Professional Development: Why FMs Need To Care About Sustainability
Economic IssuesPressure. From state governments dealing with massive budget cuts to manufacturing firms trying to cut expenses and stay competitive, every business and organization continues to look for ways to reduce costs. That’s especially true with increasing energy bills. Sustainable Approach. By taking a comprehensive approach to facilities, LEED addresses C-level concerns and bottom line results. It requires top level leadership and an understanding that all facility aspects (from mechanical to maintenance) can be improved through a stronger environmental approach. In addition, LEED certified buildings have been shown to provide many economic benefits, including lower construction costs, reduced site preparation and landscaping, lower waste disposal costs, reduced operating costs, reduced maintenance costs, higher building valuation, and lower utility costs. And improved lights, building controls, windows, and other technologies make it easier than ever to achieve savings and increase productivity.
Social IssuesPressure. A recent report by the World Economic Forum indicated that more than 70 CEOs surveyed believed that mainstream investors will have an increased interest in corporate citizenship issues. People are interested in how companies operate and treat their employees. Sustainable Approach. Facility managers who operate their buildings sustainably tend to have a healthier, more productive environment, with better tenant and worker attraction/retention and less absenteeism. In addition, working with human resources professionals, facility managers can conduct employee education campaigns that teach employees about the impact they can have on the environment at work, in their communities, and at home.
Environmental IssuesPressure. Whether it’s prompted by the marketplace (a growing interest in emissions trading or a desire to help conserve natural resources) or law (state and federal regulations or even global Kyoto mandates) or a combination of both, companies are paying more attention to the impact of their operations on greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable Approach. LEED-EB (for existing buildings) and LEED-CI (commercial interiors) are the most comprehensive way a facility manager can have an impact on the environment. He or she learns about the products and procedures that can reduce a company’s environmental footprint. And by tracking energy reductions, facility managers can reduce harmful emissions to meet imposed or voluntary reduction goals. Facility managers can be part of the team that provides solutions. Whether achieved through market demand or regulatory pressures, sustainability’s growing track record of creating superior value and growth assures its widespread acceptance. Ultimately, facility managers need to embrace sustainability for these four reasons:
- Your boss probably has embraced it–or will soon.
- You’ll save money for your company or organization.
- You’ll provide a more productive and efficient workspace.
- You, your co-workers, and your families will live healthier lives.
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