Welcome to IWFM’s sustainability hub, where you will find a variety of research, insight, guidance, inspiration, resources, and more to help our profession tackle the global crisis.
The UK’s longest running survey of its kind is back with a fresh focus to assess the current state of play, challenges and factors in how our sector is engaging with the sustainability agenda.
The 2021 Survey closed for responses on 2 July; the findings are due to be published in September, accompanied by a webinar.
Thank you to everybody who took part. We look forward to sharing the insights with you.
Inenco's Head of New Business, Duncan Edwards, said of the Survey: ‘We are delighted to be working with IWFM for a second year running on the Sustainability Survey. Inenco have long believed that embracing a holistic and pragmatic approach to sustainability is fundamental to long-term organisational success, and this partnership allows us all access to invaluable insight that will help organisations better understand and plan their sustainability journey and achieve real change for the better.'
What did last year’s Survey tell us?
The 2020 Survey showed that sustainability is seen as important in virtually all respondents’ organisations. Many also believed it had a positive effect on their business operations in the previous 12 months; yet despite this, our profession often experienced significant barriers to developing and embedding sustainable practices.
Over two-thirds of respondents believed their sustainability policies and targets would change as a result of COVID-19. Now we can find out if those predictions are coming true.
What’s different this year?
To ensure that we addressed today’s most pressing challenges and incorporated the impacts of COVID-19, we have reviewed and updated the 2021 Survey to include key sustainability themes that we workshopped with a number of sustainability professionals. First among them is net zero. How widespread are net zero targets? How are they changing organisations’ approaches to sustainability? And what does this mean for our profession?
Next is the response around the return to the workplace and the shift to hybrid working. How are they influencing sustainability plans or indeed how are sustainability plans influencing them?
Lastly, skills and capability. As the sustainability agenda has evolved, have appropriate knowledge, skills and understanding kept pace or are there widening gaps to fill?
Inenco is a leading energy management and environmental sustainability consultancy with over 50 years’ experience in responding to clients' changing needs. They believe this gives them the expertise and insight to make sure clients can successfully navigate the sustainability landscape and achieve change for the better.
Consumer pressure and moves by global brands are now out-pacing government enforced change on the road to carbon net zero. Support from Inenco's expert team will set you on a path so you can define your sustainability challenges and create and implement a plan to make sure your organisation keeps pace with the changing world around it.
This year’s World FM Day took place on and during the week of 12 May with the theme of ‘Celebrating FM: standing tall beyond the pandemic’.
The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has thrown the spotlight on the FM profession as never before and as we return to workplaces, leisure and entertainment venues, places of learning and public transport, facilities management has a unique opportunity to be recognised as being at the heart of the sustainability challenge, health and wellbeing issues, and the post-pandemic recovery.
To mark World FM Day 2021, members of our Sustainability SIG wrote a series of topical articles around aspects of sustainability, the influence FM has had on them, and the opportunities they present for the industry.
IWFM’s Sustainability SIG underpins knowledge and opinion on sustainability within the workplace and facilities management sector. They share and demonstrate specialist knowledge using case studies and education, and promote sustainability best practice, awareness, participation and learning through tools, standards and training. For the latest discussions, updates and events from the Sustainability SIG, follow them on LinkedIn.
IWFM's SIGs are a place to seek expertise, opinion and guidance. They act as a hub of knowledge and encourage member interaction and networking through relevant opportunities. If you are interested in further information about our SIGs, or in joining one of them, please contact: email@example.com
Monday 10 May
Tuesday 11 May
Wednesday 12 May
Thursday 13 May
Friday 14 May
Social value really featured as a recognisable trend in the 2016 Sustainability Survey and the topic has continued to develop in each survey from there. Survey respondents identified two key barriers to driving forward social value: a lack of a common definition and a standard set of financial and non-financial metrics that could be used as a benchmark.
Since 2019, IWFM has therefore been collaborating with The Social Value Portal and the National Social Value Taskforce to develop an FM-specific measurement framework - the National TOMs Facilities Management Plug In (NT FM Plug-In).
The NT FM Plug-In aims to unlock social value measurement and management in the facilities management sector and its development has been supported by FM experts from across the sector and has seen several rounds of public consultation throughout 2020. It has been designed to help organisations in the sector measure and maximise the social value they create through the delivery of their services. Importantly, it will also allow organisations to report value created as a financial contribution to society.
Social Value is further helping to articulate and highlight how the workplace and FM professionals add value and deliver impact beyond the management of the building and workspace, especially in relation to community engagement and corporate social responsibilities. For the workplace and FM professional these shifting sands represent a massive opportunity to redefine the profession, to take the image of the sector out of the plant room and establish a more value-based approach to delivering services.
The framework and its support tools
The collaboration between the NSVT, SVP and IWFM delivered a series of tools:
The FM Plug-in is support by guidance, which describes the philosophy behind the National TOMs Framework FM Plug-In to help organisations apply it and achieve greater reported value. It further includes the full FM Plug-In measure set, the overarching rationale behind each measure and proxy value as well as how each measure should be used to set targets through a Social Value Action Plan, for procurement, measurement and benefits realisation.
