Our world is changing - and fast. And business has an important role to play.Keryn James, Chief Executive Officer
A message from Keryn James
Sustainability means business. ERM is shaping a sustainable future by working with leading organizations around the world and delivering sustainable business results for our clients and for ourselves.
Sustainability is at the heart of ERM’s business. Our strategy, which we launched last year, specifically aims to respond to these megatrends: climate change, digital transformation, population growth and emerging middle classes. ERM helps our clients respond to the risks and opportunities associated with these trends. This report provides examples of the ways in which we assist leading organizations to address these issues now and into the future.
Businesses will need to take bold steps to identify risks and build resilience, source alternative forms of energy while maintaining security of supply, innovate to respond to opportunities and disclose their future plans to increasingly interested investors in order to transition to a lower-emissions future as recommended by the Paris Agreement on climate change. In June 2017, the G20’s Financial Stability Board on the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released its final recommendations report on climate-related financial disclosures. The Task Force’s recommendations provide a foundation to improve investors’ and others’ ability to appropriately assess and price climate-related risk and opportunities. This will have major implications for business and the investment community going forward. ERM had a key role in helping to develop the scenarios-based approach in a Technical Supplement published by the TCFD.
The use of technology and data opens possibilities for connectivity, access to knowledge to develop solutions, and speed of response that could not have been previously imagined. Population growth across the world, particularly in developing economies, is placing pressure on infrastructure, housing and natural resources. Emerging middle classes, with associated demands and changing consumption patterns, builds on these pressures.
Within this fast-changing setting, our clients need a global organization with technical expertise in the natural, social and economic areas impacted by these trends, and the understanding of how to deliver business value. With extended supply chains, complex customer markets and the current geo-political context, it takes an organization with a global approach and a local presence to manage the inherent risks and opportunities. Whether entering new markets or merging companies, maintaining an environmental and social license to operate or retiring assets for redevelopment – companies want a technology-enabled business partner who can provide strategic services across the full life cycle of their business, in every geography they operate. ERM is that partner.
ERM is actively engaged in global initiatives where business is leading efforts to create a sustainable future. In addition to our work with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, this year we joined the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, recognizing that redistributing capital to meet the future needs of the economy is critical. Safety is of the highest importance at ERM, and we are proud to be accepted as a member of the prestigious Campbell Institute at the US National Safety Council. We look forward to actively contributing to these efforts.
Along with our work with clients, the ERM Foundation continues to deliver impact through its focus on selected Sustainable Development Goals. From grassroots collaboration with local groups near to our offices, to the development of leading edge technology and solutions related to vulnerable species, women’s economic empowerment and human health, our teams bring their expertise and passion to every project. This year, we announced a major 3-year corporate sponsorship with the Royal Geographical Society in the UK. This sponsorship involves a financial commitment and pro bono time delivered by our employees. The focus of the partnership is to develop the fieldwork skills of high school geography students and their teachers, so they can bring these skills and knowledge to the collective effort to create a sustainable future.
We are proud to be a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Pioneer. We are among the first organizations to adopt the new GRI Standards: the global best practice for sustainability reporting. This report serves as our Communication on Progress, an annual disclosure to stakeholders on progress made in implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
As the new CEO of ERM, I am committed to engaging with our internal and external stakeholders on issues that are of importance to them. This feedback informs our focus on the issues facing our world and our clients, which has enabled us to prioritize activities within our business strategy. Our global team stands ready to bring insights, technical expertise and a commitment to deliver business value for our clients and other leading organizations.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I thank our employees for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. From helping our clients, to volunteering with the Foundation and contributing to this report by sharing their stories, insights and photography, our people affirm our company's purpose.
Sustainability means business, and ERM is the business of sustainability.
Chief Executive Officer