As a leading sustainability consultancy, we need to lead from the front when it comes to driving change and encouraging innovation.

Throughout FY14, ERM played an active part in thought leadership on the international, national and local sustainability stage.

From managing non-technical risks to safeguarding human rights, we shared technical insights and best practices on a range of subject matters that will help organizations respond to the world's multi-faceted sustainability challenges now and in the future.

In FY14, we took a more strategic approach to manage our thought leadership activities and maximize the impact of our efforts across the globe. As well as continuing to participate in conferences and forums that align with our business strategy and client base - such as CERAWeek, African Mining Indaba, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Conference (PDAC), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) - we also broadened our focus to address more effectively the world's evolving sustainability issues.

FY14 also saw our work with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) continue around its G4 Guidelines. ERM's practitioners assisted with both the development and launch of the Guidelines; also, we were one of the first companies to use the G4 reporting framework. Our work with the GRI is just one example of how we hope to shape the frameworks used by organizations to manage their environmental, social and economic impacts.

In FY14, we also contributed to the sustainability debate through our participation in global forums that are seeking to advance the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015 and beyond. ERM is collaborating with the three leading organizations tasked with coordinating business input, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and GRI, and we will be increasing our involvement during FY15 as the process to adopt the goals moves ahead.

By continuing to prioritize our thought leadership efforts, we will be able to help governments, businesses and industry bodies develop the processes and practices needed to overcome the sustainability risks that threaten our planet, such as climate change, and safeguard its natural resources for future generations.

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ERM Supporting Adoption of the GRI's G4 Guidelines

Adoption of GRI G4 Guidelines

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) launched its G4 Guidelines in May 2013. As part of the launch at a Global Conference, ERM participated in training workshops for GRI partners, led a fully subscribed master class on sustainability goal-setting, and joined a panel on reporting in the extractives sector.

Our thought leadership activities continued after the launch, and included blogs, articles, workshops, webinars and speaking engagements. Our client webinars and workshops in the U.S. alone touched almost 800 individuals.

We have also been assisting clients in transitioning to the new G4 Guidelines by upgrading their materiality assessments and developing and executing strategies to address the new and modified disclosures. ERM will continue to offer GRI-certified training in the U.S. through its partnership with GRI until May 2016.

We are also part of the G4 Pioneers Program, which supports early adopters of the Guidelines and helps GRI to improve its guidance based on participant feedback. ERM was invited to participate in an Australian study designed to capture the key learnings of early G4 adopters and encourage peer-to-peer discussion.

People Profile

Charles Allison

Charles Allison, Oxford, U.K.

Developing Approaches to Climate Resilience

As part of the WBCSD's Climate Change & Energy Working Group, I am helping to translate their vision for a sustainable world into an agenda for business action between now and 2020. ERM, in cooperation with another WBCSD member, is leading the development of a project to help companies understand climate risk and build resilience in their supply chains, where the current state of awareness, understanding and management of climate risks within the business is at an early stage.

The project, adopted as one of the WBCSD's Action2020 business solutions, draws on our success in helping clients across ERM's key client sectors to identify and adapt to risks posed by extreme weather and climate change in their operations and projects.

We have also applied our methodology to ERM in a pilot assessment that has mapped ERM offices affected by weather-related events, documented the business impacts and gathered best practices for continuity planning from offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. The next phase of the project will involve systematic risk profiling to determine those offices with the highest potential for weather-related impacts. We will also roll out best practices to manage these impacts.