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Sustainability in FM: Changing Pressures. By Sunil Shah

26-04-16, 09:24

Sustainability SIGSunil Shah, Chair of BIFM's Sustainability Special Interest Group, discusses how changes to energy legislation, waste regimes, and social responsibility have impacted organisations' approaches to sustainability over the past 10 years.

"The past ten years has seen some regulatory and market areas grow, whilst others have appeared with a bang and then disappeared, for those who remember zero carbon buildings.

The waste regime has shifted markedly to one where landfill is avoided due to the high cost of disposal, rising from £21 per tonne to the current rate of over £82 leading to incineration being the preferred choice of disposal. More recently, the concept of the circular economy with materials being re-used rather than discarded has changed the approach of procuring items, how they are used and the on-going refurbishment. Everything from re-fashioning old tables into new ones through to old fishing nets being used for carpets. One of the biggest changes has occurred with energy, largely led by new regulations as the Government has sought to reduce the amount of carbon emissions generated by business through taxes and measures to raise awareness such as the energy saving opportunity scheme (ESOS).

Social areas have also risen up the agenda, with a range of activities now common place. Diversity of the workforce and particularly the management team is regularly reported on and has raised its profile since the economic crisis. Similarly, engagement with the community and social value has been promoted along lines of corporate social responsibility driven by the organisation. More recently, wellbeing issues for staff and the need to capture community engagement and support, has changed the way FM is being seen and delivered."

If you work in FM, we want to hear your views on sustainability. Please help the FM industry to lead the way in sustainable approaches by taking part in the BIFM Sustainability in FM Survey.

The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete.† It is open to all FM practitioners in any organisation and those operating in the FM industry including full and single-line service providers, suppliers and consultants.

> Take part here

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