Managing our risk profile

We understand our risk appetite and manage our business to maximise opportunities by identifying and managing material risks to an acceptable level – in accordance with a risk management framework.

GHD has processes to systematically identify, assess and report on both financial and non-financial business risks. A strategic and operational Risk Report is prepared and analysed by both management and the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board four times a year. The report addresses impacts, risks and opportunities with respect to health and safety, reputation, business practices and ethics.

The Board receives regular reports including: risk, corporate responsibility, HSE, diversity and inclusion, unethical practices and other matters that may affect our reputation.

  • Potential business issues and impacts identified from internal and external sources (shareholder reports, employee engagement surveys, external trends, group risk assessments

    • 600 Clients in e-Survey program
    • Participation in Beaton Research
    • UNGC regarding performance reporting
    • Review of peer reporting
  • Prioritised items identified in the Materiality Matrix feature in the Board and Executive performance reports. And are validated by senior management on regular basis.

Materiality Assessment

The materiality assessment assists GHD understand the current issues affecting our business and stakeholders. This comprehensive analysis utilises employee engagement and safety surveys, shareholder and investor reports, and group risk reports. There are three main stakeholder groups identifiable: our people, our clients and our shareholders. Undertaking the materiality analysis to determine what economic, environmental and social issues are most important to our business and stakeholders enables GHD to:

  • Inform our sustainability strategy and operational programs to develop targeted programs to improve business sustainability
  • Identify emerging sustainability trends and issues
  • Improve internal decision-making using risk based thinking
  • Respond to expectations of our stakeholders.

Materiality Matrix

The analysis is a consolidated list of 23 economic, environmental and social issues. The engagement phase seeks feedback through surveys from our people (many of whom are shareholders) and clients, which are quantified via risk assessment and plotted on a Materiality Matrix.

The identified material issues have been consolidated, providing greater clarity for our efforts going forward. This consolidation, led to the creation of the following pillars that guide our sustainability efforts. These pillars are codified within our Sustainability Policy and include:

  • Managing our risk profile
  • Developing our people
  • Demonstrating good governance
  • Contributing to our world positively
  • Assisting our clients to be more sustainable

Detailed information on each of these risks, as well as the strategies implemented to mitigate risk are actively managed using the GHD Risk Register. Status is reported to Executive and Board Risk Committee monthly.

Managing our operations

The General Manager, Operational Support and Risk is responsible for the design, implementation and continuous improvement of the risk management framework. This accountability extends to the development of the GHD risk management culture and the capability of managers and staff to identify, understand and treat risk. Delivering this accountability, the General Manager monitors and reports on the GHD risk profile in addition to providing independent assurance on the effectiveness of key risk management and internal controls in the business to the CEO, Executive Management Group, the Board and its Risk Committee.

In addition, the Board Risk Committee hold annual strategy discussions with the General Manager Operational Support and Risk to align the continuous improvement plans for the framework with the expectations of the Board.

All decision making within GHD should involve explicit consideration of risk to the degree appropriate to the criticality of the decisions being made. The Risk Management Framework provides a structured and consistent approach to risk management across all business activities that aligns strategy, systems and people in order to deliver on GHD's strategic objectives.

Quality Management

GHD’s Quality Management System was first certified to ISO 9001 in February 1993. Since that time it has evolved and improved as GHD has grown and expanded.

Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), has been part of GHD’s journey since the beginning and provides independent auditing of GHD’s Quality Management System. GHD’s maturity in quality management is illustrated by award of a three year certification cycle.

We have completed our recertification audit and LRQA has recommended an upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 (excluding North America). The upgrade requires greater focus and effort on leadership and risk-based thinking. Our North American operations will seek to have their regional quality system upgraded in FY19/20.

Health Safety and Environment Management

Our goal is to be one brand, renowned for client service and a culture of safety. To achieve this goal, we have created a five year GHD HSE Strategic Plan – SAFE You, SAFE Me, SAFE GHD. By regularly reviewing our achievements against the HSE Strategy’s goals, we will continually improve our safety performance.

We embed HSE into every aspect of our operations, and protecting the safety of our people, our clients and the communities and environments in which we operate. This enables us to promote the delivery of our cultural objective: ‘Safe You, Safe Me,-Safe GHD’.

GHD has an internationally certified HSE Management System (OHSAS 18001, AS 4801 and ISO 14001), whereby our HSE Strategy and Management Standards set the expectations for all GHD people. GHD is currently undergoing its certification transition audit to the new ISO45001 standard for health and safety management.

A major initiative has been finalising a global health, safety and environmental (HSE) framework. It standardises definitions and process for many key aspects of HSE across all regions of GHD. We have also finalised a new enterprise wide HSE Strategic Plan, Manual and Management Standards.

Our most recent Safety Culture Survey revealed that our people wanted a more effective and efficient way to interact with HSE. As a result, we have developed and implemented our new SMARTapp in Australia, which enables our people undertake compliance HSE activities and also report hazards and incidents in the field.

We continue to develop and refine our SMART Behaviours Model, which encourages our people to demonstrate desired safety behaviours in their everyday activities. It enables proactive management of safety behaviours in a fair, transparent and repeatable way and allows us to identify undesired or unsafe behaviours, before they create the catalyst for an incident.

While our overall safety performance continues to be extremely credible, we are not satifisfied with an increase in our Total Recordable Incident Rate per 200,000 hours worked. Despite maintaining a high level of positive interactions, this has increased to 0.24 from 0.23 in the last year. As a result, we are applying a fresh focus to better understand the human factors that directly impact safety behaviours and also undertaking critical risk analysis of identified operations globally.

Information Security

GHD maintains information security management systems certified to ISO 27001. Our approach provides a solid governance and a foundation for our continuous efforts to improve the security of the information entrusted to us. To serve our clients who do not use ISO 27001, we have also certified a special environment to NIST 800-53, Revision 4. Our goals over the next few years see us actively aligning and certifying with other information security standards in the regions in which we operate, and further embedding information security into GHD’s culture.

Crisis Management

Our emergency response and crisis management processes were tested through a number of major events around the world, including fires, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. We continue to test our response capability to potential business impacting crises through structured case studies to ensure our business continuity during adverse events.

GHD identifies the credible pathways for emergency or crisis events that may detrimentally affect our business. Crisis Management and Emergency Response Teams are trained and rehearse scenarios on regular basis.