Robust tool ensures safety, health and security of ERM teams during travel
ERM routinely supports clients as they face business and sustainability challenges in increasingly remote and difficult locations around the world. Ensuring our employees are safe, healthy and secure along with meeting our international business conduct and ethical obligations are critical priorities of ERM's corporate governance program.
The wider-ranging risks associated with the travel of ERM employees are managed through our Travel Risk Assessment (TRA) process, which has been enhanced significantly and placed on a new online platform.
For a number of years, ERM's initial TRA was a manual process. Uptake of the TRA tool was excellent, recognizing the extensive preparations we make when we travel to some of the most challenging locations around the globe. ERM's clients often remarked that the TRA tool went far beyond anything the clients themselves had developed.
Although the original manual TRA allowed for robust risk assessment and review, it had its limitations, and in 2015, ERM launched the online TRA. Employees now access the online TRA form and additional relevant information from a dedicated internal website. External criteria (e.g., risk ratings, relevant sanction lists) and internal data (e.g., insurance requirements, in-country knowledge) are used to calculate a risk rating for each TRA to ensure appropriate management of risk associated with ERM travel. The key benefits of ERM's online TRA include:
- Global Visibility
The value of the online TRA system is clearly demonstrated through improved efficiency of travel planning, increased awareness of health and security risk, and reassurance of ERM staff and their loved ones in the event of a crisis. During recent incidents in Belgium, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Mali and many other locations, ERM used the online TRA system to identify all travellers in the vicinity so that their whereabouts and safety were known, within minutes of learning of the event.
We ensure that every activity we undertake – regardless of where it is, the client we are supporting, the nature of the service we are providing and the inherent risks involved – can be done in such a way that our employees, contractors and clients go home each and every day without any adverse impacts to their health, safety or personal security.
Automating the development, review and approval of travel through the online TRA has driven consistency and improved the quality of the underlying risk assessment. Travelers are required to plan for specific higher-risk travel scenarios (e.g., airport pickup, over-road travel, inoculations, etc.), and given the flexibility to address less common, location-specific risks. The greatest benefit, though, has been the ability to identify international travellers in crisis locations and adjust plans for upcoming travel to similar locations.
ERM's leadership champions the program's proven ability to provide real-time information and governance on all travel. Most importantly, travellers find the system user-friendly and streamlined, readily accommodating changing travel plans and risk considerations. As an organization, we are able to extract meaningful composite data on our international travel locations and risk profile, driving system-wide improvements. The entire TRA process has been an operational and functional success at all levels.