We participate in global conferences that align with the sustainability challenges faced by our clients, particularly in key sectors such as oil and gas, mining, power, and chemicals.
In FY14, we participated at both a corporate and individual level in these key events. For example, ERM continued our role as Sustainability Partner for CERAWeek, one of the most influential energy conferences in the world with more than 2,300 attendees.
In addition, our consultants delivered hundreds of presentations at conferences around the world, sharing the lessons learned from more than 20,000 projects annually and our observations and insights into the sustainability challenges facing different industries.
Showcasing the Benefits of Proactive Management of EHS Risks in the Mining Sector
Mining is an important sector for ERM, and we have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge through our work with clients around the world.
ERM has attended the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in South Africa, and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange (PDAC) for many years to engage in meaningful discussions about the future of the industry and share best practice advice.
At this year's Indaba event, ERM led a workshop focused on how operators can save time and money through proactive management of health, safety, community and environmental risks. The workshop and ensuing debate provided different perspectives on effective ways to manage health, safety, community and environmental risks.
At PDAC, as well as hosting a debate on the relationship between capital markets and environmental and social risk, our team spoke on topics as diverse as women in mining, health and safety and cash flow development.
Sharing Best Practice Insights with the Energy and Petroleum Industry
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International HSE Conference is the energy and petroleum industry's premier international event highlighting HSE best practices and challenges. The latest event was held in California, U.S., and attracted HSE professionals from around the world.
In support of the Conference Program Committee, more than a dozen ERM employees presented technical papers and presentations, gave plenary and panel presentations and co-chaired technical and plenary sessions. Our thought leadership activities provided delegates with a unique insight into how to overcome their strategic and operational challenges.
Highlights included a session on "Indigenous Peoples: Inclusive Engagement to Achieve Social License to Operate," co-chaired by Trey Shaffer, ERM Managing Partner, Oil & Gas for North America, who was also elected the Chair of the next conference to be held in Norway. The discussion approached stakeholder engagement from the perspective of indigenous peoples, to help companies understand better their role in responsible operations across the globe.
Driving Improvements in Air Quality
ERM continued our 35-year support of the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) in the United States as a Gold Sponsor of the association's 2013 annual conference. The theme of the conference, "Towards Sustainability", was particularly pertinent for ERM, with experts from our Air Quality and Climate Change team presenting at or chairing 20 sessions during the event.
A highlight of the event was a mini-symposium for the power sector, which consisted of six sessions running over three days. ERM's John Koehler organized the mini-symposium and ERM employees presented on a diverse range of topics, including power plant control technology, sustainable development, greenhouse gas emission data management, renewable power and the U.S. regulatory framework.
The power sector was also in the spotlight at the 2014 U.S. Energy, Utility & Environment Conference. The event provides a valuable forum for regulators, industries, academics and environmental groups to address key environmental and sustainability challenges.
ERM has a long history of participating in the debate and sharing our considerable global experience and expertise. As a conference sponsor, our employees contributed technical papers and presentations that focused on key issues such as capital project support and operational excellence in the North American power sector.
Sustainability Roundtable on Resource Scarcity Impacts
In February 2014, ERM collaborated with the World Environment Center (WEC) in Europe to host a roundtable event: Innovations for Managing Business Risks from Natural and Material Resource Availability. The highly interactive two-day session brought together 34 sustainability experts from seven countries to discuss innovation, data collection and risks associated with resource scarcity and its impacts on business.
The attendees — from multinational corporations, NGOs and academia - discussed the opportunities and challenges for businesses across various sectors to implement innovation strategies. For example, current technological opportunities are enabling different industries to collaborate on new generations of products (such as computers transforming the use of automobiles) and new management practices (such as collecting used products to reduce waste to landfill while simultaneously retaining resources). ERM continues to work with clients on this area of increased business focus.
Simon Clarke, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sustainability and Climate Change in an African Context
I have been with ERM for five years, now working as the Partner responsible for the Air Quality and Climate Change Practice in South Africa. I have always had an interest in sustainability and climate change, and have worked in this space since the start of my career. We have developed our capabilities in the area of resource efficiency and it is very satisfying to see the results from our work, which has helped our clients reduce their costs and minimize their environmental impacts.
My passion for growing ERM's services in these areas includes building our profile through thought leadership. This last year, I was involved in a research project for the South African Department of Environment, developing a greenhouse gas profile for shale gas development in the country and we have just started an interesting and important piece of research around sustainability scenarios in the African context.