The findings of the fourth annual Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) have been published, and shine a light on the sustainability performance of FM providers.
The survey finds that FM providers can be broadly grouped in one of three categories.
In the top categoryÂ are companiesÂ that understand sustainability and communicate it well, with sustainability being core to their own values.Â A middle group exists that aspires to that higher level, but is restricted by a mentality that views sustainability as an ‘add-on’ and, as a result, companies in this group areÂ unable to articulate the true value of sustainability.Â And, at the bottom, there are those FM providers that continue to provide non-sustainable solutions.
The report also finds that there is an issue of â€˜short termismâ€™ by which the majority of FM providers are â€˜standing stillâ€™ with sustainability, rather than taking proactive steps towards its integration. This, says the survey organisers, is â€œlargely down to a continued decline in management scoring as a result of companies placing more onus for responsibility on individual contractsâ€.
According to Lee Petts, managing director at Remsol, the results are probably not that surprising: “Sustainability and CSR deliver the best results when they become culturally embedded in an organisation, to the point at which environmental and social considerations are given equal weight with financial considerations in business decision-making.
“But it’s a journey, and it’s only to be expected that some FM providers will be at the start of theirs whereas others – the more enlightened ‘early adopters’ – will have advanced much further down the road.
“It would be interesting to see what bearing company size has on sustainability performance among FM companies. Typically, we find that micro business with a turnover of less than Â£2m are much less likely to actively engage with sustainability and CSR as topics, compared withÂ those that haveÂ a turnover in the Â£2m to Â£10m range and are increasingly motivated to improve their responsible business performance,but can often lack the in-house knowledge and skills to do so. Businesses that turnover more than Â£10m a year tend to be much more advanced and have developedÂ their own capabilities.”