British Institute of Facilities Manage-ment (BIFM) 7th annual Sustainability in Facilities Management survey 2013 provides a barometer on how FM professionals and the businesses they represent are engaging with the sustainability agenda. The report identifies the overwhelming support for sustainability to be embedded into business operations, but also the challenges of delivering those aspirations.
Of the top five barriers to implementation success three related to engagement including overall engagement, amongst senior management and middle management. The report found that many FMs are not targeting the areas of highest priority relating to behaviours or processes which have the highest impact, but tend to focus on technologies. The cultural change management aspect of delivering sustainability policies is an area identified by many and reinforced by the need to have board level leadership, and that staff at every level should be actively responsible.
Legislation and increasing pressures on brands and business to demonstrate their Corporate Social Responsibility play the prominent roles in driving these agendas forward. Unequivocally, progress has been made, but the findings pose the question, ‘Is FM going beyond compliance?’ Legislation has long been a significant and necessary driver; a requirement to be met as a minimum performance standard. By far the most important aspects of sustainability to organizations were health and safety, energy and waste management. All three have strong legislative requirements that underpin them and are typically the responsibility of FMs to deliver on site. The other two items – KPIs and Staff Wellbeing – reflect the target driven culture for sustainability within business, together with the increasing recognition of staff wellbeing being interconnected with many other benefits and costs to a business such as productivity and sickness leave.