In recent years, businesses have been implementing sustainable development in Facilities Management (FM) to move towards a green-oriented society. An annual growth of over one million industrial and commercial buildings around the world face innumerable social, economic and environmental challenges. This can cause a broad range of adverse effects on human well-being if these are not addressed immediately.
Thus, to overcome these obstacles, more and more individuals and organizations focus on developing a sustainable strategy. Incorporating sustainability-related certifications and programs such as ESG or LEED into business operations has received more attention from businesses recently. In fact, going green and sustainable is not only beneficial for the company; it also maximizes the benefits from an environmental focus in the long-term.
- What is Sustainable Development in Facility Management?
- How to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals in Facilities Management?
Sustainable Development is an operational process to reduce harmful impacts that buildings have on the environment and their residents. This allows facility managers to make fundamental changes to buildings, typically commercial buildings, related to architecture, structure and operations. As a result, businesses are able to achieve the highest sustainability standards.
Sustainable Facilities Management includes the following areas of both Hard and Soft Facilities Management:
- Environmental sustainability
- Human factors and ergonomics
- Real estate and property management
- Operations and maintenance
- Project management
- Emergency management and business continuity
- Communications management
How to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals in Facilities Management?
Conduct audit and update asset
Updating the operational status of facilities is key to developing strategies for future improvements. Clearly, knowing where facilities are wasting energy enables managers to make timely decisions about maintenance and replacement. Thus, ensuring compliance with safety and sustainability regulations.
Perform Preventive Maintenance
Regular maintenance on equipment helps extend its lifespans, reduce the material usage in replacement parts. More specifically, when equipment is not performing optimally, operational costs tend to increase due to increased energy consumption and raw materials.
Implement Recycling Practices
By integrating recycling performance into Facilities Management, the sustainability of building can be improved and enhanced. This helps conserve resources, reduce waste and cut down emissions.
Green Facilities Management – 4 Practical Guidelines for Improving Waste Management
In recent years, businesses are becoming more concerned about how they’re going to dispose of waste from their buildings and industry. Typically, poor waste management practices can pose a threat to health as well as the environment. With the aim of creating an energy-efficient environment, several methods have been proposed to manage and reduce waste generation.
1. Carry out Waste Audit
To determine the type and volume of waste generated in each area of facility, a waste audit should be conducted. By doing this assessment, businesses can identify opportunities for improving their facilities waste management program through data collection.
2. Form a waste management task force
A waste management task force helps to determine the current mission scope and understand what is needed to create an environmentally friendly environment. In other words, building this task force is essential to develop and monitor implementation of an integrated waste reduction plan.
3. Create a waste management plan
Having a plan for waste management is vital as it is the foundation for identifying issues, requirements, and objectives following the concept of green building. This will help detect problems early and have better solutions for addressing them. As a result, operational efficiency and improved productivity can be promoted in the workplace.
4. Follow the waste hierarchy
By applying the waste hierarchy, the sustainability of buildings or factory can be improved and developed. Therefore, organizations can have a plan to reduce waste and make savings, contributing to creating a more sustainable future.
Green Facilities Management – Cut Energy Costs and Increase the Efficiency of Facilities
Sustainability is one of the focuses of many businesses today. This is because reducing environmental impacts is not only cost-effective but can enhance brand image and build customer loyalty. As a result, facilities managers and business owners are implementing different tactics to cut energy costs and increase facilities’ efficiency.
Manage energy consuming equipment
Ensure smooth and efficient operations of equipment to reduce energy waste and improve building conditions
Periodic inspection and maintenance
Conduct routine maintenance to identify equipment, lighting, HVAC’ problems, thereby minimizing damage to assets and improving the energy efficiency of buildings
Use lighting and HVAC controls
Install efficient building automation systems to increase efficiency, greatly reducing your building’s energy costs
Educate facility occupants
Hold meetings or training to let people know how to use equipment properly to reduce costs and raise energy consciousness
Green Facilities Management – 4 Main Factors of Indoor Environmental that Affect Occupants
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the conditions of a building’s environment. As IEQ has a direct effect on our health, comfort, and productivity, it is important to have a better understanding of its elements.
- Indoor air quality: the air quality within buildings and structures that affects the comfort, work performance and the health of building occupants.
- Visual comfort: the eye’s response to workspace light without straining the eyes or affecting people’s ability to focus.
- Acoustic comfort: a sense of quietness, peace and allows to focus for a long duration without get distracted from indoor noise sources.
- Thermal comfort: being able to feel comfortable with the temperature, which creates a productive and efficient working environment.
In conclusion, the main objective of sustainable development in Facilities Management is an improvement in quality of life of present and future generations. This can be seen as dealing with issues related to society, economy and environment. From that, encouraging people to conserve and improve our natural resources by gradually implementing the above outlined methods and initiatives.