall.

“CEO involvement over the years has made a strong statement about the importance we place on ethics and compliance in our business,” says Christine. “From the beginning, we’ve made it clear that we want to go above and beyond following laws and regulations—we value the trust of our clients, employees, partners and communities, which means working ethically and responsibly.”

Christine is passionate about helping our business and others in the industry navigate the ever-changing world of ethics and compliance. She has served as treasurer of the organization for more than 10 years and is the only non-CEO on the Steering Committee.  Christine says she has gotten as much back from her involvement in CIECI as she has given.

“The connections I’ve made throughout the years have been invaluable,” says Christine. “I can pick up the phone and call a dozen general counsel or compliance officers to start a conversation about anything. Having that support has been instrumental to my growth.”

Christine’s passion for ethics and compliance puts our people-first culture at the forefront, ensuring that we aren’t just delivering excellent projects, but that we are always safe, reliable and inclusive.

Ultimately, Christine and her fellow CIECI members want to change the narrative around construction. “Some people think we are an industry that cuts corners, just out to make a buck,” says Christine. “CIECI helps us to succeed in our mission to do good work, promote project excellence and act with integrity in everything we do.”