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First insight into Sustainable FM

04 June 2008

The first survey report generated from BIFM’s Sustainable FM Knowledge Transfer Partnership has provided an interesting insight into the management of sustainability within the FM remit.

This initiative, sponsored by Kinnarps, is designed to pull together existing best practice and innovation in sustainable FM. One element of this is to take a measure of current practice and to continue measuring this through a programme of annual surveys. The 2008 survey is now underway and can be accessed by visiting

The first report to result from the initiative finds that 69% of respondents’ organisations have a sustainability policy in place (an increase on previous surveys), with waste management (90%) and energy management (85 %) rated as the most highly included policy aspects. Aspects such as building disposal, ethical purchasing and carbon foot-printing were included in less than half of the respondent’s sustainability policies (37, 48 and 48 % respectively).

On the subject of ethical purchasing, Kinnarps UK head of marketing Marc Bird commented: “The figure of 48% was lower than we expected because, in our experience, sustainability credentials are now a major factor in most of the tenders we submit – which puts us in a strong position. This is a growing trend and we expect to see ethical purchasing rise rapidly up the agenda of procurement policies in the future”.

Of all the respondents (not just those reporting on sustainability) 61% report on carbon footprint in one form or another, with the highest reporting areas being building energy consumption, waste disposal and water consumption.

Indirect supply chain emissions are included in carbon footprint reporting by 41% of organisations, with ‘ongoing contract management’ being the most common (34%) way of doing this.

Interestingly, only 11% of respondents rated their organisations as excellent with regards to managing their sustainability responsibilities, with a further 15% opting for ‘very good’. A number of constraints to effective sustainability management were identified, ranging from customer constraints (81%) to lack of senior management commitment (59%) and time constraints (57%).

A full copy of the survey results can be obtained from

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