; Society - FY17 performance: ERM Sustainability Report 2017


ERM helps governments, businesses, industry bodies and other leading organizations to address complex sustainability issues by providing technical insights and best practices. We raise awareness of sustainability trends and topics that educate, influence and sometimes challenge a company or industry.


Contributing to global sustainability challenges

Heather Royston, Partner – Houston, US

As a responsible corporate citizen, we encourage our consultants to share the lessons learned and insights gained from their work on more than 20,000 projects annually. In particular, we focus our thought leadership efforts where our technical and professional skills can have the greatest positive impact, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In FY17, our consultants published thought leadership papers, played an active role in professional associations, and delivered hundreds of presentations at conferences around the world – including African Mining Indaba, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and PowerGen Asia.

Heather Royston was recently appointed to Miami University’s Advisory Board for the Institute of Environment & Sustainability (IES) in the College of Arts and Science. Heather’s 3-year commitment allows her to share her knowledge with students who are interested in pursuing careers in environmental science and sustainability.

As part of our new business strategy, we have reviewed our strategic relationships in order that we can be working with other leading organizations who are seeking to make a positive impact on the key sustainability challenges we are facing. We have included highlights of our work with some of these organizations.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Financial Stability Board, an international body formed by G20 leaders to make recommendations about the global financial system, established the TCFD to develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers and other stakeholders.

TCFD published the first draft global industry-led recommendations report for assessing corporate financial risks emerging from climate change in December 2016. Following consultation, the recommendations were finalized in June 2017 and submitted to the G20 leaders' summit. ERM was the only consultant formally engaged to support TCFD, helping to develop a scenarios-based approach that is central to its recommendations and published in the Technical Supplement, which we prepared.

Pressure is mounting on corporations for climate-related financial disclosure from investors, stock exchanges and governments. The TCFD recommendations are already being integrated into corporate reporting guidelines by major stock exchanges. Further endorsement by several G20 governments is expected by mid-2017.

“Due to the technically challenging and broad focus of its work, the Task Force also sought input from experts in the field of climate change, particularly in relation to scenario analysis. The Task Force engaged Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to inform its work by developing a technical paper on scenario analysis—The Use of Scenario Analysis in Disclosure of Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities. Several members of the Task Force, joined by representatives from 2° Investing Initiative (2°ii), Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Bloomberg Quantitative Risk Experts, Carbon Tracker, CDP, and the London School of Economics and Political Science led a working group to oversee ERM’s technical considerations. A workshop was also held with experts from Oxford Martin School. Additionally, the International Energy Agency (IEA) provided input regarding how scenario analysis can be conducted and used.”

Excerpt from Final Report, Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, June 2017

Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

In February 2017, ERM began a 3-year sponsorship of RGS, the world-renowned learned society and professional body for geography. As a Corporate Benefactor, ERM provides both financial support and technical expertise to enhance and support RGS’s work with professional communities as a whole, and teachers in particular.

ERM’s initial focus is on supporting two RGS programs in areas of the UK where there are less advantaged schools with fewer resources for teachers and pupils.

ERM will provide a financial contribution as well as pro bono time through the ERM Foundation and volunteer time from employees.

John Alexander, Chairman, ERM with Dr Rita Gardner, Director, RGS at the launch of the partnership

UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

ERM became a signatory of the internationally recognized PRI in FY17, demonstrating our commitment to providing, developing and promoting services that support our clients’ implementation of the six Principles regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes. PRI recently commissioned ERM to undertake a project to develop private equity reporting guidance on the principles, which will be published in 2017.

Campbell Institute

ERM joined the Campbell Institute at the US National Safety Council in FY17, an environmental, health and safety center of excellence built on the premise that protecting people and preserving the planet is integral to business excellence, and fundamental to operational and financial performance. ERM will be actively involved in the Institute to share our expertise and experience and further develop industry approaches to driving performance.


