ESG, or environmental, social, and governance, has become an integral part of business for enterprises across every industry. So, what does it include, and how has it impacted facilities management? If you’ve been feeling lost trying to navigate ESG for your facility, we get it. This process is complex and constantly growing with new national and international policies. Here, our team unpacks the complexities of ESG, how it impacts your enterprise on a micro and macro level, and tips for how to streamline and expand your impact on ESG strategies through facilities management.
What is ESG & What Does it Include?
ESG is a framework including environmental, social, and governance metrics that companies use to monitor risks and opportunities in day-to-day tasks. ESG balances changing needs within the sustainability and socioeconomic climates, used not only to meet compliance requirements, but also to set your organization apart from competitors. What’s included in each of these pillars varies based on industry, but for large-scale enterprises, it commonly includes the following:
- Carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions
- Water management
- Waste management
- Energy efficiency
- Supply chain management
- Employee well-being and safety
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
- Labor standards
- Corporate social responsibility initiatives (CSR)
- Corporate ethics and integrity
- Shareholder rights
- Risk management and procedures
How Does ESG Impact FM?
With a general understanding of what ESG is and what it includes, let’s dive into how it impacts the facilities management industry. To start, the FM industry has seen a significant shift in practices in recent years, impacting all three pillars of ESG. With many FM professionals reaching retirement age, the next five to ten years will be industry-altering, bringing Gen-Z into the workforce and navigating modern compliance standards.
Environmentally, facilities are feeling the pressure to adopt sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint, especially in energy and waste management, as well as supply chain optimization. By leveraging technology and automation tools to streamline daily processes, FM teams can make a huge impact on their organization as a whole. Socially, ESG has impacted FM on both the industry and employee satisfaction sides.
Within the industry, the push for diversity and inclusion, especially for women and minorities entering the FM field has been at the forefront. Additionally, FM professionals are working to optimize their facilities to maximize employee satisfaction and safety. For governance, ESG performance can have a significant impact on the financial and legal state of your organization. By being proactive in enacting ESG strategies in your facility, you’re not only ensuring that compliance standards are exceeded, but providing the opportunity for financial growth, partnership, and expansion by staying ahead of industry standards.
What Can You Do to Expand Your ESG Initiatives?
As a facilities manager, your role is essential in expanding ESG initiatives. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that everything falls on your shoulders, but it does mean that your team, with the right tools, can make a lasting impact on your organization that will reap benefits for years, if not decades to come. Environmentally, begin with optimizing your energy reduction strategies. This can look like automating HVAC, electricity, and water usage depending on space occupancy. If you have a hybrid workforce, see what areas of your facility are seeing high and low foot traffic, and introduce energy-saving measures for areas with little to no traffic.
Socially, start with health and safety. This is obviously essential for industries like healthcare or pharma, but are equally as important for enterprise organizations. This can look like establishing a schedule to audit your emergency protocols and ensure all equipment is working properly. Additionally, making sure your facility is optimized for those with disabilities can be a huge help in advancing your DEI initiatives.
For governance, transparency is front and center. When it comes to compliance standards, this means not only being transparent with reporting, but also having the tools available for detailed, goal-focused, industry-specific metrics. These metrics are not only important for stakeholders to see gaps in your current process, but also provide your team with the knowledge and resources to quickly make changes where applicable, proactively preparing your facility for a new era of the modern workforce.
Let Us Streamline Your ESG Strategy
We packed a lot in this post, we know! But, ESG is a subject that we are fervently passionate about here at SCLogic. Our goal? To provide you with the digital tools and resources you need to create a comprehensive ESG strategy. With our comprehensive FM software, Intra, we offer solutions to all of your FM workflows, from emergency management to preventative maintenance. To learn more about how Intra can help you achieve your ESG goals, schedule a demo with our team today, or email [email protected] with your questions!