Sustainable core

Sunil Shah, Director at Acclaro Advisory & SFMI says the most recent FM progress report on sustainability illustrates why the sector must adopt a progressive enterprize model with sustainability at its centre


The, catastrophic emergence of COVID-19 generated the most important disruption alive in the post-war era. The pandemic dealt a harsh blow, forcing organisations over the public and private sector to create drastic changes with their operations, commercial models, workplace strategies, employee engagement efforts, safety and health procedures, and much more. The SFMI(1), running since 2013, is really a sustainability roadmap for the FM sector, assisting to benchmark an organisation’s performance against peers and providing a tailored programme of measures that require improvement.

The most recent findings provide some help with how FM has progressed in meeting sustainability targets through the disruption, but what’s clear is that organisations have relied on the facilities management sector to steer them through the pandemic. As existing contracts up were torn, FM demonstrated its responsiveness, ability and flexibility to get trust, and contains often been the social people in low-paid facilities roles which have borne the brunt, risking their health through the crisis.

Investors may also be considering how organisations have taken care of immediately the pandemic; specifically their engagement with employees, the resilience of assistance offerings and the adaptability of the administration team. The increase of Environment, Public and Governance (ESG) actions now need a greater degree of public disclosure, based on the analysis and assortment of data and an obvious forward strategy. With several impacts, including provide chain diversity, carbon emissions, and waste efficiency impacting the facilities operations, a robustness over data, choice and risks making is really a necessary area of the role.


Looking forward to the long-term look at, the pandemic provides accelerated a change in working habits, pressured organisations to attempt home enabled and operating discussions about remote attempting to take place. While organisations shall all possess their specific requirements, an increased degree of versatility in working styles is anticipated, with the function of any office becoming increasingly a location to meet and link – exemplifying the brand name and human relationships of the business enterprise.

Therefore, what will this mean for FM and its own long-term method of sustainability? Its newfound duties during the pandemic allowed the sector to believe a strategic place that it struggled to achieve during the past. Our 2020 SFMI audits (i) found proof FM providers integrating sustainability to their program offering and employed in partnership with clients to transform their sustainable outcomes.

Nevertheless, while leaders are progressing, the audits revealed a great number of the FM industry remain desperately unequipped to meet up the increasingly essential sustainability challenges. Ultimately, this can pose a nagging problem for organisations who have to meet these public targets, from reducing carbon to creating a more equal society.

FM organisations must keep up with the advanced of engagement they now enjoy with leadership teams and cement this home based business normal. The pandemic, with climate change together, rising economic inequality and an evergrowing social justice movement, represents an ideal storm for FM to bolster its status being an agent for change. The choice is a reversion back again to the Cinderella profession that does the dirty work rather than would go to the ball.


The role of FM in sustainability can be an important one, so an integral discussion point ought to be around how FMs can measure customer benefits and the added value they offer. This consists of identifying the opportunities raised and the achievements delivered from both a qualitative and a quantitative perspective.

The SFMI assessment is manufactured against 23 criteria, captured under broad Environmental, Governance and social headings, which are updated annually. With the assessment together, several forums and knowledge sharing activities between FM providers and customers takes place to raised understand how services could be shaped and delivered.

All of the SFMI criterion are interlinked and will be grouped in a variety of ways. It’s important to understand the links between criterion because they are not completely independent of every other. Managing criteria in a holistic way is essential to embedding sustainability throughout an organisation. A few examples of the groupings are Zero Carbon, Social Value, and offer Chain GHG emissions (see box on next page), which are fundamental sustainability topics for FM.


In 2021, there are many key themes that people are seeing progress on within the facilities sector.

Zero Carbon is frequently seen through the eyes of energy management; however, involvement also needs to come through other criterion such as for example ecology and the Circular Economy. Biodiversity specifically includes a significant role to play in meeting Zero Carbon targets, and its own management with regards to low and zero carbon sites and buildings. Ecology remains a minimal priority, but a rise has been seen by us in the knowing of its importance to Zero Carbon strategies. The Circular Economy could be utilised to lessen carbon emissions through waste reduction, recycling and reuse of products and materials.

Social Value incorporates many criteria including, however, not limited by, Contracts, Supply Chain Management, Sustainable Employment and Communities. It saw significant development throughout 2020 and was partly driven by the growing focus on Social Value within government frameworks and public sector contracts (PPN06/20). Many companies have the ability to provide individual types of social value delivery but integrating and embedding it across standardised contracts and means of working, in addition to capturing data which demonstrates its benefits, is really a considerable challenge over the sector still.

Supply Chain GHG emissions (Scope 3, see Box on next page) are categorized as several criteria including Energy, Transport, Supply Chain Management, and Disclosure. Many companies that have embedded Zero Carbon targets only include Scope 1 and 2 emissions and rely heavily on carbon offsetting. It really is paramount that companies include Scope 3 emissions within their reporting and targets, in addition to reduce reliance on offsetting to attain their reduction targets.