24 January 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The importance of sustainability to facilities management organisations continues to be very high, according to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management's (IWFM) 2018 Sustainability Survey.
This year's survey had 242 respondents. Four in 10 are at managing director and senior management level - the people who hold the most authority to promote the sustainability agenda.
Of those surveyed, 31 per cent of respondents said it was extremely important; 35 per cent said it was very important; and 23 per cent said it was important.
In total, 89 per cent rated sustainability as at least important - and only 11 per cent as not or not very important.
To further underline sustainability's importance to FM organisations, 71 per cent commented that governance support of sustainability in procurement activities is viewed as either extremely important (13 per cent), very important (27 per cent), or important (31 cent).
In the past year 20 per cent of FMs have noted a considerable increase in the number of tenders with sustainability criteria; 42 per cent noticed there's been some increase; and 38 per cent said there has been no change.
Environmental considerations dominate the sustainability criteria on tender forms, with 48 per cent of respondents reporting these as the most frequent criteria.
Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents claimed tenders embrace equally a range of sustainability aspects with none given precedence. These aspects are: local economic considerations (16 per cent); social value (8 per cent); and 'others', which includes a mixture of sustainability, diversity and pay equality and environmental and economic (2 per cent).
The importance of finding new approaches to sustainability is underlined by the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which highlights once again the need for businesses to take urgent action to combat rising global temperatures.