Sustainability Report 2015

Impact through client work

Delivering value

The Oil and Gas, Mining and Metals, Power, Manufacturing and Chemical sectors equate to more than 75 percent of our business. These industries constantly seek advice from our firm on how to balance their business growth with the social and environmental stewardship expectations of today's society.

New market entry

A significant set of service offerings from ERM are in high demand from clients who are seeking growth and/or reallocating assets in new markets. This can take the form of new country or new basin entry (in the case of oil and gas clients), new product/service launches and combinations thereof that are resulting from merger, acquisition or divestiture activities. 

In the case of new country entry or new basin entry, ERM offers a risk assessment service that allows client management teams to compare and contrast environmental and social risks between options that may be considering and compare those risks to one or more of their mature businesses where risks are well-understood and well-managed.

For more than two decades, we have been providing critical, time-sensitive advice on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks to assist companies in executing their most important transactions. Increasingly, we are being asked to address the social and governance aspects of the ESG approach in greater detail than ever before, as businesses strive to understand issues such as resilience to climate change, supply chain management, resource efficiency and approaches to labor and human rights. ERM provides unrivalled global capabilities in respect of ESG risks through its multi-disciplinary teams and in-depth understanding across the financial, commercial, industrial and extractive sectors.

Capital project support

ERM has a long history of involvement in the some of the world's most complex industrial development and infrastructure projects as an environmental and social advisor. In recent years, for example, we provided highly technical, independent impact assessment work on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and the proposed interoceanic grand canal in Nicaragua.

ERM supports its clients by maintaining a holistic view throughout the planning, approvals and execution of major capital projects. We communicate regulatory implications of the project as well as environmental, social and health considerations that arise from understanding the local environment and stakeholders. We also understand and advise on project finance implications of capital project alternatives and selection.

We know our clients are under acute scrutiny from regulators, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders, including activists and pressure groups. We continue to work with our clients to improve their sustainability performance – responding to market conditions in practical and innovative ways to create value.

HSE performance improvement

For clients in high-hazard industries, we have become a go-to firm for program support on how to run a safe, reliable and compliant operation. Using a classic discover-design-deploy approach, we find ourselves helping clients maintain acceptable levels of HSE performance but doing so at less cost or helping clients decide what to invest in for performance improvement.

We find clients are looking for well-managed programs to improve performance around environmental, health and safety topics including:

  • HSE organizational capability building;
  • Management system design and implementation; 
  • Information management;
  • Safety performance;
  • Compliance assurance; and
  • Risk identification and mitigation.

By integrating these considerations into existing processes, we can help reduce costs, identify opportunities and improve business results.

Sustainable Safety

With approximately 80 percent of industrial incidents attributable to human and organizational failures, safety performance is a continuing source of risk to business, and an increasing focus of business leadership. In many organizations, comprehensive safety processes, procedures and training are in place, and various audit programs indicate compliance. However, serious injuries and fatalities persist and this is a major concern for many clients.

ERM works with clients to unlock the power of their existing safety programs. Our integrated approach to safety works to change the conversation from "striving to make as little as possible go wrong" to "working to improve what goes well" by optimizing existing processes and procedures to help clients manage both expected and unexpected situations successfully.

The ERM point of view is that sustainable safety performance can be achieved through a focus on: 

  • Leadership understanding and engagement; 
  • Worker fitness for duty; 
  • Front line leader coaching and training; 
  • Effective hazard identification and work process management; 
  • Managing and learning from incidents, including information management; and 
  • Process safety management & human factor engineering.

Through our Sustainable Safety offerings, we engage with our clients to make a significant and lasting impact on their safety culture and the lives of their employees.

Asset retirement

At the end of useful life, our clients take on the obligations of responsible asset retirement either through corporate policy or regulatory commitment.  More than a third of ERM’s business is centered on asset retirement and we do that work across all of the major industrial sectors we serve.  We are working with clients to provide cost effective and environmentally and socially protective ways to restore subsurface issues (e.g., impacts to soil and ground water). We also address issues as needed for ecology (e.g., at mine sites), for commerce (e.g., converting out of date manufacturing to modern manufacturing) and for society (e.g., restoration of sites for re-use as public parkland and the like).

Our work in asset retirement spans a service value chain from reserve estimating, corporate reporting and program management planning, all the way through to site construction management and post-closure care monitoring and reporting to external stakeholders.