Find out how FMs are being affected by the changing role of sustainability, in this BIFM report

by Brianna Crandall — December 1, 2017 — The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) recently published the results of the annual BIFM Sustainability Survey. The annual survey, said to be the longest-running of its kind in the UK, examines the way the FM profession is adapting to and tackling the increasing demand for sustainable business. BIFM supports and represents over 17,000 individual and organizational members around the world, and thousands more through qualifications and training.

Now in its 11th year, the survey continues to offer a unique insight into sustainability across the full breadth of facilities management thanks to the active engagement of BIFM members. Results offer an indication of trends supporting change and the future of sustainability, and in particular the key drivers behind the sustainability agenda, who is leading it within organizations, which issues are covered, how sustainability is measured and reported, and understanding the latest issues affecting everyday practice.

This year’s results highlight the broadening of the sustainability agenda to include social value, embracing diversity and community investment.

Peter Brogan, BIFM Research and Information manager, commented:

The BIFM Sustainability Survey provides a barometer for the industry and highlights how facilities management professionals and the businesses they represent are engaging with the sustainability agenda. We are able to assess trends across the last 11 years, but more than this, look ahead as this information enables us to identify trends which may impact across sustainability in FM in the future.

This year’s results indicate that social value in particular is an area which organizations are finding challenging to progress effectively in the absence of appropriate metrics. In the interim, there is a need for organizations to appreciate that investment in new social dimensions of sustainability may be about “doing the right thing” and being socially responsible rather than quantifiably boosting the bottom line — though this may change.

Alongside social value, energy and wider environmental benchmarking continue to provide valuable insights for which FM teams may optimize their buildings and engage at the design stage on projects. We hope that our members will find the Executive Summary a useful and engaging document as they seek to plan sustainability initiatives.

Leon Pulman of British Gas, which supported the Executive Summary of the report, commented on the latest results:

We have been delighted to support this year’s BIFM Sustainability Survey. As an organization, we recognize and support the sustainability agenda, with our vision to be the most trusted energy company in the UK, leading the move to a low-carbon economy.

We are committed to understanding, managing and reducing the environmental and ecological impacts of our own activities by sourcing and producing energy from cleaner sources, reducing wasted energy, and developing and deploying new technology, and our support for the BIFM Sustainability Survey demonstrates our awareness of sustainability initiatives and our intention to lead the way in encouraging others to embrace the sustainability agenda.

The full BIFM Sustainability Survey Executive Summary is available now to download from the organization’s Web site.