We employ focussed technical studies and site visits, to underpin practical advice on best practice management systems and approaches, to ensure that our clients have the information they need, in a format they can use, on time. Our services include:

  • ESG due diligence and risk management
  • Environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA)
  • Regulatory compliance audit
  • ESG and impact monitoring and evaluation

Our global network of experts covers a wide range of sectors and business functions, including finance, risk, health and safety, supply chain and stakeholder engagement, enabling them to provide highly focused and detailed analysis of opportunities, threats, assets and processes. Our experienced consultants then work with you, offering pragmatic responses to emerging challenges and commercially-sound advice on managing risk.

We regularly act as the Independent Environmental and Social Consultant on major projects, providing regulatory advice, environmental assessment and due diligence to investor-approved standards throughout the duration of the project.

We offer expertise in key sectors including:

  • Agribusiness
  • Renewable Energy
  • Financial Intermediaries
  • Industry and Manufacturing
  • Extractive Industries
  • Municipal and Major Infrastructure

From Board Governance and policy to extraordinary Environmental and Social challenges, our experts inform and de-risk investment decisions.

Biodiversity and Ecology

Our quality of life depends on diverse and complex ecosystems. As more evidence and global initiatives point to the severity of biodiversity loss and the implementation of reverse measures, it is increasingly important for companies to understand and minimise their impact on ecosystems and the many natural resources essential for human development including food, fibre, fuel, and medicinal plants. As such there is an imperative need to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into the sustainable management of human and business development.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the loss of nature will wipe £368bn a year off global economic growth by 2050. Without urgent action to protect nature, the environmental charity warned that the worldwide impact of coastal erosion, species loss and the decline of natural assets from forests to fisheries could cost a total of almost £8tn over the next 30 years.

At Earth Active our expert team understand the risks and rewards. We work with companies, lenders, NGOs and governments around the world to integrate biodiversity considerations into decision-making and to develop and improve business opportunities. We combine on-the-ground application of conservation and risk management in ecologically sensitive landscapes with our intimate understanding of international best practice to support our clients in identifying the biodiversity risks and opportunities associated with their projects. Our services include:

· Biodiversity and Ecosystem service risk management / impact assessment

· Critical Habitat Assessment

· ESIA development

· Mitigation Hierarchy

· Action Plans and Management Plans

· Monitoring and Evaluation

· Biodiversity Offsets

· PS6 expertise

· Policy and Strategy

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) has typically been one of the poor relatives in the ESG safeguards family; inadequately referred to in many IFI policies, comparatively vague in procedures and poorly attended to (unless there are material incidents and accidents). Green shoots of hope are emerging – new management and additional dedicated staff are beginning to make an impact, supported by concerned Boards of Directors. Unfortunately, local OHS consulting markets that should be supporting corporate and IFI OHS requirements are relatively young, poorly resourced and inexperienced to comprehensively meet lenders’. The lack of sufficient and competent OHS resources is creating a bottleneck in project development which potentially exposes workers and communities to unnecessary risks.

At Earth-Active we are actively filling these gaps.

All our staff are trained and have international OHS certification. This foundation enables them to fully understand and triage IFI OHS requirements regarding project and community health and safety matters.

We have a team of highly qualified, experienced and competent OHS specialists and experts who have decades of experience working on both project development and at operational sites.  The team has extensive cross-sector capabilities covering oil and gas, construction, marine environment (dredging, pipelines, ports, shipping etc), heavy industry, manufacturing, built environment and real estate, power and energy including renewables, utilities, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. They have all held senior executive positions but retain a ‘hands-on’ practical approach. Collectively, they bring a storehouse of hard won wisdom which sets our services apart.

Occupational Health and Safety services

  • OHS Due Diligence
  • OHS scoping and mitigation during project development
  • Construction and Operational OHS Management Plans
  • Assessment, assurance and monitoring audits and inspections
  • Policy Statements and Management Systems
  • Emergency Management and Response
  • Leadership and behavioural change programs
  • Mentoring, Training and Capacity Building
  • Independent Incident Investigations and Root Cause analysis

Getting Social

At Earth-Active we really do! We are blessed with a strong core team of ESG experts who have decades of experience in addressing social issues such as resettlement, cultural heritage, indigenous peoples, discrimination and inclusion. In the last few months, we have added to this awesome team, social performance professionals that bring additional skills and experience, giving us much more bandwidth and a strong academic background in:

  • Human Rights 
  • Gender and Women’s Empowerment
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • International Peace and Security
  • Social Assessment 
  • Labor Rights and Standards
  • Community Health and Safety

As well as putting more ‘S’ into ESG, we have strengthened our expertise and experience in Governance. In Earth-Active, ESG is all about identifying and addressing environmental and social issues in an integrated manner; through teamwork. We all sit together and share experience; vital for building well-rounded young professionals.

