A news round-up of stories in the FM sector
Organisation: EMCOR UK
Announcement: The facilities, asset and workplace management services provider has signed the Armed Forces Covenant.
Description: The covenant is a pledge that those who serve and have served in the armed forces and their families will be treated fairly in society. EMCOR UK signed the covenant on 20June, the start of Armed Forces Week, which culminates tomorrow ( 25 June). A key principle of the covenant is providing employment support to members of the Armed Forces community. As a national FM service provider with clients from sectors including defence, EMCOR UK can provide career paths for ex-service personnel.
Details: Signing the covenant is an important step for EMCOR UK and its social value work, as it ties in with the UN Global Goals 8, 10 and 17: Decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and partnerships for the goals. The firm will drive social mobility by supporting ex-service personnel who may struggle to transition to civilian life.
Organisation: Johnson Controls
Announcement: The global company for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings has acquired Seattle-based zero trust cybersecurity provider Tempered Networks, which has created ‘Airwall’ technology, a self-defence system for buildings that enables secure network access across diverse groups of endpoint devices, edge gateways, cloud platforms and service technicians.
Description: Airwall is built on secure transmission pipelines to ensure that building data exchanges and service actions can only take place between people and devices that are continuously authenticated. The acquisition gives Johnson Controls the capability to provide zero-trust security within the fabric of its OpenBlue secure communications stack, advancing its vision of enabling fully autonomous buildings that are resilient to cyberattack.
Details: Airwall’s technology uses the Host Identity Protocol and a cloud-based policy orchestration platform to create new overlay networks built on encrypted and authenticated communication. The policy manager enforces configured digital policies that control connections within the cloaked overlay system. The default position for the policy manager is ‘zero trust’ – allowing only connections between continuously authenticated and authorised entities. Once a communicating device authenticates itself correctly, an encrypted tunnel is created through which data flows.
Organisation: Elior UK
Announcement: Elior UK has launched BellaBot, an autonomous delivery robot supplied by GW Projects Ltd to assist with day-to-day restaurant service at a retirement village.
Description: BellaBot works in the restaurant at the retirement village and delivers trays of food to the tables and assists with clearing the tables.
Details: BellaBot can deliver four 10 kg trays at once – twice the load capacity of manual delivery – and can deliver up to 400 dishes a day.
Organisation: ISS Group
Announcement: ISS has launched an innovation project, FacilityCobot, to develop a mobile robot that can relieve cleaning staff from repetitive or physically exhausting tasks.
Description: The solution integrates a smart building sensor system with a human robot interface – allowing the robot to work efficiently side by side with cleaning staff in large open-space areas such as canteens and offices.
Details: Mobile robots removing dirty dishes and empty bottles from canteen tables may become a normal sight in companies and public institutions in the near future. Through the interdisciplinary innovation project FacilityCobot, tech companies Enabled Robotics and Ubiqisense have joined forces with the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), consultancy firm K-Jacobsen, Signal Architects and ISS to develop a state-of-the-art robot for selected facility management services.
Announcement: Samsic.uk has launched a bespoke mobile app to streamline the company’s client and employee communications and processes.
Description: The app, branded Samsic One, has been created with the aim of transforming the approach to client and employee engagement so that all essential information and functions can be accessed from one place.
Details: Samsic One’s client-facing integrations include:
- ECat, a cloud-based quality management tool giving clients live access to auditing dashboards
- Infogrid, which gives clients access to live information on footfall within specific areas of their buildings in order to create a reactive and dynamic cleaning solution
- Access Workspace, a cloud-based system that integrates data for payments and invoicing across the business into one space.
Organisation: Premier Foods
Service: The St Albans-based food business has launched policies to support office-based and manufacturing staff going through life-changing health events.
Description: Under its Modern Working policies, colleagues going through menopause, medical treatment relating to gender reassignment or fertility treatment will be able to take paid time off. Leave will not be capped and will be granted to office-based and factory colleagues, on an at-need basis.
Details: Premier Foods will provide training for all 4,000-plus staff on trans inclusivity and support both female and male managers to better understand the menopause. Training will be delivered by experts and will be available to all employees. The company has also launched its new Parental Network, which aims to support new parents or parents-to-be. Colleagues, as well as their families, will have access to three, one-to-one maternity coaching sessions and enter into an optional Buddy Scheme to help them transition back into work after parental leave.
Announcement: The full-service business supplies company has published its B Green educational catalogue to make sustainable procurement easier for businesses and public sector organisations across the UK.
Description: The catalogue includes a vast range of sustainable alternative products in categories from cleaning and catering to office supplies and printers.
Details: The catalogue contains a guide to understanding all the different product accreditations, including those covered include Blue Angel, Carbon Neutral, Energy Star, Fairtrade, EU Ecolabel, The Nordic Swan Ecolabel, and the Rainforest Alliance. It also covers what to look for to determine if products that have no accreditations are still green enough to be worth looking into.
Background: Banner states that its full-service offering includes the management and distribution of essential PPE and catering supplies, office stationery and print-related equipment. The B Green catalogue is intended to help clients to achieve their sustainability targets.
Organisation: SF Recruitment
Announcement: Specialist Midlands recruitment consultancy is hosting a ‘Menopause in the Workplace’ event with legal firm Browne Jacobson LLP and Lauren Chiren on 5th July, in Victoria Square, Birmingham.
Description: Chiren is a global keynote speaker, trainer and coach on executive women's wellbeing and will talk about why being ‘menopause supportive’ is business-savvy. She has appeared on the BBC, CNN and Sky News and is actively engaged in campaigning to normalise menopause at work and has regularly consulted with MPs locally and in the House of Commons.
Details: The menopause is not yet a specific protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, however, highly anticipated recommendations arising from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Menopause and Work are expected shortly.
Background: According to UK research by Nuffield Health, there are 13.5 million menopausal women, of which 80% are in employment; 72% of women in work say they feel unsupported; nine out of 10 women say they feel unable to talk to managers at work; and 1 in 50 are on long-term sickness. As many as 25% of these women seriously consider giving up work, with over 10% simply leaving their jobs.