Sustainability Starts With People

Sustainability About PeopleToday’s facility management (FM) industry is focused heavily on sustainability and “green-value” resource management, as well it should be. Energy and labor costs continue to rise while operational budgets continue to shrink or stagnate. Savvy CEO’s and FM professionals understand their facility’s impact on the environment, productivity and people, and are using technology in new and innovative ways to optimize resources.

The greatest resources of any organization are its people, their productivity, and their wellness — at work and at home. And that is never truer than for the janitorial industry. It’s also one of the greatest budget costs, where labor typically accounts for 55%-75% of the building maintenance budget. Today’s technology and asset management software enables managers to optimize planning and to utilize real-time dispatching for work orders. Predictive staffing assignments based on facility use data will also ensure that the right people are doing the right job at the right time.

Sustainability-focused practices will keep employees healthy, happy, and productive. The use of Green and sustainable products in the workplace is a healthier practice for employees and buildings they serve. It may come as a surprise, however, that sustainable companies are significantly more productive, too. A new study found that companies who adopt sustainable best practices saw an uptick in productivity by 16%. “Employees are more motivated…and benefit from more interpersonal relationships,” creating a more healthy, productive and sustainable worker community. A recent Harvard University study also shows a Green building environment improves cognitive ability by up to 34%.

A sustainable community includes a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of the people living in that community. The communities in which our people live, work, and play can be affected by the workplaces within it. Utilizing a Green approach aides in the sustainability of the healthy, working infrastructure of these communities that surround us.

Today’s FM professionals are at the forefront of creating systemic, strategic changes in how buildings and people operate. Sustainability comes in all shapes and sizes. From training, to technology, to strategic service partners, the focus remains on the people we work alongside, and the individual approach to sustainability in their facility.