‘Ahead of the main event on Tuesday 24 March, IWFM Conference 2020’s Insight sponsor, EMCOR UK, will be sharing their expert views on the four megatrends we’ll be discussing on the day. This article covers the first Conference megatrend: climate change.’
With rising greenhouse gas emissions, climate change is occurring at rates much faster than anticipated and its effects are clearly felt worldwide. The world is now almost one degree warmer than it was in pre-industrialisation times and a vast number of countries saw their temperature records broken in 2019.
We must act now, and decisively, to prevent catastrophic climate change! We must make the most out of precious resources, waste as little as possible and find ways of turning the waste we do create into new wealth.
Most sources suggest that the built environment accounts for around 40% of carbon emissions (and up to 80% in large cities) so the way we manage our facilities has a huge role to play in bringing things under control. Both the public sector and businesses are grappling with the urgent need to focus on energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, circular economies, and resource optimisation.
Preventing catastrophic climate change cannot be achieved alone. Working with customers, supply chains and organisations like Business in the Community (BITC) will be key. Embracing campaigns like BITC: ‘Waste to Wealth’ brings together business, government, academia and civil society to unlock opportunities to double the nation’s resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste by 2030.
Designed to encourage innovative and transformational change at the core of business, programmes like this focus on building a one-planet economy that delivers lasting prosperity through the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The UN’s SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, measurable, action orientated; in order to leave no one behind, it is important that – WORKING TOGETHER – we do as much as we can to achieve them by 2030.
Top companies no longer see sustainability as a competitive advantage, but the right thing to do and this change will drive the need for outsourced support on all manner of sustainability issues; this is a huge potential growth area for FM firms.
Innovative FM firms will need to pull sustainability to the centre of their own business and develop services to improve all elements of the ‘triple bottom line’ of their clients – economic, environmental, and social.
There are obvious areas like energy efficiency, performance contracting and renewable energy integration, and of course there’s the added benefit that optimising energy leads to reduced costs. There’s also the opportunity to go further and work hand-in-hand with customers, supply chains and local communities to design and deliver better environmental outcomes.
In buildings it’s already common for BAS, BMS, and BEMS to be integrated with FM software to optimise energy usage; the management of energy resources can be just as much the responsibility of FM providers as all other resources.
The trend towards sustainability is also driven by increasingly demanding and complex regulation and legislation. The outsourcing of regulatory compliance to capable FM providers will become more commonplace, representing a significant opportunity for the FM market to position itself as a driver of sustainability management and contribute to a better climate in the future.
If we are to play our part in preventing catastrophic climate change, FM needs to move faster and with more determination to drive the sustainability agenda into the hearts and minds of the customers, supply chains and the communities we serve.
This thought leadership piece is brought to you by Insight sponsor EMCOR UK and their partners, Frost & Sullivan, in support of IWFM Conference 2020.
IWFM Conference 2020 takes place 24 March 2020 at etc.venues St Paul’s – 200 Aldersgate, London EC1A 4HD.