While world leaders continue to debate over the future of the planet, many businesses, both local and global, are already committing to take radical action on their carbon output. But what role does facilities management play in delivering net zero, and can there be sustainability in facilities management?
We all have to do our bit to tackle the climate crisis and the impact it’s having on everyone. As a business, you can employ sustainable facilities management, and we’re here to support you on your journey. So let’s start with the basics!
What is sustainable facilities management?
Sustainable facilities management is about making sure workplaces and businesses minimise their impact on the planet. Some can even go a step further and try to create a positive impact on the environment.
Achieving this through FM is all about reducing, recycling and reusing resources to create a more energy-efficient workspace to minimise the carbon footprint of the business.
Why are businesses striving to be greener?
There will be many smaller, local businesses who are making changes out of the goodness of their hearts and with kindness for the planet. But for many conglomerates, the drive to net zero is a result of commercial realities; the price of doing business in a way that harms the environment is likely to increase in years to come.
The government has already started pushing through regulations, and more are likely to come, including:
- More efficient energy use
- More ecologically responsible procurement
- More recycling and less landfill
With the era of cheap goods and services from non-sustainable sources is coming to end and the ability to replace equipment rather than recycle and reuse becoming more expensive, businesses will need to find ways to make greener alternatives in all areas.
How sustainable facilities management can save you money
Sustainable practices can be financially beneficial for your business, as a number of companies have already discovered:
- United Airlines invested in lighter planes and saved $2 billion on fuel
- Clarion saved more than $17,000 a year by cutting water usage
- Football stadiums in America have saved more than $12,000 a year over the cost of paper towels
You’ll also see this impacting sales; research from the Institute of Customer Service found that environmental sustainability is now the most important factor in the purchasing decision of 18% of UK consumers. If you’re not driving your environmental agenda forward, you could risk losing business.
By making your operations more energy efficient, you not only protect the planet, but also stand to help your bottom line too.
3 easy steps you can take to be more sustainable
Purchase energy efficient equipment
There’s a world of energy efficient products available now that can reduce your impact, from HVAC systems, to better office equipment; even simple switches like energy-efficient light bulbs can have a positive impact on the environment,
Explore passive solar heating
Passive solar heating takes advantage of existing infrastructure to trap, store, or retain solar energy. This means that the heat produced by that afternoon light streaming through your storefront windows would be used to heat the building for the rest of the day. Simply installing brick walls or special tile floors that are designed to retain heat can save thousands in energy bills whilst significantly reducing energy consumption during the cold winter months.
Embrace preventative maintenance
A well-planned preventative maintenance strategy has a world of benefits, allowing you to not only save money on emergency repairs, but will be better keep assets performing at full capacity, minimising wasted energy and resources.
Maintaining equipment and assets for as long as possible is better for the environment. Maximising their lifecycle causes less waste and will save you money in the long run by having to replace equipment less often.
Taking steps to run a more environmentally conscious business can be a simpler and quicker process than you think. There are small but still significant steps businesses can take that will help them make the most of their facilities management whilst positively impacting the planet. Feel free to reach out to us if there are any FM requirements you’d like to discuss.