FMJ - May/June 2017

Chair’s Column

Maureen Ehrenberg, FRICS, CRE 2017-05-11 17:32:48

GREEN FM IS INCREASINGLY AT THE FOREFRONT IN THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY Despite Washington, D.C.’s current lackluster focus on sustainability, many corporations are standing by their commitments to carbon footprint reduction and environmental stewardship. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has passion and commitment behind it, and for many organizations, the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit is a factor in the business equation. One reason: Environmental sustainability makes good business sense. Environmental, financial and resource sustainability is now woven into the operations of many organizations, including their facilities. In fact, the facility management profession has been front-and-center in bringing energy conservation and environmental sustainability into building operations, and it’s one of the industry’s core competencies. Increasingly, employees and potential employees are asking companies about their CSR statements and about the impact of the organization on the environment. Consider your typical workday. Whatever your specific FM role, you are probably already helping your organization achieve energy-efficient facilities, conserve water, manage resources, drive programs through your supply chain, compost food waste, reduce landfill fees, optimize indoor air quality and much more. These initiatives save money and help organizations address stakeholder concerns about climate change and sustainability. As we advance into the experience economy from the service economy, the corporate sustainability demands of our employees, customers and clients require a genuine, demonstrable and substantial response. So how can you up your sustainability game? Here are a few suggestions: 1 Revisit your technology strategy. Smart building technology has become more affordable and flexible, creating a compelling business case for improving energy efficiency and building performance. For instance, you can use smart building management software and Internet of Things technology for around-the-clock commissioning of building systems. Today’s new technologies create major opportunities to optimize resources, while creating a healthier and more productive employee experience. Additionally, critical, smart systems and the data they generate make it easier to accurately track greenhouse gas emissions for CSR reporting. 2 Talk to the vendor community. Vendors can be a great source for the latest thinking in sustainability. In addition to the service providers involved with your organization, you can connect with many more at IFMA’s annual World Workplace conferences. IFMA’s World Workplace event series provides unique access to exhibits and suppliers who bring innovative and diverse insights on solutions to help address sustainability challenges and opportunities in your facility operations. This conference, offered in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, India and the United States, explores what’s new in environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, building materials, technologies and more. 3 Consider education and possibly credentials. Explore additional training and credentials to upgrade your expertise. FM’s fundamental connection to environmental sustainability is one reason why IFMA created the Sustainability Facility Professional® (SFP®) designation. Earning this credential will help you go beyond achieving building certifications and engage all of your company’s FM assets to optimize triple-bottom-line results. IFMA also offers other programs to arm you with knowledge, guidance and experience involving both sustainability and workplace management. Mastering these IFMA sustainability programs is a sure-fire way for FM professionals to meet sustainability goals. Browse the course catalogue at for a list of course and resource options. 4 Visit IFMA’s Knowledge Library. One of the many valuable benefits of IFMA membership is the Knowledge Library, containing hundreds of resources on FM research, benchmarking, standard operating procedures and best practices. Visit the Knowledge Library online to access content on specific topics related to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Get started at No matter where you are in your FM career, there is always more to learn about environmental sustainability and how — armed with this knowledge and understanding — you can influence profit, people and planet and deliver an enhanced experience for your stakeholders.

Published by International Facility Management Association . View All Articles.

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