More Facility Professionals Taking Strategic Approach to Green Practices: Survey

More Facility Professionals Taking Strategic Approach to Green Practices: Survey

Facility managers are increasingly following a master plan when implementing sustainable practices and are tying their efforts to measurable goals and business strategy, according to the results of a new International Facility Management Association (IFMA) survey. The study, "Green Practices 2008," shows that while recycling and energy conservation initiatives are being practiced by the vast majority of facility practitioners, financial challenges still present the biggest impediment to going green.

Based on a survey of 573 professionals from around the world, the new research report examines the forces driving sustainability, the green practices being employed and the challenges facility managers face in implementing sustainable initiatives. While most survey respondents say they are implementing green building concepts without a master plan, 17 percent say they are adhering to one -- an increase of 9 percent versus similar data from 2002. The percentage of respondents who say they have not implemented any green strategies and do not plan to fell from 16 percent in 2002 to only 5 percent this year.

Ninety-two percent of survey respondents say they are working to make their facilities more sustainable, and the same percentage say they have measurable goals related to sustainability. Seventy-nine percent say these goals are linked to their organization’s business strategy.

“For years facility managers have been advancing sustainable practices with the aim to lower operating costs and improve efficiency,” said IFMA Director of Research Shari Epstein. “This study demonstrates the gradual shift toward incorporating sustainability into the overall business strategy in addition to the overall design and operation of the facility.”

The new survey also presents some of the first data on sustainability in food service operation. In addition to recycling and changes in packaging, facility managers are also turning to sustainable purchasing, such as reducing shipping distance for food products, and tray-less cafeterias, which discourage excess waste.

For more information, visit the IFMA website.