Insight from Neutral Carbon Zone’s Alan Stenson
With the UK committed to reaching net zero by 2050, every sector has a role to play in meeting decarbonisation targets. At NCZ, we recognise that FM’s contribution will be key.
In 2019, the Climate Change Committee found that buildings’ operational carbon emissions accounted for 18% of the UK’s total emissions – making FM businesses particularly well-placed to drive change.
Here are four reasons FMs will be at the forefront of the UK’s carbon reduction efforts:
- Old, inefficient buildings have a high carbon footprint, and it’s up to FMs to reduce it
Issues like age, poor insulation, and inadequate temperature controls can lead to increased carbon emissions – and the solution isn’t necessarily replacing old buildings with new ones. 2019 research from Historic England’s The Heritage Counts suggested that demolishing and replacing a historic building can prove detrimental to sustainability efforts, resulting in increased emissions.
In its 2021 briefing, Reducing the whole life carbon impact of buildings, the UK government identified a need for “a focus on reusing and repurposing buildings where possible, to avoid the need for construction of new buildings.”
The onus falls on FM teams to find workable solutions, making old, inefficient buildings more sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint.
- FM providers are responsible for a building’s operational and embodied emissions
A building’s carbon emissions can be either operational (associated with the energy needed to run it) or embodied (relating to its materials and components, or to issues like repairs and maintenance). Both fall within the remit of FM teams. Managing everything from lighting, power, and heating, to cleaning schedules and general upkeep, they’re ideally placed to identify inefficiencies and develop carbon-saving solutions.
- FM teams are already primed to improve energy-efficiency
Onsite FM teams aren’t just well-placed to spot problems – they’re trained for the task, ensuring that buildings remain functional, safe, and sustainable on a daily basis. They’re also well-equipped to address issues as they arise. Indeed, with hands-on experience of optimising processes and reducing energy and resource wastage, FM staff are a powerful force that can be mobilised in the drive to reduce carbon emissions.
- FM providers can have a far-reaching influence
Working onsite, well-trained specialists can identify issues, improve processes and affect real change – sometimes across multiple sites. They can also play an important role in driving and implementing local carbon-reduction initiatives.
The benefits of carbon neutrality are numerous, ranging from increased customer loyalty to greater financial success. And it’s clear that, with help from a carbon management platform like NCZ, FM businesses can leverage existing resources to achieve carbon-neutral status.
The NCZ platform monitors, reports and provides real-time insight for facilities management companies, meaning they can provide their clients with a complete carbon neutral service offering.
We work with our range of trusted suppliers to provide you with a comprehensive action plan for measuring, monitoring and reducing your carbon output, utilising energy management processes such as renewable energy switching, installations, EV fleet introductions, waste management programmes and much more.