Open-access content Wednesday 6th May 2009
The recession increases the need for FMs to get to grips with the task of maintaining the sustainability agenda, says Knowledge Committee chair Fred Child
6 May 2009
My contribution in this issue falls between the BIFM conference, staged at Keble College Oxford last month, and the Facilities Show which takes place on the 12-14 May at the NEC.
For me the BIFM event in Oxford highlighted the fact that there is an even greater task that FMs need to get to grips with in the face of our recession as well as maintaining a sustainability agenda. Energy was a key topic, with speculation by some futurologists that there is a possibility that power-cuts will be employed in the near future. Could this be due to lack of government investment in new power stations, I ask?
The catch-22 observation here is how does an FM ensure the business does not shut down due to loss of power at a time when internal investment is extremely difficult to obtain. It would be easy to cut back on, say, green and sustainable projects but surely now is the time to ensure continuity of services and progress in cutting CO2?
I can think of some potential solutions. Have you and your business park neighbours thought of clubbing together to install a wind turbine to sustain the business and hopefully make enough energy to sell some back to the national grid for example?
Lots of views and opinions coupled with supplier solutions were on offer for this year's attendees at conference. Networking with old and new colleagues was high on everyone's to-do list, sharing views ideas and opinions on the current economic climate we are all working in.
At the forthcoming Facilities Show - "the meeting place for the FM industry" - there will be further opportunities for FMs to get together and share their thoughts, knowledge and, no doubt, frustrations with the economy and demands being put on them via their customers.
However, the Facilities Show offers another opportunity for the professional facilities manager to gain further understanding of what can be achieved to ease the way through this recession. There are topics on green as well as sustainable issues with the chance to share your views with others in open forums and debates.
So get out there and network, find out who has similar experiences, exchange your knowledge and gain some in return. To coin a phrase - it's good to talk.