How Facilities Management Plays A Role in Environmental Sustainability

facilities management environment sustainability
13 Aug 2021

“Sustainability in Facilities Management is about making smart decisions that will reduce business’ negative impact on the environment.”

Facilities Managers across the globe are gaining greater prominence in every industry. No longer do facilities managers work silently in the background, now their decisions are pushed to greater prominence and their voices are at the forefront of meetings.

Having facilities managers in the buildings making decisions is comforting for customers, employees and employers alike. They assure that everything is running as safely and effectively as possible.

One area that is giving rise to the importance of facilities managers is environmental sustainability. The social conscience of industries is now greater than it has ever been. Not only can it be financially rewarding to be an environmentally-friendly business but it can also be beneficial for your overall image and perception.

McArdle Traynor Facilities Management explains this expertly:

“Adopting best practice in this area sends an important signal to the workforce that here is an organisation that ‘gets’ the big picture on the environment and is socially responsible.

MTFM’s project directors will be mindful of sustainability issues from the outset and will look for ways of reducing waste, improving efficiency and maximising the return on assets in which you have invested.”

One example provided is using external air temperatures to assist in cooling data centers, which eases the need for air-conditioning, saving money and protecting the environment. Obviously that approach is dependent on where the data center is located and the weather on a given day.

But even accepting that idea as a rational, reasonable approach to running a business is a sign of how the world is changing.

Five years ago, Fergus Bird wrote in the European Cleaning Journal: “Environmental sustainability is not just a popular term widely used in the media and exploited by government, business and spokespeople. It has become a reason for changing perceptions, values, strategies and the way that many companies are doing business today.”

The simple fact is that businesses make decisions based on the benefits they’ll receive. Now, the more sustainable options are the more beneficial options.

Sustainability is more than just reducing the amount of waste that is produced or using less energy. It’s about developing processes and building structures that will serve each company over the long term. For a facilities manager, that means resourcing the best ways in which those processes and structures can be built.

According to Horizant Solutions, facilities managers are uniquely positioned to offer solutions in their operations that support the global initiative towards environmental sustainability.

“Achieving high-performance or sustainable buildings means facility managers need to consider saving energy and resources and cost-effective operations when balancing labour, energy, materials, and political and financial capital. Particularly when managing how we use technology to maximize space and lead our workforce, it’s crucial to always operate on the notion of prioritizing a healthy, safe, productive and comfortable environment for the individuals who occupy the building.”

Horizant Solutions also offer an exploration of what sustainable facilities management incorporates:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Real estate and property management
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Project management
  • Emergency management and business continuity
  • Communications management


Portobello Institute is training the facilities management professionals of the present and the future. We have courses that range from IWFM Level 3 all the way through a master’s degree in Facilities and Workplace Management.

Whether you are at the beginning of your career, in the midst of your career or looking for that final piece to stand out from the crowd at the top, Portobello has a course for you.

Our facilities management students typically don’t come from backgrounds in education and often they are working full-time jobs while studying at Portobello. We have designed our courses to fit into your lives seamlessly, meaning you can continue to work while studying without changing your schedule.

A qualification or degree in facilities management is the best way to upskill, qualify for a promotion or earn more money in your career moving forward.

Brandon McLean is a member of our admissions team and he is responsible for the Facilities Management department. You can contact Brandon now by emailing or by calling him directly on 01-892-0035. To set up a virtual meeting with Brandon, you can click this link.

We will also be hosting an open evening for all prospective students on September 7th. Reserve your place here to learn about your options in facilities management as well as the other courses available in the college.

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