Our people are passionate about learning, and recognize that engagement and collaboration are fundamental to sustainable development.
We motivate our people to share and develop their knowledge through writing thought leadership papers, attending conferences and taking an active role in professional associations.
Thanks to their knowledge of emerging risks and opportunities, our Technical Directors, Technical Fellows and Senior Consultants are particularly well placed to make a valuable contribution to the sustainability debate. These technical leaders are also critical to the continued success of ERM, providing expert advice and solutions to our clients.
In FY14, we continued to encourage these and other employees to participate in technical and professional associations that align with our sustainability strategy.
Driving Continuous Improvement of Contaminated Site Management in Emerging Economies
Emerging markets, such as Brazil, India, South Africa and Taiwan, have experienced rapid development in recent years, which has resulted in major issues related to land contamination.
In FY14, ERM employees from each of these markets joined together to publish a paper about the challenges of managing contaminated site assessments and remediation in emerging economies.
The team examined the regulatory environments in each these four countries to assess the various approaches to contaminated site management. They also discovered that risk assessment is being used as a decision-making tool, allowing for the development of more sustainable remediation approaches.
The paper and its findings were presented at the Battelle International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments.
Sharing ERM's Mining Expertise in Mexico
ERM Mexico employees Roberto Frau, Practice Leader for Sustainability and Social Consulting Services, and Manuel Ortíz Monasterio, Managing Partner, were recently published in the Mexico Mining Review, including Roberto's article, "Managing the Social License to Operate," and an interview with Manuel around the impact of sustainability consulting.
Their work analyzed the public-facing facets of mining operations in Mexico, particularly related to community engagement, non-technical risks and sustainability considerations. As a sustainability consultancy, ERM often assists mining clients in shaping their public perception and identifying, understanding and working with stakeholders with an interest in their operations.
Mining operations can no longer succeed in a bubble; Roberto and Manuel help clients build their businesses on collaboration, fostering genuine human relationships and moving away from ideas of "us versus them" towards symbiosis between client and community. Though clients often overlook the importance of their social license to operate, it is increasingly necessary in the sometimes difficult mining sector.
Tree Raine, Massachusetts, U.S.
Teaching Columbia University Students about Sustainable Development
I was invited to guest lecture at Columbia University as part of an Economics of Sustainable Development class. Though the class was focused on economics, I wanted to show the students how intertwined the social, economic and technical/environmental aspects truly are when implementing sustainability into real world solutions. As we look more towards alternative sources of energy, it is important that the next generation of innovators has a holistic understanding of the drivers and effects of these changes on everyday life.
I work with numerous power clients every day, and try to help them balance the economics of maintaining their facilities, the costs associated with regulatory compliance, and the impacts of social drivers on the initial implementation of new technologies, as well as long-term operations. It is our job as the leading global sustainability consultancy to help our clients move towards cleaner, more sustainable energy and operations, and provide them with the knowledge to do so successfully.