FM service provider VINCI Facilities has topped the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) 2020 E-Awards.
The SFMI, run by sustainability consultancy Acclaro Advisory, is now in its eighth year. It judges the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of FM service providers annually.
The provider was recognised for its “high sustainability performance over continuous years and its ability to demonstrate a strongly embedded sustainability culture”.
VINCI Facilities was one of four FM service providers to receive a platinum certificate in the awards, along with ENGIE, Bouygues Energies & Services and Skanska.
Acclaro’s team conducts independent assessments across 23 criteria, including sustainability frameworks, management systems, social value, energy, water, compliance, health and safety, employee development and diversity. The SFMI grades the organisations assessed each year, awarding the top performers with a platinum, gold or silver certificate.
The body noted that 2020 was an unprecedented year, with the pandemic dealing UK plc a harsh blow, forcing organisations to lean on facilities managers and FM service providers to guide them through the crisis. SFMI audits revealed that sustainability remains high on the sector’s agenda, while the pandemic has encouraged FM organisations to prioritise wellbeing, health and safety, lockdown management and social value.
Findings arising from the 2020 assessments suggest that although progress has been made, the industry must focus on the following areas:
- The C-suite was primarily responsible for driving sustainability through regulations, commercial opportunities and greater customer alignment, however, organisations have yet to realise the full potential of commercialising sustainability.
- The pandemic catapulted areas such as wellbeing, health and safety, social value and lockdown management to the top of the business agenda.
- FM service providers developed and integrated social value frameworks at the corporate level, driven by the growing emphasis on social value within public sector contracts and government frameworks. The UK government recently launched the Procurement Policy Note 06/20, a model outlining its social value criteria for the first time. However, integrating and embedding social value and capturing data that demonstrates its benefits remains a significant challenge.
- In the first stage of a zero-carbon journey, a strong contingent in the FM sector is pushing to decarbonise fleet emissions. In 2020, leading businesses were either developing strategies to decarbonise, making plans to invest in the process or actioning their strategy.
- Leaders in FM have either published or are planning to publish zero-carbon plans in early 2021. But these organisations must do more to measure supply chain emissions as well as the impact they have on their customer’s zero-carbon efforts.
- There was a shift toward the use of integrated workplace management systems. New mobile apps do everything from providing staff access to sustainability-related systems and online training programmes to capturing data from sensors to create value for customers.
- By aligning procurement with values based on a responsible business culture, client organisations can develop a more strategic, higher-value approach to sustainability.
- To transform sustainability in FM, organisations must aim to develop a new responsible business model that permeates through their culture, teams and systems.
Chris Havers, programme director of the SFMI for Acclaro Advisory, said it had been “an incredibly difficult year for the FM sector” and the four platinum certificate recipients’ achievement was “testament to the growing commitment to sustainable FM within these organisations”.
“In 2020, we have seen the FM industry’s status grow. FM has navigated organisations in the public and private sector through the pandemic and is now playing a pivotal role in designing post-pandemic workplaces. Service providers have an opportunity to truly establish themselves as progressive, responsible businesses that can work in partnership with customers to transform their sustainable outcomes. Their aim should be to create new business models that incorporate a sustainable business culture, sustainably led technology solutions and a fully trained and engaged workforce.”
This year’s results can be found in the SFMI 2020 Summary Report.
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