Sustainability Report 2015

Sustainability Report 2015

Our stakeholders

As part of our commitment to good business, we engage regularly with key stakeholders. This process helps us to understand, prioritize and manage our sustainability impacts as an organization as well as to evolve our services to clients.

We have a range of internal and external stakeholders that we engage through a variety of mechanisms, including direct dialogue, surveys, engagement at professional and industry forums, and sharing information. The frequency of engagement is designed to enable regular communication with stakeholders on key issues and is adapted as needed.

Stakeholders and engagement mechanisms

Stakeholder groupsEngagement mechanismFrequency


  • Clients
  • Investors
  • Suppliers and contractors
  • Business and industry associations
  • Governments
  • Local communities
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Academia
Client dialogue Annually
Industry conferences and technical meetings, business associations actvities Ongoing  
Client surveys
World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Global Reporting Initiative and UN Global Compact activities
Senior client reviews Annually


  • Employees
Knowledge sharing through company intranet Ongoing
Open-door leadership
Staff information sessions and best practice sharing
Team and staff meetings
Subject matter surveys
Performance reviews Semi-annually
Open forums with CEO and other leaders
Employee engagement survey Annually

ERM’s Senior Client Review process is one of the most valuable mechanisms for sourcing client feedback. In FY15, our senior leaders interviewed 85 contacts at 35 of ERM's most important global client organizations. This is the fifth time in nine years that we have embarked on such a review. Analysis of the comments gathered from clients revealed a number of key themes relating to sustainability:

  • Oil prices are a major factor impacting ERM’s clients who, as a result, are focusing on process simplification and efficiency, carefully managing work on a reduced portfolio of capital projects, considering divestitures and examining safety performance. ERM clients are taking actions to reduce risk, manage safety performance more effectively and understand resource availability more clearly.
  • Safety remains at the top of the agenda for ERM’s clients, with a particular focus on preventing fatalities and serious incidents. The need for cost efficiency was noted as a challenge to managing high standards of safety and risk management.
  • Addressing future constraints related to energy, climate change, fresh and marine water impacts and biodiversity are an ongoing concern for ERM’s clients.
  • Internal resources are coming under pressure within ERM client organizations due to cost-cutting initiatives and organizational changes, including retirements, staff reductions and declining use of contractors and third parties.

We request client feedback on our proposals and project delivery as part of our regular business activities. We also work closely with suppliers and contractors through our global Contractor Management Program and supplier prequalification systems. This year, we interviewed a number of contractors as part of our external stakeholder engagement activities, focusing on the value of our support in helping them to improve their own sustainability performance.

Feedback from ERM's stakeholders

StakeholderIssuesERM response
Employees      Health and safety of our employees, contractors, clients and those around our work sites are protected.

Health and safety; Working safely

Business growth and positive financial performance to ensure the long-term viability of ERM, our contribution to clients and our impact on the communities in which we operate. Financial performance; Impact through client work
Environmental impact of our own offices and operations as well as the effects of our work with clients on the environment. Environmental footprintGreenhouse gas emissionsImpact through client work
Staff retention supported by a culture that nurtures success, rewards performance excellence and provides opportunities for professional growth, technical innovation and contributing to the greater good of the world around us. Creating opportunitiesInspiring leadershipContributing to society
Training and development to equip employees with the technical and professional capabilities to be successful. Developing talent
Values and principles of the company guiding day-to-day decision-making and culture of the organization. Business conduct and ethics
ERM Foundation
Clients       Business conduct guided by programs and practices to ensure that ERM employees and contractors meet high ethical and legal standards and comply with relevant laws and regulations. Business conduct and ethics
Health and safety of employees, contractors and the community, in particular the elimination of serious incidents, is a critical aspect of projects, from planning through execution. Health and safetyWorking safely
Operational efficiency through projects we undertake for our clients by helping them deliver products and services in the most cost-effective manner possible while still ensuring high quality and the safety of all involved. Impact through client work
Risks inherent in project execution managed through ERM's thorough processes. Managing risks
Resource availability to ensure that projects are staffed with the most appropriate people in terms of technical expertise and skills, sector experience, location, language, cultural sensitivities and availability. Our people
Increasing constraints around climate change, water and biodiversity need creative integrated solutions from ERM’s technical experts. Delivering value
Impact through client work
Investors     Business growth that builds the capacity for ERM to continue to deliver outcomes for our clients. Financial performance;
Impact through client work
Innovation that empowers ERM to understand and respond to the changing needs of clients. Thought leadershipInnovation
Staff retention based on our ability to provide exciting and rewarding careers for our employees. Creating opportunities;
Inspiring leadership
Contractors Business conduct and health and safety programs and practices in place to comply with relevant laws and regulations as well as ERM and client requirements. Business conduct and ethics
Managing risk
Communities Supporting the development of local communities and the environment through our work with clients and the ERM Foundation. Impact through client work
Contributing to society
Business conduct that ensures ERM employees and contractors comply with relevant laws and regulations. Business conduct and ethics
Health and safety programs and policies in place to protect ERM employees, contractors, clients and the communities in which we operate. Health and safetyWorking safely
Nongovernmental organizations 
Business conduct programs and practices ensure that ERM employees and contractors meet high ethical and legal standards and comply with relevant laws and regulations. Business conduct and ethics
Protecting communities and the environment by leveraging ERM’s technical expertise to address environmental and social challenges. Contributing to society
Business and industry associations Innovation from our work with clients that results in new solutions that can benefit other companies in the sector. Thought leadership
Academics  Innovation from a trusted source that inspires others and leads to new approaches. Thought leadershipInnovation
Values demonstrated by ERM in how we deliver our client projects and contribute to thought leadership on sustainability challenges. Impact through client work
ERM Foundation

Note: Highlights featured throughout the report provide practical examples of our work in these areas.