Determining What Matters

Determining what to include in this report begins with an understanding of our value chain impacts and this includes: our associations with our business partners; our work undertaken for clients; and our thought leadership activities. The report addresses those items that are of significant interest to our stakeholders and to ERM's business strategy.

We undertake our materiality assessment ahead of each financial year, in order for our business planning to include initiatives to respond to the key issues identified. At the same time, we establish KPIs and targets to track the effectiveness of our management of these issues throughout the year. Our focus is on improving, year on year, the management of key sustainability issues for the business.

This year, in response to feedback, we undertook a more rigorous approach for determining the key issues for the business. The process below outlines the process adopted for FY15, the outcomes of which will be published in next year's report.

Step 1: We drew on a wide range of internal and external inputs to develop a view on what matters to our stakeholders, including extensive interviews, surveys and benchmarking.

Step 2: We expanded our understanding of ERM's sustainability context through our involvement in various global organizations, including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and its Vision 2050 and Action2020 initiatives, the UN-led process for establishing Sustainable Development Goals and other industry forums.

Step 3: As part of the company's refresh of our One Planet. One Company. ERM. strategy and other related activities, senior management and the Board of Directors reviewed the company's key business issues.

Step 4: We created a matrix of key issues. Internal sustainability experts and business leaders assessed these in terms of their potential economic, environmental and social impacts to ERM and our stakeholders.

Step 5: Based on this assessment, senior management agreed on the material sustainability issues for our business going forward. We reviewed the GRI Aspects and, where relevant, assigned indicators, which are outlined in our GRI Content Index.

Step 6: In order to drive performance improvement, we established key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets directly related to our material issues. We will report on our performance against these targets in future reports.

Looking forward — what's important for ERM?

This updated assessment of materiality sets out what issues are most important for the company in the coming year. Some of the key changes we have made in the list of issues identified for the coming year include:

  • Combining some issues that are linked;
  • Reflecting the progress made on some issues, and the changing business context;
  • Challenging ourselves to look at issues in a more integrated and long-term manner; and
  • Extending our thinking beyond our direct footprint, into other aspects of our value chain.

The list of material issues, KPIs and targets is set out below.

Materiality Matrix - Determining Report Contents

FY15 Material Issues and Targets

FY15 Material Issue FY15 KPI FY15 Target
Recruiting, developing and retaining talent to meet evolving client needs
  • Training per employee via ERM Academy.
  • Voluntary turnover.
  • Ratio of female to male Senior Consultants and Partners.
  • 40 hours training per employee via ERM Academy.
  • Voluntary turnover rate of ≤ 13%.
  • Ratio of female to male Senior Consultants and Partners increased by an incremental 5% (from FY14).
Providing a safe workplace for all
  • Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR).
  • Fatality and serious injury prevention.
  • Training.
  • Annual TRIR and 3-year rolling average at or below FY14 results.
  • Fatality and serious injury prevention initiative developed and launched.
  • 100% compliance with FY15 mandatory training requirements.
Ensuring the highest standards of compliance and ethics are met by all employees, operations and business partners
  • Fines or non-monetary sanctions for material non-compliance with laws or regulations.
  • Completion of mandatory business conduct and ethics training.
  • No fines or non-monetary sanctions for material non-compliance with laws or regulations.
  • 100% compliance with FY15 mandatory training requirements.
Contributing to society and the environment through our work with clients and the Foundation
  • Contributing to innovative responses to sustainability challenges.
  • Donating resources to support sustainable programs and initiatives.
  • Approach developed and piloted for quantifying the sustainability impacts of projects.
  • Active leadership in WBCSD Vision 2050 and Action2020 platform.
  • 1% of prior year profits contributed to global sustainability initiatives, primarily through the Foundation.
Strengthening climate resilience through innovation, thought leadership and effective management of our own carbon emissions
  • GHG emissions.
  • Climate resilience.
  • 3% reduction in total GHG emissions per FTE employee (from FY14).
  • Complete Climate Resilience Strategy.
Maintaining our reputation as premier provider of independent, high-quality technical advice
  • Sustainable financial and technical growth of the company.
  • Sales to GKCs increased from FY14 to FY15.
  • All five core practices sold to more than 50% of GKCs.
  • Proportion of large projects increased from FY14 to FY15.
Understanding and managing risks and opportunities throughout our value chain
  • Value chain collaboration.
  • Further development of process for identifying, prioritizing and managing risk throughout our value chain.