Supply Chain School

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Sustainable FM

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The objective of the School is to help you understand the importance and full scope of sustainability in FM, what it looks like, why it is important, and how you can contribute, whatever your role.  

Sustainability can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is based upon three components: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.

The School focuses on FM's growing and critical influence on the built environment, but also considers its role in maintaining and protecting land and other less tangible assets such as intellectual property, access to information, safety and well being.

FM plays a key role in the operation of the built environment, and has expanded its service capability as clients have sought to focus efforts on core business functions, putting "non-core" business activities in the hands of nominated FM contractors. Today the FM industry is huge:
  • Turnover in 2012 of around £106Bn (representing 7% of the UK's GDP)
  • 235,000 employees at over 20,000 workplaces
  • Many more jobs in the supply chain
FM is therefore in a unique position to influence sustainable development in the built environment by;

  • Reducing carbon: Through their energy use, buildings account for 45-50% of the world’s carbon emissions and is therefore a major contributor to climate change.

  • Reducing resource use: FM can have a major impact on waste reduction and resource use.

  • Improving skills: Buildings skills and developing apprentices offer quality employment opportunities and can help to build value for all.

  • Benefitting communities: FM has a significant opportunity to make a real difference to the communities in which they operate and for the benefit of the people who live in those communities.

  • Positive impact on suppliers: Whether local or from low cost countries, FM contractors can drive improvements in the ways in which their supply chains operate.

  • Improving the productivity: Perhaps the biggest prize is increased efficiency of the primary activity in the buildings FM manages. Increasing employees’ well-being and productivity by providing a workplace that enhances well-being and productivity therefore represents remarkably good business. FM is perfectly placed to help deliver this prize for its clients.

  • Meeting clients' needs:  Clients' sustainability expectations are growing and their performance in this area is often reported through schemes such as; Global Reporting Initiative, Ftse4Good index, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and Business in the Community (BITC). All have stringent data reporting guidelines. FM is perfectly placed to support this reporting and enhance the results that are published.

Self Assessment Tool

Re-assessing and working through your new action plan will support your journey of continuous improvement in sustainability. You can re-assess at any time and access an updated action plan.