Policy, Strategy and Governance

With a team drawn from various backgrounds endows us with a holistic and practical perspective on how to incorporate social considerations into the development of policy (such as energy, agriculture, welfare, climate emergency etc), policy-based lending and community based and participatory interventions. We have drafted, reviewed and advised on policy and strategy for a variety of International Financial Institutions, government and private sector agencies on issues ranging from SGBV to mass retrenchment and the application of human rights and labor standards.

Accountability and transparency, through disclosure of information, engagement, grievance and complaints mechanisms, are fundamental components of good governance. We have significant experience of project level grievance mechanisms as well as corporate ones within companies and financial institutions.

Key to this is an understanding that environmental issues and social issues are intimately entwined, and that people do not fit into simple pigeonholes; the impacts of inter-sectionality need to be taken into account.

Gender

Our team includes specialists who have experience in appraising projects through a gender lens. This involves looking at inclusion and discrimination aspects in all matters; such as biodiversity, labor rights, resettlement and project benefits. Gender informed stakeholder engagement is key to garnering the rich diversity of questions, views, concerns and suggestions that communities have to offer. Some issues we’ve worked on include:

  • Enabling women to join the work force and become entrepreneurs in the real economy
  • Health factors affected by gender (for both men (e.g. alcoholism, lower life expectancy) and women (such as exposure to toxins)
  • Equal opportunities for women in the workplace
  • Gender considerations in sectors such as education, energy, transport and healthcare.

Sexual and Gender based Violence

It is an unfortunate fact that we have witnessed firsthand and helped to address the impacts of SGBV in developing countries such as in East Africa and in FCV countries such as DRC. It has arisen in education, government, agriculture, transport, construction and in refugee camps. As a result, we are sensitized to the need to appraise whether this may be an issue in our work. Things we’ve seen include:

  • Requiring sexual favors in return for food, healthcare, access to jobs, promotion
  • Molestation of minors by construction workers
  • Depriving women of entitlements such as compensation.

Our CEO was responsible to WB senior management for the development and rollout of the comprehensive World Bank response plan following the Uganda road rehabilitation project where a number of minors were subjected to GBV. In addition, we have dedicated gender specialists within our team.

Inclusion and Discrimination

The Sustainable Development Goals and the requirements of the major IFIs encompass fully the concept of ‘leaving no-one behind’ in development. This aspiration becomes real when robust social assessment and stakeholder engagement is carried out on projects. Some of our staff were involved in drafting, reviewing and advising on policies, environmental and social standards and guidelines on social assessment, inclusion and non-discrimination. Issues we have been involved in include:

  • Discrimination based on religion in education projects, exclusion from projects benefits due to politics, tribal or cultural affiliations
  • Exclusion of IPs from project benefits to avoid dealing with FPIC
  • Non-inclusion related to disability (access), sexual orientation, political or trade union affiliation
  • Non-inclusion based on mental health, age, youth, gender and albinism.

Through our involvement in diverse projects across all sectors and continents, we have a profound understanding of social dynamics within countries and cultures. With an unrivaled network of contacts, we keep abreast of the evolving landscape of social risks and impacts as they play out against a backdrop of evolving global trends and values.

Indigenous Peoples

The term and concept of ‘indigenous’ is both championed as a human right by many countries and scorned as a neo-colonial and socially decisive concept by others, especially in Africa. At Earth-Active we have a profound understanding of the politics, policies and status of indigenous peoples affairs around the globe; from our project, policy and strategy work. We have direct experience of addressing IP issues:

  • Characteristics of Indigenous Peoples (IPs)
  • The legal status and practical application of instruments such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169 at the project level etc.
  • Land use conflicts (conservation objectives v IP rights)
  • Indigenous Peoples Planning and development Plans
  • Meaningful consultation approaches with IPs
  • Determination of Free Prior Informed Consent/Consultation
  • Impact of projects on IP rights, culture and livelihood
  • Commercialization of IP cultural heritage.

