Sustainable solutions for TMT and power sectors
For over 45 years, ERM has worked with clients around the world and across diverse industry sectors to help them understand and manage their environmental, health, safety and social impacts. Today, we are leveraging our market-leading expertise and applying it to our focus sectors – including technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) and power – as clients in these particular sectors are facing mounting sustainability challenges.
The TMT sector includes many companies that are relatively new to the sustainability agenda, without well-established systems and processes to manage the sustainability elements of their business. These companies are growing quickly and expanding their operations globally. ERM helps clients navigate and comply with regulatory requirements while remaining nimble in the marketplace. Our technology-enabled solutions help TMT companies manage their sustainability issues, from human rights in supply chains to massive energy requirements for data centers.
When entering markets, developing products, taking on capital projects, seeking performance improvements or retiring assets, companies in the TMT sector face important sustainability issues. In a business environment that demands transparency and accountability, ERM provides solutions to these clients that strike a balance between environmental, management, economic, technological and social needs.
For example, ERM worked with a global TMT manufacturing company to conduct sustainability assessments at seven facilities located in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Japan. These assessments evaluated the client's performance in key areas such as energy and greenhouse gas intensity, waste generation, waste-to-landfill rate, water use and chemical releases to air and water. We utilized a proprietary management framework that provided a systematic approach for identifying and implementing opportunities for performance improvement. This approach assisted our client in achieving up to a 12 percent reduction in energy and greenhouse gas intensity, 55 percent reduction in resource use and approximately $3 million in annualized cost savings.
Businesses need access to reliable and affordable sources of energy – within a rapidly changing regulatory and market context. Our experience in helping clients address the tremendous change in the energy system in the United States is a case study of what ERM is doing across the globe.
Renewable energy has become an increasingly significant part of the US power-generation mix. In 2015, coal accounted for only about one-third of US power generation, down from 51 percent in 2005, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Natural gas commanded 32 percent of the generation mix in 2015, up from 18 percent in 20051. These trends are likely to continue, with commensurate growth in wind and solar markets.
In addition to unpredictable markets and uncertain energy policy, the power generation industry continues to face many environmental regulatory challenges. The US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, unveiled in August 2015, is an example of broader legislation designed to reduce further CO2 emissions from power plants and create a national energy policy on a much wider scale than ever before. ERM is helping power companies understand the business implications of the Clean Power Plan on a state level, which in turn impacts local assets and facilities.
In one situation, a large power company turned to ERM for urgent help the week before the Clean Power Plan rules were finalized. This company was in the late stages of an acquisition that included a mix of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, all impacted by the possible outcomes of the Clean Power Plan. Within a short time frame, processing large amounts of data on operations, emissions and dispatch, performing smart statistical analysis, and applying the policy insights of ERM's power sector team, ERM provided a robust analysis of the Clean Power Plan scenarios demonstrating how the possible outcomes would impact the long-term operations of these plants.
According to Toby Hanna, Managing Partner of ERM's Air Quality and Climate Change service in the Americas, "With the underlying disruption in the sector as fuel prices shift, distributed generation expands, the share of renewables increases and high-efficiency natural gas plants are built, new business models must evolve. It is clear that the power sector faces unprecedented change as it charts its future. This is a challenging but exciting time for ERM and our power industry clients."
ERM is helping clients in the power and TMT sectors think through their sustainability challenges, which are more complex than ever before. We provide critical and time-sensitive advice, help deliver sustainable projects, and support safe and responsible workplaces. By understanding their unique technical and business needs, our power and TMT clients select ERM as the global sustainability consultancy that partners with them to solve their challenges.