All You Need To Know About Implementing Sustainable Facility Management

Posted on:
Mar-09-2021
Author:
UDS Team
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Facility managers & Sustainability: Why the big deal?

Sustainability is the new buzzword. Even those sceptical about global warming do not argue about practices designed to make sensible use of the earth's limited and dwindling resources. Sustainability is no longer considered innovative or progressive. It has become the way of life, and not adapting to it is bound to cause severe socio-economic backlashes. 

The question of sustainability takes centre-stage when it comes to facilities management services. With thousands of commercial and residential buildings being outsourced to IFM services, great care is needed to ensure that all the processes and procedures support sustainability. 

So, what is the connection between sustainability and facility managers? The facility manager shoulders the huge responsibility of implementing sustainable facility management practises. It is an indispensable duty that facility managers find challenging because of the limited capital budgets. Since they hold the key to this enormous kingdom, facility managers need to focus on long-term sustainability solutions.

Characteristics of sustainability in commercial and industrial spaces

Facility managers cannot achieve high-performance facilities without systematic management. A high-performance facility is expected to have the following characteristics:

  • Reduced use of precious resources like water, energy and materials.
  • Increased recycling and reuse of materials.
  • Reduced negative impact on the environment.
  • Use of integrated systems in the building.
  • Reduced energy and environmental impacts of transportation. 
  • Increased use of environment-friendly products.

Implementing sustainable solutions might seem like a challenge and is often perceived as a daunting task that comes with additional expenses, more human resources, and training to handle the operational changes. 

In reality, just a few simple changes can make a world of difference. This blog is aimed at unlocking some secrets for facility managers to improve and implement sustainable measures in their facilities.

Simple but effective ways to implement sustainability: Tips for facility managers and IFM services

  • Assessing the sustainability status of a facility

Without understanding the key aspects of a facility's performance, all efforts to implement the strategies will turn out to be fruitless. A couple of well-planned audits will help facility managers assess where precious resources are being wasted. It will throw light on special equipment or processes that are guzzling resources more than necessary. The data collected from the audits will be handy to make well-informed decisions regarding the processes. 

  • The utilisation of eco-friendly cleaning supplies

Cleaning and maintenance are not possible without a slew of cleaning supplies. Facility managers can opt for cleaning products that do not contain volatile organic compounds, phosphorus, nitrogen, and alkylphenol ethoxylates. Apart from boosting overall sustainability, these eco-friendly cleaning products effectively reduce the number of toxins released into the environment. 

  • Updating the energy-efficiency of old buildings

Many old establishments lack the design or the internal infrastructure to use energy efficiently and rescue carbon footprints. When facility managers are entrusted with such buildings, the only sensible solution is to update the facility to become more environment-friendly. Some of the best practices you can adopt to improve energy efficiency are:

  • Getting rid of old electrical systems.
  • Enhancing the insulation and airtightness for the retention of heat or cold.
  • Maximising the use of natural light with more windows and sunroofs.
  • Installation of solar power systems.  
  • Usage of sustainable construction materials like timber frames and monolithic clay blocks. 
  • Embracing effective recycling practices.

Recycling is the mantra to implement sustainability. Facility managers can adopt practices to recycle the facility's wastewater, industrial batteries, large equipment, refrigerants and fluorescent lights. 

  • Adopting a zero-to-landfill policy

This sustainable policy that aims to reduce a facility's contribution to the landfills to zero or close to zero is achieved by implementing the three Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The policy is effective in enforcing sustainable practices that focus on sending lesser waste to landfills.

  • Adherence to rules and policies

Non-compliance to eco-friendly rules set by the government is a sure-fire way to invite legal trouble.

  • Encouraging green policies amongst employees

The best way to make sustainability success is to implement it amongst the workforce, for it is they who utilise many of the resources. Facility managers can initiate new ideas, such as:

  • Carpooling.
  • Using paper and printers only when necessary. 
  • Avoiding the use of plastic utensils. 
  • Switching off all electrical devices when not in use. 

For organisations to become truly sustainable, these practices must be followed sincerely and regularly reviewed for optimum effectiveness. Sustainable activities must be implemented in such a way that they match set specifications and expectations. 

When businesses go green, it has a remarkable impact on their revenue and reputation. The benefits are innumerable, long-standing, and worth all the effort. 

Go Green with UDS India and gain sustainable IFM services for your business

UDS is India's leading facilities management company. Our IFM services have a no-compromise policy when it comes to sustainable practices. We follow every rule and law of sustainability, and we implement sustainable solutions with innovative methods. Call our team on 91 91769 00010 for more guidance. 

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