Our CEO brokered the World Bank’s revised standard on Indigenous Peoples, as well as the definition of ‘indigenous peoples’ used by the Bank.

Labor Rights/Standards

Several IFIs have requirements relating to the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. These include the abolition of forced labor and child labor, the right of freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the principle of non-discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Worker (occupational) Health and Safety

There are many provisions within the ILO’s framework of requirements, EU requirements and national frameworks that govern occupational health and safety. We have experts with many years experience in assessing risks in the workplace and devising Health and safety Management Systems.

Influx of Migrant Workers

Although the arrival of a significant workforce to an area can be a welcome source of economic opportunities (through the provision of services for example), we have seen through our project work, that it can also be the cause of conflict, stress and exclusion:

  • Costs of accommodation and basic provisions increase beyond the affordability of locals
  • Local services such as hospitals and education facilities may be overwhelmed
  • Antisocial behavior by migrants may traumatize local residents
  • Gender based violence
  • Spread of communicable diseases
  • Inter-group conflict (differing tribal, religious, cultural or ethnic groups for example).

Community Health and Safety

Often, the health and safety impacts of individuals and communities that live in the impact zone around projects are not taken into account adequately during project preparation which can lead to adverse impacts arising; with much reduced scope for their mitigation.  Provisioning ecosystem services such as water, air quality, soils and vegetation may be impacted resulting in health impacts. Impacts that we have assessed and helped to address include:

  • Reduced availability of food and water due to contamination of soil and water resources
  • Increased rates of waterborne diseases due to water impoundments and increased water bodies (such s drainage canals)
  • Acute and chronic impacts on human health from pollution and increased vector populations
  • Growth stunting and mental health impacts such as stress
  • Increased accidents and deaths due to project related hazards and incidents (explosions, fires, road safety hazards, inadequate fencing around hazards and poor health and safety practice).

Fragility, Conflict and Violence

Increasingly, development finance is being directed to fragile, conflict and vulnerable countries as efforts to reach the SDGs are ramped up.  The challenges faced in these countries are enormous and include environmental and social ones. Certainly, these need to be addressed but in a way that’s appropriate to regional and national contexts, available resources and constraints.  Earth-Active and its partners have strong expertise and experience of appraising projects in a manner appropriate to prevailing conditions and context; particularly in Africa. 

  • Community driven development projects in the Sahel
  • Small and medium sized projects in the Horn of Africa (livestock, WASH, agriculture)
  • Impacts of refugee camps on host communities.

Stakeholder Engagement

We have extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and disclosure of information at both the policy level and at the practical level in development and project scenarios.

  • Stakeholder identification and characterization
  • Devising and helping to carrying out stakeholder engagement plans and outreach 
  • Tailoring consultation and engagement during all stages of development projects and policy reviews
  • Stakeholder outreach during project implementation
  • Problem solving and dispute resolution
  • Reporting, blogging, webinars and other forms of practical engagement.

Some of our team helped to draft IFI standards on stakeholder engagement and disclosure of information as well as accompanying guidance notes.  For example, our CEO led the introduction of EBRD’s PR10 and World Bank’s ESS10.  

Our team includes people who have worked extensively with and for civil society organizations involved in:

  • Medical Relief (e.g. in Palestine, Haiti)
  • UN Relief and Works Agency
  • Church Aid (Africa, Caribbean and Central Europe)
  • Gender, Family and Women’s Affairs
  • Gender based Violence
  • Disability Groups
  • Fauna and flora conservation

Accountability and Grievance Redress

We are familiar with the accountability mechanisms of a wide range of International Financial Institutions and private sector financial institutions.  We are thus in a position to assist both the appellants well as the host institutions:

  • Advising and supporting on IFI accountability mechanism cases
  • Advising on Project Grievance Mechanism design and effectiveness

Problem solving and dispute resolution.

Hydropower

Details of Earth Active services and extensive experience of E&S with hydropower in emerging economies will follow shortly. In the meantime please email any questions you may have to enquiries@earth-active.com

Financial Intermediaries

Details of Earth Active services for financial intermediaries will follow shortly. In the meantime please email any questions you may have to enquiries@earth-active.com