Sustainability Report 2016

Feature

Highlights 2016

Building a community around innovation

Our clients face increasingly complex challenges in a fast-moving world. To address their sustainability challenges, many clients are looking for innovative solutions. ERM partners with clients to deliver the innovation needed, whether it involves new business opportunities or better approaches to managing risk.

We operate with a number of guiding principles, including an entrepreneurial spirit, passion for our work, and appreciation for our colleagues. With this spirit and passion, our employees are encouraged to bring forward new concepts and suggestions, both for clients and employees.

In October 2015, we inaugurated our first-ever global Innovation Tournament at ERM. The aim of the tournament was to facilitate creative and technologically advanced ideas through developing solutions to sustainability challenges faced by our clients. In turn, these insights would increase ERM's competitive edge in the global marketplace. Over 3,000 employees from all around the world participated in our inaugural Tournament. The results were remarkable, with two-thirds of ERM employees contributing.

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We aim to stimulate and sustain a culture in which employees are engaged and active in driving innovation to serve our clients by connecting with one another and collaborating to generate new solutions. ERM's Innovation Tournament was designed to help uncover these opportunities. The tournament is not the only way that ERM supports innovation, but it was an important new global initiative to stimulate an innovation culture in a focused and globally connected way.

The tournament helped spur employees around the global to think of novel ways in which we could serve our clients. In the process, it increased engagement throughout ERM as people commented, shared ideas and voted on the submissions.

ERM employees were invited to share market-facing ideas about how to improve the company, but a number of submissions also addressed the improvement of internal processes. The ideas were then judged over three rounds. 

The top tournament idea centered on an integrated data management services offering. The solution will enable clients to visualize the entire breadth of their data across a wide timespan through 3D animations, modeling and other spatial and visual interpretations that facilitate the comparison of data sets and identification of trends. 

John D'Agostino, a Partner with ERM and one of the tournament leaders said, "This is the first time ERM has undertaken a global initiative on innovation of this magnitude, and we needed to be sure we had a platform that would support what we were looking to achieve. Innovation that supports client needs is vital to a firm like ERM with highly intelligent employees who have great ideas they want to share with clients. The levels of engagement demonstrate the effectiveness of the online platform we used to capture and share ideas."

From idea generation to the detailed, final-round presentations before the judging panel, the response across ERM was so positive that plans are underway for the next tournament.