The guidance is split into three parts:
Part 1: an overview and introduction to using the National TOMs FM Plug-In including what they are intended for and how they will be kept up to date and managed over time.
Part 2: a detailed description of how to use and apply the FM Plug-In for procurement or measurement, alongside guidance on collecting evidence for contract management and reporting.
Part 3: a full list of the National TOMs FM Plug-In including proxy values, rationales and detailed descriptions.
The FM Plug-In will be fully integrated into the existing National TOMs calculator resources from the 2021 framework iteration onwards. The TOMs calculator resources include a procurement and measurement calculator, as well as stakeholder engagement resources that can be used to inform prioritisation at procurement and attribution at measurement.
The current 2020 calculator resources can be accessed here.
Keeping the FM Plug-In up to date – continuous improvement as necessity
The Social Value Taskforce requires as much feedback as possible so that the National TOMs FM Plug-In can be continuously improved. The Taskforce recognises that the FM Plug-In is the first publication for this sector and that it represents a starting point only. The Taskforce is committed to listening to its members and users to ensure that the National TOMs and its ‘plug-ins’ remain relevant and become a standard for all.
The Taskforce has established an initial programme for feedback. Please get involved here.
Over the years, we have produced a wealth of sustainability-themed content and our Sustainability Surveys have formed the basis of this work. Please find below reports on past Surveys, as well as discussion papers, webinars and infographics based on the findings.
To highlight some of the main findings that emerged from our Sustainability Survey 202...
This year’s survey results give us a continued benchmark of perceptions on priorities,...
Businesses across the board are seeing the importance of pursuing social value goals a...
The survey takes the temperature of sustainability in procurement in the FM sector’s p...
The sustainability agenda, both within FM and in organisations generally, continues to...
The role of existing buildings in contributing to environmental impacts is well unders...
Working Group Chairman Greg Davies, of Assurity Consulting, suggests the increase in o...
Feedback on Social Value through the 2017 Survey has been valuable in guiding the focu...
For many years, sustainability has influenced FMs’ approaches to their work. Please find below a variety of guidance materials to assist you in contributing towards a more sustainable world.
Good practice guides
Past IWFM Impact Awards winners and nominees
For twenty years, the IWFM Impact Awards (formerly known as the BIFM Awards and more recently the IWFM Awards) has celebrated outstanding best practice and innovation from our influential profession.
Sustainability is just one area of our profession’s influence, but what an important area it is when it’s estimated that the built environment contributes up to 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions.
From climate change to environmental damage, Greta Thunberg to Sir David Attenborough, sustainability has permeated the public consciousness and, inevitably, the business world. In fact, 66% of workplace and facilities managers say sustainability is either extremely or very important (IWFM Sustainability Survey 2018).
As sustainability has grown in prominence, the IWFM Impact Awards has seen some extraordinary award submissions, but here are some of the winners in recent years who stood out from the crowd.
In 2015, all United Nations (UN) Member States adopted the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides ‘a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future’. Central to this blueprint are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): an urgent call for all countries to help create a sustainable world through their national and regional governments enacting local policies that tackle a variety of deprivations and inequalities.
As the UN puts it, the SDGs ‘recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests’.
Ultimately, the SDGs are also for consumers, businesses, societies and non-governmental organisations to embrace and change the way we do things to support the development of these 17 goals.
You can watch a summary of the SDGs is in this short video:
Delivering the 17 SDGs is a complex and ambitious task. This Ted Talk helps clarify the 17 SDGs and how we can get there:
Businesses embrace sustainability for different reasons. Some may be altruistic, driven by the moral position of the business owners; another reason may be to deliver legal compliance; equally, a business may be focused on cost-saving or cost-avoidance.
Increasingly, businesses see a wide range of reasons to embrace sustainability beyond these first three (morals, law, cost), with additional reasons including: business risk management, customer demand, and employee morale or demand.
In 2015, the UN said: ‘We support national regulatory and policy frameworks that enable business and industry to advance sustainable development initiatives, taking into account the importance of corporate social responsibility. We call on the private sector to engage in responsible business practices.’
Sustainability is generally seen as a challenge to businesses; however, relatively small group of businesses see sustainability as a business opportunity. These businesses, with a growth mindset, see sustainability activities as growing “shared value”. Below is an informative video on this subject.
There is also the concept of the circular economy. As opposed to a linear economy, which makes, uses and disposes, a circular economy seeks to utilise resources for as long as possible and then repurpose them. You can find out more in the video below.
You can also visit the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for an infographic on the circular economy system.
20 March 2020 - The Times, Raconteur, ‘The future workplace’: article by Chris Moriarty, IWFM’s Director of Insight and Engagement
4 March 2019 – Facilitate: Guy Battle, CEO of Social Value Portal, on social value
14 February 2019 – IWFM: Government waste and resource management strategy adds to developing sustainability agenda
Canadian Geographic (video): Global energy demand
The Royal Society (video): Climate change in 60 seconds
UN Environment Programme (video): Why do we need to change our food system?
University of Plymouth (video): What is water security