How to design sustainable facility services

On Feb 12, 2024

Facility management as a service has literally put people back at the front and center. It has moved beyond maintaining workplaces based solely on numbers, instead embracing the idea of ​​creating spaces which offer services and experiences that are respectful of people and the environment.

Today, however, facility management has very important new goals to achieve. Challenges that have to do with the sustainability of corporate activities. Facility management can prove decisive in the conscious management of company resources. Effective facility management can monitor activities, highlight waste and apply corrective measures. These actions allow us to do so much more than just to reduce the environmental impact of businesses. Facility management that pays attention to sustainability is able to significantly improve the lives of employees: both in terms of well-being and actual health. 

The importance of the sustainability of corporate activities

The topic of sustainability is now central to global policies. Large international companies, too, are now aiming to reduce consumption, waste and environmental impact. 

Facility management is one of the sectors most interested in more careful use of resources: a set of activities that allow us to intervene on the energy efficiency of structures and, at the same time, on the reduction of consumption and emissions. However, the conscious management of company resources is only one of the goals that can be achieved through facility management that is attentive to sustainability. 

From this point of view, in fact, the concept of facility management as a service can be taken even beyond the idea of ​​”services” available to the individual or the community. If sustainability becomes one of its main objectives, facility management is able to generate concrete benefits for both people and the environment.

Designing sustainable facility management services

It is estimated that around 30% of the energy produced in company buildings is lost: a frightening figure, both in terms of costs and environmental impact. Facility management allows you to drastically reduce this and many other wastes. First of all because it manages to “tackle” the sources that generate waste : by using renewable energy, but also by using the latest generation sensors and monitoring systems that allow management processes to be made more efficient.

Digitalization and the use of IoT devices represent two of the pillars on which the new facility management as a service is based. In fact, the most recent technologies allow us to obtain results that were unimaginable only a few years ago: software not only for the management and maintenance of structures, but also for optimizing the flow and circulation of information, or analyzing reporting and costs in real time. 

​​Integrated data management for the sake of continuous traceability allows accurate control of waste. In this way, it is possible to intervene and ultimately make a structure more efficient and sustainable. IoT sensors even allow us to pursue a predictive approach: the cross-analysis of information makes it possible to identify the need for maintenance operations (as well as structural interventions) even before any criticality becomes apparent.

Good facility management intervention can reduce a company’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 60%. At the same time, it allows you to save up to 50% of the energy used and up to 30% of the water. Environmental gains, as it is easy to imagine, go hand in hand with financial benefits. Furthermore, sustainable structures have significantly lower costs; just think of the price of electricity generated by solar energy, which has fallen by as much as 89% in the last decade. 

The benefits of facility management as a service for people

The advantages of sustainable facility management as a service are many and are not limited to conscious management of company resources. On the contrary, they also promise a concrete impact in terms of engagement and personal well-being. Just think of the various studies that have highlighted a direct correlation between the air temperature of working environments and employee productivity. The same goes for light, humidity and the control of CO2 and particulates (PM2.5), which influence not only work, but also perceived stress and, more generally, people’s health. 

The right temperature, adequate ventilation, even presence of natural light: these are just some of the elements on which facility management can act. Interventions that allow us to increase the productivity and sustainability of company activities, but also to improve the quality of life within the work spaces. An improvement which, among other things, translates into a greater ability to attract and retain talent within a team. 

A survey carried out by the Harvard Business Review attests to how much a “workplace focused on health and well-being” is able to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. This involvement often translates into a higher probability of maintaining one’s position in the company, or accepting a new job within it. Added to this are studies by Forbes, which highlight how as many as 8 out of 10 millennials are interested in companies committed to creating sustainability and equality. The impression is therefore that the sustainability of company activities is important for today’s employees, but that it will actually become decisive in bringing new generations closer to the world of work.


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