18.07.2013, 19:30

BIFM publishes findings from 7th annual Sustainability in Facilities Management survey

Author: News Editor

British Institute of Facilities Management and University of Reading survey suggests need for increased board-level engagement with sustainability.

BIFM has published the findings from its 7th annual Sustainability in Facilities Management survey in collaboration with the University of Reading.

The survey, which was sponsored by Open Energi, asked respondents about sustainability in their organisations and sought to determine the level of  responsibility that facilities management professionals have in relation to sustainability.

According to the report, although there is overwhelming support for sustainability to be embedded into business operations, there remain significant barriers to implementing change.

The degree of engagement with sustainability amongst senior and middle managers was found to be variable, with respondents often focusing on technologies instead of implementing behavioural change or high-impact processes.

Organisational culture was also identified as a barrier that requires greater board-level understanding and support, in addition to engagement of staff at all levels.

Lucy Black, Chair of the BIFM Sustainability Special Interest Group, said “The role of the facilities management professional is central to leading, implementing, educating and enabling sustainable practice within business. Producing the survey of practising FMs enables the BIFM to understand the challenges they are facing and how to support them in their roles.

“Facilities management has an influential role to play in meeting key sustainability and environmental targets not only for their individual businesses but also in the design, fit-out or refurbishment to deliver more efficient buildings.”

Gareth Tancred, BIFM CEO, said “Successes and the level of challenge vary greatly from outsourced provider, to in-house FM and from sector to sector within the economy. Many of the challenges can be traced back to understanding, whether the board understands the implications and benefits or fellow business departments understand the drivers behind the policies. These challenges can be met through clear communication and leadership to bring about that next stage in the cultural change management process.

“These results provide a barometer for the sector but they also inform us, the Institute, as to how we can further aid FM professionals through tools, resources and education to enable them to take the lead in their organisations, driving the sustainability agenda forward for business, and for society.”

The published results were analysed by Acclaro Advisory on behalf of the BIFM Sustainability SIG and identify key trends in engagement and effectiveness of sustainability practices and policies being implemented by facilities management professionals and the challenges and barriers they face.

The full report can be accessed at


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