UK firms are failing to back their net zero promises with effective measurement according to a report commissioned by the IWFM.
The IWFM’s 2021 sustainability survey, supported by consultancy Inenco, shows that just 35 per cent of firms with net zero plans in place have the data to back their corporate commitments.
More than eight in ten (84%) of the 300 firms surveyed are preparing to or have already set carbon reduction targets. However, the research - carried out amongst front-line facilities and energy managers - identifies a gap between intention and execution with just 15% of end users admitting that their net zero targets were independently audited by a third party.
IWFM CEO Linda Hausmanis commented: “With the world’s leaders gathering in Glasgow, industry is under intense scrutiny to play its part in delivering against national net zero targets. Those at the front line of delivering against these promises have a professional duty to ensure their claims are evidence backed and not empty promises that put both the planet and corporate reputation at risk.”
Workplace and facilities managers surveyed for the report overwhelmingly recognised their responsibilities, with 95% stating that sustainability was important or very important to their organisation. Top business drivers for setting carbon targets were corporate social responsibility policies, legislative compliance and public reputation. 84% of respondents said that responsible business was the key driver, 75% said legislative compliance and 71% said customer expectation.
Duncan Edward, head of new business and partnerships at Inenco Group added: "Many organisations still need to create a ‘golden thread’ that links the Board’s aspirations to a detailed plan supported by clear accountability and allocated budget supported by the appropriately skilled resource to ensure its achievement.”
Hausmanis concluded: “Workplace and facilities management professionals are the catalysts in organisations on whom effective action on sustainability depends on change to happen. As a profession it is critical we embrace this responsibility and act as advocates within our organisations for science based targets and credible tracking of net zero commitments.”
“The proportion of organisations that still lack the baseline data for their carbon footprint, clear objectives and a roadmap and strategy describing how the targets will be met, remains concerning.
Duncan Edward, Inenco Group
About the IWFM Sustainability Survey
• The survey has been conducted annually since 2007, providing an industry leading benchmark of organisational sustainability performance, governance, reporting and priorities.
• Participants are drawn from FM companies (outsourced providers of full FM services) or FM service providers (outsourced providers of single FM services).
• Half of those surveyed (46%) were drawn from senior management, with a representative spread of sectors covering education, healthcare, real estate, third sector and professional services.