The company was founded in the UK in 1971 trading as ERL and in the US in 1977 as ERM.
By 1987 ERL had operations in the UK, Hong Kong, Italy and Bahrain and gross revenues of US$5million. ERL merged with ERM in 1987. ERM’s 500 strong staff operated from 25 locations across the US with gross revenues of US$50million.
In 1994 the company acquired Mitchell McCotter expanding operations in to Australia. Two years later Panazardi in Puerto Rico joined the ERM family followed by the US based Dell Engineering consultancy in 1999. By 2000 ERM had also acquired Dynamo in Sweden and IRMS, a transport risk practice in UK and Hong Kong. For FY00 the company recorded gross revenues of US $279.8million.
Major changes occurred in 2001 when venture capitalists 3i supported the management buyout of ERM’s retiring partners. This saw the company develop from a number of individual partnerships to a more conventional group structure with a single global board and management team. Following the management buyout ERM acquired Ecobe in South Africa and the US environmental management information systems consultancy Enverdant to create ERM’s Information Solutions practice. We also opened our first office in Canada with quick expansion the following year which witnessed second offices opening both here and in South Africa.
At the end of 2005 Bridgepoint Capital replaced the 3i Group as ERM’s equity backer allowing ERM to continue as an independent professional partnership. In the same year we opened offices in Russia and the United Arab Emirates and in 2006 opened a new office in New Zealand. In 2008, we extended our operations with a new office in Panama, and continued to increase our staff numbers globally.
To continue to provide this leading-edge advice, make a real difference for our clients, and attract and retain the people who make the delivery of this advice possible, we reviewed and updated our strategy. Our new strategy is simple and has one clear goal: to be recognized by our clients and employees as the pre-eminent global sustainability consulting firm. We launched the new strategy in 2010 under the banner: One Planet. One Company. ERM. The title acknowledges both the need for society to manage the earth and its resources in a sustainable way and the importance of the consistently high-quality advice and global support that ERM provides to its clients.
Charterhouse Capital Partners
In July 2011 ERM completed a refinancing, which saw Charterhouse Capital Partners replace Bridgepoint Capital as our private equity partner. Charterhouse has acquired a stake in the region of 55 per cent with the remaining 45 per cent owned by some 490 Partners working for ERM around the world.
A new chapter for ERM
On 15 June 2015, the management of ERM has announced that it has partnered with OMERS Private Equity (OPE) the private equity investment arm of the OMERS pension plan, to buy-out ERM in an off market bi-lateral process, from Charterhouse Capital Partners. The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) co-invested in the transaction.
Importantly, this transaction sees the ERM Partners including the senior management team make a substantial re-investment into the business alongside OPE and AIMCo.
Recent Acquisitions Hide
ERM acquired M.J. Bradley & Associates in March 2020. This specialist energy, climate change and sustainability advisory company provides strategic policy and regulatory advice on the low carbon economy transition to the electricity and natural gas sectors along with a focus on advanced transportation initiatives in North America. The acquisition of MJB&A provides a critical mass to ERM’s climate change and low carbon economy transition offering to clients in North America.
Acquired in February 2020, the London-based team at Critical Resource provides C-suite strategic advice on sustainability, energy transition and license to operate challenges across sectors. The value at stake for businesses in the mining and energy sectors due to sustainability and sociopolitical challenges is increasing. Having a methodology to help assess these challenges and stakeholder concerns and outline the steps necessary to address them positions ERM, though the acquisition of Critical Resource, to support our key clients both at a strategic level and also with the more technical assessments that are often identified.
Fifth Business, acquired in October 2019, is a specialist change management consultancy with offices in Houston, Aberdeen, London and The Hague, has increased our capacity to embed major change within large client organizations, helping ensure the intended outcomes of projects. Fifth Business's core focus is in the implementation of change programs and the resultant communications and training that follows from this. The acquisition of Fifth represents a material addition to our change management and stakeholder engagement capabilities to ensure the adoption of technical solutions while meeting the growing demand for change management in our digital transformation projects.
Contek Solutions, acquired in September 2019, helps us address the increasing environmental, health and safety risks in large production and exploration basins. The acquisition of Contek Solutions enhances our ability to serve oil and gas upstream and midstream markets in Western Texas (Permian Basin), Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico. Contek is a valuable addition to ERM’s existing safety services and presence in North America. It also provides additional capability in air quality services and greenhouse gas assessment, demand for which is increasing as a function of the focus on climate change.
CSA Global, acquired in July 2019, helps our mining clients address their most complex challenges, from business strategy to highly technical advice on exploration, project development and operational issues. CSA Global's deep understanding of what it takes to set up and efficiently operate mines in diverse geographies around the world complements ERM’s ability to identify and mitigate the non-technical environmental, health and safety and sustainability risks facing the mining sector.
