CEO Message

John Alexander

John Alexander, CEO, speaking at the WBCSD annual meeting in Montreux, Switzerland

Business, governments and society as a whole increasingly are facing up to the challenges associated with the move towards more sustainable economic development. In this context, business is taking a leading role in developing and implementing new approaches to maximize the efficient use of resources, minimize the risks and impacts that we have on the environment and build stronger communities based on sound socio-economic practices.

At ERM, we aim to support business and governments as they respond to these challenges through the work that we do on specific client programs and projects around the world and through the contribution we make to important client and industry forums. Clients routinely work with ERM to understand more fully the sustainability challenges that they face and to evaluate and evolve their business models, processes, value chains and in some cases their products and services, so that they can position their organizations to succeed in this rapidly changing world.

Key questions raised include: How can business contribute to sustainable development at the global, regional and local level in ways that benefit both current and future generations? How can business collaborate with stakeholders from international organizations such as the United Nations, with national organizations and local communities, investors and employees to deliver more successful and sustainable outcomes?

At ERM, we aim to support our clients as they respond to these challenges through the work that we do on specific programs and projects around the world and through the contribution we make to important client and industry forums. This year, we continued our active role in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). As an Ambassador and Co-Chair of the Action2020 platform, I engage with peers, clients and thought leaders on how we can develop and expand practical and sustainable business solutions that will deliver a positive impact, and contribute to shareholder value. In addition, our leaders and practitioners engage actively with the sustainability challenges by contributing to hundreds of conferences, forums, publications and online platforms around the world.

Delivering Value

For more than 40 years, ERM has been working with clients to look at the interrelationship between economic, social, natural, human and other forms of capital, as well as the ways these different resources can be considered and managed more effectively. Leading businesses are thinking about their long-term value, with value being measured and reported across these different forms of capital. ERM is now incorporating emerging methodologies for measuring all forms of capital as we assist clients in responding to their challenges taking account of both short and long-term factors.

As a global company working in more than 160 countries, we are in a position to see the myriad of challenges and opportunities faced by business around the world. The past year has proved challenging in many markets. We have observed a number of our clients reprioritize their investments from capital projects to operational efficiencies — re-shaping their businesses while also looking at end-of-life asset management. Our clients want to see how we are delivering real value through our advice and services, and this report contains a number of case studies that highlight the ways in which we are achieving this.

Refreshing ERM's Growth Strategy

This year, we also took the opportunity to refresh our One Planet. One Company. ERM. strategy, which has served us well since we launched this growth plan four years ago in 2010. Together with members of the Senior Leadership Team, we undertook extensive engagement with our Global Key Clients to help decide how to respond better to their changing needs. The opportunity for direct dialogue on the issues and challenges they face, along with how we can continue to deliver value, was enormously beneficial. This feedback, in addition to our wider analysis of industry trends, confirmed our overall direction as a company, with some refinements to respond to the changing business context as outlined below.

For example, we have expanded our successful sector-focused approach to the market by adding the chemical sector to our current focus areas of oil and gas, mining and power. In addition, discussions with those in our Key Client program confirmed the effectiveness of our approach, with dedicated teams focused on meeting their needs. As a result, we have invested further in the Key Client program through the appointment of additional account managers to align with the key centers of activity for these companies — we will continue to review and adjust these as appropriate.

As we listened to our clients about HSE Operational Excellence, we learned that safety performance improvement remains a key priority for most. For companies seeking innovative approaches to reduce serious injuries and fatalities while improving operational efficiencies, ERM has strengthened its capability to assist by unlocking untapped potential in people, safety programs and processes.

Focusing on What Matters

As one of the first companies in the world to adopt the Global Reporting Initiative's new reporting Guidelines, known as G4, we have shared our learnings through a variety of forums with peers and clients to assist in their transition to this new approach. In this, our second report using the G4 Guidelines, we have engaged with a wider group of external stakeholders, who have challenged us to think more broadly about the impact we are having as an advisor to many of the world's leading companies. We have integrated this feedback into our assessment of key issues, and structured this report to focus on what matters to ERM and our stakeholders.

As part of our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and its Ten Principles, this report serves as our annual Communication on Progress. You will read about our efforts in the four key areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, as they are intrinsic to the way we do business and our service offerings to clients.

In closing, I would like to thank our clients for the trust they place in ERM everyday around the world; we recognize the importance of delivering great outcomes and great value for our clients and this remains a central part of our core principles. Similarly, ERM delivers for our clients through the incredible skill, hard work and dedication of our people. On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team at ERM, I would like to thank all of our Partners and staff who collaborate every day to deliver for our clients and in turn enable ERM to make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development.

John Alexander
Chief Executive Officer

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