Our client work represents our most significant contribution towards the global sustainability agenda.
While we continue to take steps toward reducing the impacts of our operations, we believe that our client projects form the largest part of our sustainability footprint.
ERM focuses on assisting clients with solving their sustainability issues; to measure progress against this, we set two goals for FY14. The first was for sales to Global Key Clients (GKCs) to meet budget, as our relationships with these GKCs are an essential element of our business strategy. We fell short of the budget although we grew our sales to these clients, through the focused efforts of GKC teams across the world.
The second goal was to sell our core services to three-quarters of our GKCs. In FY14, we were able to sell our core services to almost half of our GKCs. This goal was intended to measure our ability to support clients across the full spectrum of our sustainability-related services. Going forward, we will continue to refine our indicators and targets to help us understand how well we are meeting the wide-ranging needs of our clients.
Stakeholders have requested that we measure more effectively and disclose the impacts we have through our client projects. Although this is often difficult to do, we are developing approaches to estimate the magnitude of these impacts, especially from large projects.
Senior Client Reviews
In early 2014, ERM senior leaders interviewed 76 contacts at 29 of ERM's most important clients globally. This is the fourth occasion we have engaged in a major exercise soliciting feedback in the past eight years. Analysis of the comments gathered from clients revealed a number of key themes relating to sustainability:
- ERM can make a difference through our thought leadership and our ability to bring people together from multiple clients or multiple sectors.
- We need to identify better ways of delivering, measuring and communicating the value we create from our work with clients.
Our One Planet. One Company. ERM. strategy states that we will invest in the industry sectors where our clients need the full range of our services, and where we can participate in projects and programs that make a difference. The oil and gas, mining, power, manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceuticals sectors equate to more than 80 percent of our business. These industries are at the forefront of many sustainability issues involving resource constraints, safety, risk management, human rights and work in sensitive and challenging environments.
In recent years, ERM has been involved in some of the most complex and challenging development projects being proposed, such as the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S.; the proposed interoceanic canal in Nicaragua; the Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea, in West Africa; and the HS2 rail line in the U.K. We bring technical expertise, independent, strategic thinking and broad knowledge of sustainability issues to such projects and to high-profile industries.
ERM supports its clients by maintaining a holistic view throughout the development and delivery of a project. We communicate regulatory implications of the project, as well as environmental, social and health considerations that arise from understanding the local environment and stakeholders, as well as financial considerations.
Ian Hamilton, Bristol, U.K.
Leading the Discussion around Human Factors
As part of our Human Factors Team, I work with our technical safety and management systems specialists at ERM to support our clients in the management of major accident safety. In everything that our clients do to operate and maintain their assets, there is a reliance on people and organizations to perform reliably.
Our expertise in the analysis of safety and operationally critical tasks, as well as the control of human error, enables us to advise our clients on how to create more robust process safety control measures. This is significant in light of the increasing regulatory demands that require our clients to provide evidence that the risk of major accidents caused by human error has been thoroughly and properly understood and controlled.