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What facility managers can do to improve sustainability in the workplace

Eworks Manager
What facility managers can do to improve sustainability in the workplace

As a facility manager, you play a critical role in improving the sustainability of your company's operations. Sustainable practices can help you:


  • reduce your company's environmental impact,
  • save money,
  • and support employee health and well-being.


In this article, we'll explore what you can do to improve sustainability and the benefits of doing so.


What is sustainable facility management?

Sustainable facility management is an approach to managing buildings, facilities, and properties in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The goals of sustainable facility management include the following:


  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Improve waste management
  • Conserve water
  • Switch to renewable energy
  • Swap traditional materials for eco-friendly ones


Why is sustainability important?

In a study of more than 1,500 UK businesses, 48% said the physical effects of climate change have already affected them. Extreme weather events like flooding, storms and heatwaves can lead to supply chain issues and asset damage, causing delays and increased costs.


Natural causes have contributed to climate change, but our way of life is one of the greatest contributors. Emissions from energy generation, transportation, manufacturing, and buildings are responsible for the Earth's changing climate.


Climate change may feel like an unstoppable force that we can't reverse. But if every business tries to improve sustainability, we can minimise it and reduce its effects.


Benefits of sustainable facility management

Understanding the benefits will encourage you to strive for sustainability. Here are some of the advantages of embracing sustainable facility management:


Reduce environmental impact

Sustainable facility management can reduce your business's environmental impact. Adopting renewable resources, reducing waste and using environmentally-friendly materials are all effective ways to fight climate change.


Reduce operational costs

You can reduce your company's expenses through sustainable practices. For example, energy-efficient lighting and appliances can cut energy costs, waste reduction can reduce disposal costs, and reduced water use can cut your utility bill.


Improve employee health and well-being

Sustainable facility management can improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, improving employee health and productivity.


Improve brand reputation

Prioritising sustainability can help you enhance the business's brand reputation and attract customers and investors who value environmental responsibility.


Future-proof the business

As sustainability becomes more important to customers, investors, and other stakeholders, you can position the business for long-term success by prioritising sustainable facility management.


Challenges of improving sustainability

Improving sustainability is a big step to take, and there are challenges you may face along the way:


Resistance to change

Sustainable facility management often involves changes to established processes and procedures. Because your employees and stakeholders are used to doing things a certain way, they may resist change.



Sustainable practices can lead to cost savings in the long term, but the short-term investment may be high. If you have a small budget, this could prevent you from improving sustainability.


Limited resources

Eco-friendly materials may be more challenging to source, and they may also be more expensive. Lack of availability and high costs could make it difficult to adopt sustainable practices.


Limited measurement and reporting

It can be challenging to measure the impact of sustainable facility management practices. An inability to share progress with stakeholders makes it tough to show the benefits of sustainability.


Improving sustainability: 5 steps for facility managers

It's more important than ever for businesses to reduce their environmental footprint. With sustainable facility management, you can reap the benefits of sustainability and leave the world a better place.


Here's how you can improve sustainability as a facility manager:


Implement energy-efficient measures

Reduce energy consumption by introducing energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and appliances. Consider using renewable energy sources such as solar panels to reduce the company's reliance on fossil fuels.


Improve building insulation

You need less energy to heat or cool a well-insulated building, which means you can reduce energy consumption with proper insulation. An energy-efficient facility can also improve comfort for employees. You can maintain a consistent temperature, creating a healthy, welcoming environment.


Reduce water consumption

Installing low-flow toilets, fixing leaks, and recycling water are some ways you can reduce water consumption. You can also prevent leaks by scheduling regular inspections. With Facility Management Software, you can automate scheduling and, if there's a leak, find an available technician to fix it.


Reduce waste

Introduce recycling programs, compost food waste, reduce paper usage, and get rid of single-use plastics. Involve everyone in the office by creating rewards programmes to celebrate those who minimise waste. By encouraging everyone to get involved, you can increase your chances of reducing waste.


Encourage sustainable transportation

Encourage employees to use sustainable transportation options. These could include biking, walking, and public transportation. In the long run, consider providing charging stations for team members with electric vehicles.

Eworks Manager
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