Contributing to society
Throughout FY15, ERM played an active part in thought leadership on the international, national and local sustainability stage. From managing non-technical risks to safeguarding human rights, we shared technical insights and best practices on a range of subject matters that will help organizations respond to the world's multi-faceted sustainability challenges now and in the future.
During the year, we continued a strategic approach to our thought leadership activities to maximize the impact of our efforts across the globe. We are a founding member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a signatory to the UN Global Compact and an organizational stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
By continuing to prioritize our thought leadership efforts, we are helping governments, businesses and industry bodies develop the processes and practices needed to overcome the sustainability risks such as climate change that threaten our planet, and safeguard its natural resources for future generations.
Contributing to the sustainability agenda
Our people are passionate about learning, and recognize that engagement and collaboration are fundamental to sustainable development. We motivate our people to share and develop their knowledge through publication of thought leadership papers, attending conferences and taking an active role in professional associations.
We participate in global conferences that align with the sustainability challenges faced by our clients, particularly in key sectors such as oil and gas, mining, power and chemicals. In FY15, we participated in a variety of industry forums; key activities included CERAWeek, African Mining Indaba, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention (PDAC), the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and PowerGen Asia, and the US Electric Utilities Environmental Conference.
Thanks to their knowledge of emerging risks and opportunities, our Technical Directors, Technical Fellows, Partners and consultants are particularly well placed to make a valuable contribution to the sustainability debate. These technical leaders are also critical to the continued success of ERM, providing expert advice and solutions to our clients.
Our consultants delivered hundreds of presentations at conferences around the world, sharing the lessons learned from more than 20,000 projects annually and our observations and insights into the sustainability challenges facing different industries. In FY15, we continued to encourage these and other employees to participate in technical and professional associations that align with our sustainability strategy.
ERM joined WBCSD as a founding member in 1995, and this year we supported WBCSD in celebrating its 20th anniversary. Key initiatives in which ERM is currently involved in close liaison with WBCSD include The Road to Paris strategy, ahead of the UN Climate Change conference (COP21); development of the natural and social capital protocols; non-financial assurance of corporate sustainability reports; climate resilience in the global supply chain business solution; co-leading on the new education business solution (based on ERM’s Sustainability in Action course), and the WBCSD Future Leaders Program.
In FY15, we committed to the WBCSD WASH (safe water, sanitation and health) pledge and affirmed our commitment to looking at the practical actions we can take to ensure operations and sites within our control have access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation.
As part of our work with WBCSD, we are co-leading the development of one of the business solutions in climate change under Action 2020: Resilience to Climate Change in Globally Interdependent Business. ERM is piloting this method internally to meet one of our own sustainability targets.
We are also involved in WBCSD regional networks in Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
During the past year, our work with GRI continued around its G4 Guidelines in our role as an Organizational Stakeholder. Sulema Pioli, an ERM Technical Director based in Brazil, serves on the Global Standards Reporting Board and ERM practitioners have presented sessions on GRI reporting and assurance at numerous conferences and webinars. In addition, a GRI stakeholders’ newsletter included a link to a global ERM survey on the value of the sustainability reporting process and the GRI G4 guidelines which will be published in FY16.
As a GRI-certified training partner in the United States, ERM offers public and private courses designed for individuals and organizations interested in gaining a deeper understanding of GRI, sustainability and sustainability reporting. Our courses are led by practitioners who are experts on the GRI framework and guidelines, and who specialize in sustainability reporting and sustainability program development and implementation. In addition, ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) is undertaking assurance on GRI’s own 2015 G4 Sustainability Report, the first time GRI has undergone formal external assurance. We expect GRI’s report, including the ERM CVS Assurance Statement, to be published in late 2015.