Sustainability Report 2016

Impact through client work

Increasing regulation

Changing regulations and declining public trust in corporations are creating sustainability challenges for clients. ERM provides strategic services to help organizations address operational, competitive and strategic risks related to new and proposed environmental, health and safety requirements and reporting.

Multiple levels of regulatory compliance requirements

Compliance risk is increasing in part due to the evolving patchwork of requirements around the world, at the international, national and local levels. For example, chemical companies must comply and manage the various standards in place around the world, such as REACH in Europe, TSCA and FIFRA in the United States, Provisions on the Environmental Administration of New Chemical Substances in China, and many other toxicology and product regulatory mandated requirements.

Tighter regulation of greenhouse gas emissions may require potentially costly efforts in the future. Consideration of emissions and other environmental impacts in the planning and consenting process may lead to expensive project delays if not managed at the early stages of a project. Managing the myriad reporting requirements around the world effectively requires well-designed systems, technical knowledge of the requirements and robust reporting mechanisms – with verification and assurance processes.

Governments and stock exchanges increasingly require or encourage public reporting of sustainability-related information. There are approximately 180 laws and regulations in 45 countries related to corporate sustainability reporting. ERM is a member of the WBCSD working group supporting the development of the Reporting Exchange, a freely available, multilingual, global sustainability reporting knowledge platform that will enable business to make sense of the reporting requirements or guidance relevant to them at the national, regional and international level. The Reporting Exchange is being piloted in 2016, with launch expected in 2017.

Cost-effective compliance

Most companies are trying to achieve compliance more cost effectively with fewer resources. ERM understands what drives an organization’s view on the required level of environmental, health and safety resources and management processes. Whereas traditional approaches generally equate to doing “more with less,” our more systematic approach results in “less with less.” Our clients do fewer things with fewer people and yet achieve the same outcome in terms of risk management. As a result, the client develops a more efficient approach to the management of its current risks.

For example, we help clients achieve and document environmental compliance on large construction projects. We review the project sponsor’s permits and construction specifications; provide qualified, professional inspection staff; train and communicate environmental requirements to company and contractor construction personnel; conduct detailed reviews of the construction site; document the findings of the reviews; and work closely with construction management and contractor personnel to facilitate solutions and resolve compliance issues.

We understand that accurate, complete and timely data and information are critical components of regulatory compliance and operational excellence. ERM works with clients to develop an information management strategy and then design a system to meet their specific needs and priorities. We help deploy and sustain the system so it continues to support people, function efficiently and provide robust and trustworthy environmental, health and safety data and information.

ERM consultants have the experience needed to bridge the gap between ensuring compliance while maintaining operational excellence. We focus on innovative solutions for our clients, assisting them in managing their environmental, operational and related risks .