Sustainability Reporting is moving to the realm of mandatory, with transparency becoming something that shareholders and consumers alike are reviewing. Social and environmental responsibility is driving corporate performance and there are new standards coming.
Sustainability has become a part of every industry. No longer a fad or for ‘tree huggers’, it is part of what shareholders expect from successful corporations. Systems thinking is imperative to having a viable corporate sustainability plan. Facility managers are on the front line of the future of sustainability.
Excuses and rationalization are easy ways out of facing or implementing change, especially one as daunting as the major overhaul of practices that encompasses sustainability. However, it is perhaps not change which presents the problem for building a sustainable world, but the fear of change. Whether they like it or not, people tend to assume that the status quo, the now, is somehow right and natural; an instinct which prompts them to instinctively reject visions of the future as containing more design and value judgments than our present reality.
Environmental Psychology, as it can be applied to facility management, covers such dissimilar issues as common property resource management, wayfinding in complex settings, the effect of environmental stress on human performance and human information processing. It aims at individual well-being in a complex society. The discipline is both problem oriented and value focused, attempting to improve the quality of life in a workplace to ensure optimum performance. Although it’s an involved field, the field of environmental psychology can be best summarized as a combination of different sciences that focus on the interplay between human beings and their surrounding environment, both at the micro or macro levels.
The first step towards a sustainable future is to use the lens of sensibility to filter out the insanity that has become prevalent in recent regulations, business operations and organizational systems and get down to basics. In simple terms, sustainability is all about doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. This article will show that more and more evidence is mounting to prove sustainability is a major force with which to be reckoned in the built environment. From private industry to the Federal Government, research is being performed and changes are being implemented that save energy & to save money.
Sustainability is coming of age. How a facility is operated reflects an environmental stance, and as the Facility Master Plan must be in tune with a corporation’s Strategic Plan, it is becoming more obvious that a facility manager needs to assume a role in accepting & implementing sustainable operations.This article will focus on how sustainability determinism drives the sustainability stances and environmental reporting that dictate to an organization how it will run, stakeholder satisfaction and the successes it can achieve. It will touch on shareholder value, Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable capitalism, integrated reporting, higher productivity for employees and community benefits.
In any building project, there is usually a disconnect between those who are creating the building and those who will be living in it and operating it. There is justified concern and focus on the initial design and construction costs of any project. However, FMs understand that the subsequent operational costs of the building during its life span could amount to over ten times its initial construction costs. Effective maintenance and management of the building has a significant impact on the bottom line of the organization. A BIM program is transferable or viable to operations and is a technology of which FMs should take advantage.
Sustainability. The term has been used so much over the past few years that sometimes the eyes of even the most avid believers glaze over when they hear the word. The issue has permeated society so much that it has threatened to overwhelm the audience. People are getting tired of hearing about problems to which few solutions are offered. If the term sustainability is in jeopardy of becoming a cliche, then a change in terminology may be useful, especially if they point to some sort-of resolution.
by William Borges
Originally Published: January 2012
Rather than examine environmental sustainability from a technical, academic, political or altruistic perspective, this article considers the idea from a business perspective. It is important to do so because much of the discussion around sustainability topics by technical professionals, academics, politicians and activists centers on what business should be doing to be more socially and environmentally responsible.
Evaluating Demand for Bicycle Facilities in Community-based Bicycle Planning 12-2176 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 2012
by Edna Cruz
Originally Published: 2011, for the Transportation Research Board Annual Report
This paper considers methods and data sources to support demand-based bicycle facility planning. Taking the perspective of community-based local planning efforts, the paper evaluates data sources for understanding journey-to-work bicycle trips. By using better methods and data sources, cities can implement bicycle facilities that most benefit the community. This paper uses Pomona, California as a case study, using data collection through the American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Local Employment Dynamics data set, South Coast Air Quality Management District’s employee commuting surveys, and field work. These data sources reveal significant variation in bicycle use across the census tract geographies, suggesting that facilities should be targeted to areas of greatest need and potential. Bicycle use is found to be higher in areas with household income less than $30,000 and higher shares of journey-to-work commutes of less than fifteen minutes.
Two Cites, One Plan Anaheim and Austin Convenstion Centers Go Green
by Bill Conley and Laurie Gilmer
Originally Published: July/August 2011, Facility Management Journal
In two cities, half a continent away, the path of taking a convention center through the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Existing Buildings certification process was attempted at almost the same time for the same reason.
Facility professionals at the Anaheim Convention Center in California and the Austin Convention Center in Texas decided to improve their operations through sustainability.
Lessons in Leadership Operationalizing Sustainability Through an Integrated Management System
by John Milliman and John Grosskopf
Originally Published: Summer 2011, Environmental Quality Management
Many organizations are struggling with how to effectively operationalize sustainability initiatives for competitive advantage, particulary in these challenging times. The issues is especially important given that organizations often must undergo significant change efforts to reap the benefits of sustainability programs.
Corporate Environmental Strategy Building Environmental Business and Leadership Skills Through Dialogue
by John Milliman, John Grosskopf and Virginia Winter
Originally Published: 2001, Corporate Environmental Strategy
EHS professionals face the twin tasks of being technically proficient in complying with regulatory standards, while developing business acumen to “sell” environmental initiatives to senior management. Even with the heightened need to integrate EH&S functions into core business strategy, the EH&S function is still perceived as a cost-center by many in the organization. What follows is a description of how facilitated dialogues between EH&S professional in a variety of organizations is useful in developing key leadership and communication skills necessary to reach senior level management.