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Delivering Value to Clients

We assist our clients in achieving their business objectives by incorporating sustainable best practices into all of our offerings. As companies face increasingly complex sustainability issues in more challenging places, ERM's strategic and technical services have grown and evolved to address the changing needs of our clients. In addition to our already well-established practice areas, we have recently increased significantly our global capabilities and services focused on water resources, climate change, ecosystem services and resettlement.

We strive to bring our technical expertise, business knowledge, professional skills and understanding of sustainability issues to every project. By providing strategic advice and applying technological innovations, ERM teams add value to our clients' performance and help them achieve long-term, performance-enhancing business outcomes. Our commercial team leaders challenge the talented technical staff at ERM to develop new solutions for our clients' evolving sustainability issues, and to share these solutions across our practice areas and among teams working with various industry sectors through our thought leadership activities.

Working across national boundaries and continents is necessary for the success of some of our largest client projects and programs. In recognition of this important success factor, ERM's internal Global Recognition Awards program includes a collaboration category. Each quarter, we identify and reward employees who have contributed significantly to collaboration between BUs in support of excellent client service, and many of these awards are given for support across multiple ERM regions.

While ERM provides services to selected public clients and a wide range of clients in the private sector, a substantial portion of our annual revenue comes from projects with mining, oil and gas, and other energy companies. These industries are in the forefront of many sustainability issues involving resource constraints, safety, risk management, human rights and work in sensitive and challenging environments.

In the past year, ERM has been involved in projects that are sometimes controversial, such as the Keystone XL pipeline in the US; Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea, in west Africa; and the HS2 rail line in the UK. Among the key strengths we bring to such projects and to high-profile industries are our technical expertise; independent, strategic thinking; and broad knowledge of sustainability issues.

Case studies

Confidential oil and gas client - GHG reduction program

ERM's Climate Change team played an integral part in developing an innovative and comprehensive GHG reduction program for an oil and gas client's major capital project. The program proactively addressed stakeholder issues, thereby avoiding reputational risk, reducing schedule delays and helping to streamline the permitting process for the capital project.

ERM worked closely with the client's internal project team to identify and prioritize potential GHG emission reduction options.

Team members from EHS, communications, legal, design engineering and management collaborated to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of potential reduction opportunities. The top 25 reduction opportunities were ranked by their relative cost-effectiveness and GHG reduction potential.

ERM also screened internal and external stakeholders to evaluate the likely acceptance of potential options. We developed an overarching GHG and energy management plan for the selected project to ensure management buy-in and expedited approvals at key stage gates.

The client's advisory team, which reviewed the project, considered this approach to be a 'best practice' that should be expanded across the portfolio of capital projects.

People Profiles

Jeremy Soboil Cape Town, South Africa

Jeremy is a member of the SAC, and leads the client program area. His wealth of experience, commercial knowledge and passion for sustainability are invaluable as we seek to embed sustainability in all that we do.

Jeremy has been with ERM since 2003, when we opened our first office in South Africa. As BU Managing Partner, Jeremy led the office to grow from a team of 15 full-time employees in one location (Cape Town) to its current 160 employees across four cities. During this time, the Makuleke project was established to provide pro bono support for the conservation and development activities associated with the return of land to the community after it had been taken from them during the apartheid era.

In 2011, Jeremy took on the role of Commercial Director for Africa to help meet the growing demand for our work in this part of EMEA. He has been instrumental in establishing the ERM Foundation Regional Flagship Project with the PAMS foundation in Tanzania and chairs the pro bono committee of The ERM Foundation.

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