An industry-wide appreciation of the need for more transparency around Net Zero activity will benefit the sector more broadly, according to the consultancy behind a sustainability performance benchmarking survey.
Chris Havers, programme director for the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) at Acclaro Consultancy, said: “We are entering a pivotal time for the planet and, if the FM sector is to play its part, FM organisations must be more transparent and disclose their approaches to key issues including net zero and social value.
Now in its ninth year, Acclaro's SFMI annual report assesses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of FM service providers. This year, it says that while 2021 assessments show service providers making progress across the three ESG pillars at an operational level, they have struggled to make headway strategically.
The consultancy conducts assessments across 23 criteria covering sustainability frameworks, management systems, social value, energy, water, compliance, health & safety, employee development and diversity.
Havers added: “There is also a need for guidance on supply chain sustainability targets. The solution is to create transparency and consistency in areas such as measurement to develop sustainability standards that the whole industry can follow.”
2021 results show that five providers have achieved the SFMI ‘platinum' score: VINCI Facilities, Skanska, Bouygues Energies & Services, Mite and Equans (formerly Engie).
Operational progress in 2021 has been particularly notable in the areas of social value (with measurement an ongoing problem) and transport (with a growing number of electric vehicle initiatives),
Strategic level observations include a gap in knowledge about the link between finance and sustainability; more service providers disclosing sustainability information to clients; a difficulty in ensuring risk management is adequately represented in contracts and service firms implementing one of two core sustainability-related business models, ’either specialising in niche initiatives such as EV chargers or developing consultancy services that enables them manage sustainability projects from beginning to end'.
A need for more work on overall supply chain sustainability was also highlighted. In a related development, Acclaro is working with BAM FM, IWFM and others on a project to define a standard way of measuring the sector’s Scope 3 emissions.
Acclaro’s SFMI report 2021 can be downloaded here. (Contact details required.)