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September 25, 2014

Survey: Environmental Resources Management

Specialty: Environmental, health safety and sustainability consultants

Management (local): Paul Hausmann, managing partner for the Pacific Northwest

Founded: 1971; 1977 (in the U.S.)

Headquarters: London; regional offices in Seattle, Portland and Bellingham

2014 revenues (local): N/A

Projected 2015 revenues (local): N/A

Projects: Providing a range of services to a major Pacific Northwest refinery ranging from air and waste permitting and management to legacy site management; helping a major cruise line manage its environmental compliance program

Environmental Resources Management bills itself as the world’s largest sustainability consultancy. John Kinsella, the Seattle-based commercial director for ERM’s Western Division, responded to questions about the company.

Q: Do your industrial clients view regulatory requirements as obstacles or opportunities?

A: Our clients view the requirements as that, requirements to do business. Many have mature EHS management systems or programs that require them to set EHS performance goals and to audit their progress to meeting those goals. Many of these performance goals go above base compliance.

For those companies that are able to change processes that no longer result in air emissions or waste discharges and therefore remove the need for regulations, regulations are an opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce liability.

Q: ERM has more than 5,000 employees in over 150 offices around the world. Do you share resources?

A: We share knowledge and staff all the time. We have an internal company intranet site called Minerva (after the Greek goddess) where we post project profiles, company news and requests for help on any global project. This notice board is very active and allows us to rapidly respond to client questions and requests.

Staff from Seattle recently returned from a project in Nicaragua where they were part of a global field team.

Q: How many employees do you have locally?

A: Forty staff in Seattle, 15 in Bellingham, 15 in Portland.

Q: What’s the most complex project you’re working on now?

A: Several international projects present logistical challenges where we have people deployed in remote locations with limited communication networks as well as unstable political or health environments.

Q: Have any recent technological innovations changed how you work?

A: Smartphone apps are improving project communication and data gathering. (Having) global communications 24/7 allows us to have resources available on short notice if needed.

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