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Use Covid-19 crisis to reinvent FM sector, says SFMI

28 July 2020

Assistance in the UK's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic could see the FM industry to play a pivotal role, says the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI).

Its thoughts are included in a recently-published white paper that suggests FM could play a vital role across three phases: restart; reset; and reinvent.

The white paper summarises the latest SFMI Leaders Forum discussion and offers an overview of the effect of the virus on the built environment.

It includes a number of predictions and recommendations for both FMs and service providers.

The restart phase is now under way and the SFMI report says the FM sector can help to transform facilities to make them clean and safe to support the return to work as the UK continues to ease lockdown restrictions.

This point was made by the PFM Editorial Advisory Board in its last meeting at the end of May, where many members were proving central to the safe reopening of facilities.

With many companies allowing employees to work from home, the forum said this could allow FM to implement sustainable practices, including reducing energy and preventing "future wasteful business practices".

The reset phase should include more use of digital activities to reduce paper use and create resilient and diverse supply chains to future-proof businesses.

Incorporation of home working emissions also needed to be included in carbon reporting for those with zero carbon goals, said the forum.

As part of its reinvention, FM needed to focus on modular and people-centric services to support a more dispersed workforce, said ASFMI.

This could include employing people in entry-level placements and qualifications to assist those made redundant to return to to work.

With partnerships strengthened between FMs and service providers in dealing with the virus, this is something that stakeholders should take forward.

The SFMI is run by consultant Acclaro Advisory and includes members of major service providers and aims to meet three times a year.

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