At ERM, they do not view safety learnings or best practices as an intellectual product to be protected – they view them as an opportunity to improve overall EHS knowledge. This is what makes them such a great fit in representing the Institute.

John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute and director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at the National Safety Council

Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX)

ERM was a training consultant for sustainability reporting workshops SGX offered in listed companies in February and March 2017. SGX is hosting sustainability reporting workshops to provide companies with the skills necessary to produce their first reports. Listed companies must produce a sustainability report beginning in 2018.


ERM is pleased to be part of providing support through SGX and Global Compact Network Singapore to SGX-listed firms on the new sustainability reporting rules.

Nat Vanitchyangkul, Partner - Bangkok, Thailand

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

SPE is the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists, and other professionals worldwide in the oil and gas industry. In late 2017, ERM Partner Trey Shaffer will conclude his three-year term as a SPE’s Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility (HSSE-SR) Technical Director. As part of his role, Trey has helped industry decision-makers understand, anticipate and avoid non-technical risks in a number of key areas including climate change, sustainability and safety. In addition, he led a process to help SPE develop an HSSE-SR strategy which will guide the organization over the coming years.


A couple of key initiatives he [Shaffer] led were the Climate Change Task Force, which developed a strategy for SPE to address climate change issues, and the HSE Task Force, which developed our overall strategy for serving members involved in HSE. In both cases, Trey’s efforts will have a lasting impact on how SPE serves the petroleum industry.

Mark Rubin, CEO, SPE

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

ERM has been actively involved in WBCSD since we joined as a founding member in 1995. We have been leading contributors to some of its most important publications and initiatives. During FY17 we actively participated in a range of activities, including:

  • Involvement in technical working group of the Reporting Exchange project (database of sustainability reporting requirements in different locations around the world)
  • Case study included in the Forest products sector guide to the Social Capital Protocol
  • “Which is the greater business imperative: water or carbon?” session moderated by ERM Chairman John Alexander at the WBCSD annual meeting in India
  • Water tool implementation with clients in India

We are committed to the WBCSD WASH (safe water, sanitation and health) pledge to look at the practical actions we can take to ensure operations and sites within our control have access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation.

We are also involved in WBCSD regional networks in India and the United States.

Deon Wessels, Principal Consultant based in Cape Town, South Africa, participated in WBCSD’s Leadership Program in 2016. The focus for the year was on “Making Sustainable Development Relevant, Actionable and Scalable.” Our involvement in the Leadership Program helps our talented leaders gain skills, experience and knowledge. Alumni join a global network of business leaders who are ambassadors for sustainable development both within their companies and outside in broader society.

Natural Capital Coalition

Doug MacNair, Technical Director in North America, is on secondment to the Natural Capital Coalition, working as the Technical Manager testing the pilot version of the Natural Capital Protocol Toolkit. This opportunity demonstrates the value that ERM has already brought to the natural capital approach over a number of years by helping to develop the Protocol, frameworks, and quantitative tools to support natural capital management.

The Natural Capital Coalition is a global multi-stakeholder collaboration that brings together leading initiatives and organizations to harmonize approaches to natural capital. Natural capital refers to the world's natural resources, including geology, soils, air, water and all living organisms.

UN Global Compact

As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, ERM commits to do business responsibly by aligning our strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption; and take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation. We are a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles as part of our commitment.

This report serves as our Communication on Progress, an annual disclosure to stakeholders on progress made in implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

View our UN Global Compact index for more detail on our progress in implementing the Ten Principles.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

As a GRI Standards Pioneer, ERM is among the first to adopt the new GRI Standards. We continue to work with GRI as a GOLD Community member. In the United States, we are a GRI-certified training partner, and offer public and private courses designed for individuals and organizations interested in gaining a deeper understanding of GRI, sustainability strategies and reporting.

  • FY17 target

    Strengthen engagement in leading sustainability organizations in line with new strategy


    Strengthened existing engagements and established new relationships in line with new strategy
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