In January 2019, SustainAbility Ltd (SA), a leading think tank and advisory firm that inspires business to lead the way to a sustainable economy, with offices in London (UK), New York and the San Francisco Bay Area (USA). Founded in 1987, SA has helped define and evolve the sustainable development agenda and the role of business within it. Throughout its history, it has worked with business and stakeholders to enable a more just and sustainable economy. It offers consulting services to help clients make better decisions through integrating sustainability into their business, and by creating innovative solutions.
In November 2018, ERM acquired Kathy Jones and Associates Pty Ltd (KJA), one of Australia's leading stakeholder engagement and communication consultancies with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. KJA specializes in stakeholder engagement across all stages of multi-billion dollar infrastructure and urban regeneration projects, such as the new Sydney Metro, the Northern Beaches Hospital, and the Barangaroo Precinct on Sydney Harbour. The acquisition of KJA enhances ERM's offering on complex projects and its ability to identify and engage stakeholders on large projects in the early stages for our Key Clients and our High Growth/High Value clients. It also provides ERM additional access to the buoyant government sector in Australia and complements the 2017 acquisition of Pacific Environment who also have a background in major infrastructure.
In March 2018 ERM acquired BrownFlynn Ltd., a leading corporate sustainability and governance consulting business. Established in 1996 and based out of Cleveland, OH, BrownFlynn advises Fortune 500 and privately-held businesses on all aspects of corporate sustainability advisory services, setting strategy, helping them navigate reporting frameworks and ratings, undertaking materiality assessments and setting bold goals and KPIs, communicating progress through design and storytelling and monitoring environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends. Further, BrownFlynn is a pioneer in integrated reporting and the first U.S. certified Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) trainer.
In February 2018 ERM acquired Michael Pisani & Associates, Inc. (USA), a leading environmental consultancy focused on clients on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and providing contaminated site management and litigation support services. MP&A’s specific services include wetlands and coastal ecology, litigation support services, sediment assessment and clean-up, and other specialist soil and groundwater offerings. The company primarily serves the upstream segment of the oil & gas sector and also serves the legal, manufacturing, chemical and transportation sectors.
In June 2017, ERM acquired Pacific Environment Consulting and DLA (Australia), market leaders in Air Quality & Noise, Contaminated Land, Groundwater and Surface Water consulting. Combining ERM’s global client relationships, leadership capacity and extensive environment and social consulting team with PEC and DLA provide additional technical resources and senior leadership to increase ERM’s potential, with significant growth opportunities across Australia and into Asia.
In April 2016, ERM continued to broaden its service offering to its clients in the chemical sector through the acquisition of JSC International Limited (JSC). JSC is a leading regulatory affairs consultancy based in Harrogate in the UK and provides expert independent regulatory and risk assessment advice in the area of agrochemicals, biocides and general chemical legislation. JSC brings to ERM a team with skills that are highly complementary to those in ERM’s existing practices and consolidates the company’s presence across a broad range of offerings, and also strengthens ERM’s leading position in the product stewardship/sustainability market.
In August 2015 ERM acquired rePlan Inc., a Toronto-based company that provides social assessment, advisory and management services to natural resource and infrastructure companies and financial institutions around the world. This broadens ERM’s social consulting capabilities, particularly in resettlement, strengthening its existing leading position as a global leader in impact assessment and planning, and gaining social license to operate for its clients.
In May 2015 ERM acquired Brussels-based professional services body ReachCentrum, a niche player in the registration market for REACH, the European Union’s Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. The acquisition was an important part of ERM’s growth strategy and builds its position in and access to the Chemical Sector
In November 2014 ERM acquired Safety Design A.S., a Norwegian risk management consultancy based in Kristiansand, Norway. This acquisition strengthens ERM's presence in Norway and positions us to better serve the needs of clients on complex challenges across the globe.
In September 2014 ERM acquired Natural Resource Group (NRG), a Minneapolis-based environmental consultancy. This acquisition broadens ERM’s capabilities in the midstream Oil & Gas sector, and further strengthens its capability in the Power sector in North America.
In December 2012 ERM acquired the sustainability and health, safety and environmental assets of Zer01 Pty Ltd (Zer01), a private Australia-based information solutions consulting firm. The acquisition enhances ERM’s Sustainability Information Solutions practice in Australia and adds to the firm’s global knowledge base and experience in this area.
In September 2012 we acquired Rescan, a privately, Canadian-owned, environmental consulting firm offering a wide range of services to the resource development industry. This acquisition consolidates ERM’s leading position in the sustainability market, particularly in respect of the resources sector.
In October 2011 we acquired OASIS Environmental, Inc. an environmental services company headquartered in Alaska, USA, with around 100 employees. This acquisition further strengthens ERM’s leading position in the resources sector and in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
In 2010 ERM acquired the Houston based risk consultancy, IRC, which brought leading edge process safety and quantitative risk assessment capabilities. They have successfully integrated into ERM and are now working effectively with the rest of our global risk team to deliver outstanding projects and outcomes to our oil and gas, mining, power and major industrial clients worldwide.