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World FM Day aims to recognise the essential work that facilities management professionals contribute to private and public sector businesses across the world. Global FM first initiated World FM day in 2008.

This year World FM Day theme is ‘leading a sustainable future’. Over the last couple of years, FM providers have had to navigate their own way through the pandemic as well as advising clients and partners in making strategic health and safety, technical transformation and environmental decisions. Pre-pandemic, environmental factors and climate change were high up on many boardroom agendas, but now, as we emerge from the COVID19 crisis, it is perhaps the most pressing matter FMs are facing.

The pandemic had far-reaching impacts on all aspects of society, including on our energy use and resulting CO₂ emissions. Buildings account for approximately 40% of Irelands carbon footprint and their energy use makes up almost half of this. According to SEAI there was an overall reduction of 11.5% in CO₂ emissions in 2020.  Emissions from transport fell by 26.5% for the same year and had a significant impact on the overall reduction. Continuing with the remote working and hybrid models, ultimately will have a significant impact on sustaining the decline of emissions.

Sustainability of course goes far beyond just emission reductions and the goal of net zero. It covers other environmental pollution and resource use, as well as promoting health, social and economic conditions, with a view to creating an environment that is able to support us and future generations for years to come.

Facilities Management excels in designing and caring for the finer details of any business. The sector is in a commanding position to lead the built environment to a more sustainable future. FM can realise significant changes from reducing plastic and chemical usage in cleaning, moving to electric vehicles, and effective maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve site efficiency. Advancements in technology means the scope of integrating systems to monitor footfall which can then influence energy output or services on demand, such as cleaning, for example, could realise fundamental savings. Both energy and financial.

As FM spearheads a more sustainable future for the built environment, let’s stand tall together and make it a future we’re all proud of.

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