You often read or hear stories about “sustainability.” You may ask, what does it mean?
The best answer we’ve found is it refers to those things that we do and plan in everyday activities that support the present and future cultural, economic, environmental and social fabric of our lives, country, region and the world.
As facility management professionals, we are responsible for upholding standards at your facilities to reduce waste, manage resources, and follow policies and procedures reflective of your company’s commitment to environmental awareness and to the sustainable management of its resources.
The increasing demands for sophistication with data and for reporting under federal, state and local legislation, as well as emerging standards as set by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and IFMA have only elevated the awareness that sustainability is very much a business imperative.
What are some ways for you to implement sustainability into your daily regimen? The use of green cleaning materials. For example, evaluating and using green certified and recyclable materials and supplies at your facilities when possible is a great way to start.
Another great sustainability initiative is a comprehensive recycling program. This program is known as single stream recycling which includes paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum containers, and conscientiously works to reduce the volume of material sent to a landfill.
Take a close look at food waste at your facilities. There are social, environmental and economic benefits to reducing food waste. For example, the economic benefits of reducing food waste include reducing disposal costs, over-purchasing, and labor costs as well as receiving tax benefits from donating food. The environmental benefits of reducing food waste in your facilities entails repurposing food scraps into mineral-rich fertilizer by the process of composting.
There are countless ways for your facility to be managed in a sustainable fashion. We recommend that you contact a professional resource regularly to help you audit your own program and implement sustainability standards for your business to ensure compliance with your local community, state and Federal regulations.