UK businesses are failing to follow through on their net zero promises

UK firms are failing woefully to back their net zero promises with effective measurement in accordance with a written report commissioned by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management.

The IWFM 2021 Sustainability Survey, supported by consultancy Inenco, reveals that just 35 % of firms with net zero plans set up have the info to effectively back their corporate commitments.

The research completed amongst front-line energy and facilities managers reveals a worrying gap between intention and execution, with 15 per cent&nbsp just; of customers surveyed admitting that their net zero targets were independently audited by way of a alternative party.  Encouragingly, though, a lot more than eight in 10 (84 %) of the 300 firms surveyed are getting ready to or have previously set carbon reduction targets.

The IWFM is currently warning business leaders to honour their commitments also to avoid empty promises.

Linda Hausmanis, CEO of the Institute of Facilities and Workplace Management, commented: “With the world’s leaders gathering in Glasgow, industry is under intense scrutiny to play its part in delivering against national net zero targets. Those at the front end type of delivering against these promises have a specialist duty to make sure their claims are evidence backed rather than empty promises that put both planet and corporate reputation at an increased risk.”

Workplace and facilities managers surveyed for the report recognised their responsibilities overwhelmingly, with 95% stating that sustainability was important or essential with their organisation.  Top business drivers for setting carbon targets were corporate social responsibility policies, legislative compliance and public reputation. 84% of respondents said that responsible business was the main element driver, 75% said legislative compliance and 71% said customer expectation.

Duncan Edward, Head of HOME BASED BUSINESS and Partnerships at Inenco Group said: “The proportion of organisations that still lack the baseline data because of their carbon footprint, clear objectives and a technique and roadmap describing the way the targets will undoubtedly be met, remains concerning. Many organisations still have to develop a ‘golden thread’ that links the Board’s aspirations to an in depth plan supported by clear accountability and allocated budget supported by the appropriately skilled resource to make sure its achievement.”

Just seven in 10 of these surveyed felt that their organisations were adequately and effectively implementing and managing sustainability policies. The report shows that too little accountability, change or feedback is undermining the delivery of cohesive responses to carbon reduction.  It highlights that there surely is a clear chance of workplace and facilities professionals to intensify to the challenge for their unique position in combining the requirements of the landlord, supply and user chain.

Hausmanis added:  “Workplace and facilities management professionals will be the catalysts  in organisations on whom effective action on sustainability depends upon change to occur. As a profession it is important we embrace this responsibility and become advocates in your organisations for science based targets and credible tracking of net zero commitments.”

The IWFM Sustainability Survey has been conducted since 2007 annually, providing a business leading benchmark of organisational sustainability performance, governance, reporting and priorities. Participants are drawn from FM companies (outsourced providers of full FM services) or FM providers (outsourced providers of single FM services).  1 / 2 of those surveyed (46 %) were drawn from senior management, with a representative spread of sectors covering education, healthcare, property, third sector and professional services.


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