How can Facilities Management Support NetZero?


How can Facilities Management Support NetZero?

How can Facilities Management Support NetZero? 1

Rewriting the Scope of Facilities Management Service Contracts to Encompass the Journey to NetZero

In the late winter/early spring of 2020, most the countries around the globe went under lockdowns as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the socio-economic effects of the lockdowns were considered, another aspect that came to the fore was the impact on the environment. Since most of the industrial activities were paused, roads were empty, flights were grounded and people were working from home, there was an overall decrease in the levels of carbon emission that year.

However, as the world started opening again, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis and relied heavily on coal to power that growth, according to a new IEA analysis released. Human activities are the precursors to majority of greenhouse gas emissions and the huge chunk of these greenhouse gases come from facilities- hospital buildings, factory sites, offices, sports arena, etc. It is an established reality that buildings contribute to a large number of emissions, and this is where the NetZero commitment comes into focus. Concrete and strategic efforts by leadership in tackling the CO2 emissions by buildings and construction facilities by opting for renewable energy resources and offsetting the remaining carbon is the foundation of NetZero. So, how do facilities management (FM) service contracts relate to the commitment to be a zero-carbon building? Well, FM is integral in ensuring that plans are made and followed to cut-down emissions and achieve net zero. In this article, we will discuss how facilities management can ensure and encompass the journey to NetZero.

FM to Ensure Record Maintenance of Current Carbon Emissions

In the post-pandemic world, FM can expand its boundaries and go beyond the expected compliance-regulations cycle to venture into the realms of enabling organizations to achieve their environmental goals. FM can look at environmental compliance from leadership, its people, resources, and suppliers’ leadership as well as built environment’s point of view. To start with, a system can be put into place to calculate the facility’s current greenhouse gases emission. This will give the organization a bird’s eye view of their ‘as-is’ scenario in terms of the emission, and they can curate an actionable plan to move towards a more sustainable ecosystem. This can be achieved through aligning organisational objectives for NetZero and targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) with the baseline position and FM Scope

How can Facilities Management Support NetZero? 2

FM in Relation to the Built Environment, People and Communities

Speaking of NetZero organizations, there are three aspects wherein regulations should be designed and complied to for sustainability purposes: 

  1. The Built environment wherein the FM department can channel the organizational efforts towards sustainable structures, renewable energy sources and carbon offsetting. 
  2. Organisational resources can be considered in terms of the output they deliver against the building they are utilizing. Similarly, people can be held accountable for their actions that have direct and indirect tangible effects on the carbon emission on the premises.
  3. Community involving the visitors, vendors, supply chains and other collaterals partners that are accountable towards overall efforts of organization’s sustainability goals.

FM with the Context of Peak Hours Load Management

Peak hours are the timings in an organization wherein maximum greenhouse gases are emitted and consumption of conventional energy resources (oil and coal). FM service contactors can propose shifting peal load to overnight hours and moving to non-conventional energy resources.

Implementation of Certifiable Standards to Encompass Organizational Environmental Goals Journey

Globally and locally, there are various Certificates, Regulations Standards and Guides that can guide organizations along their path of achieving zero carbon goals. The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) rolls out standards for reporting the sustainability progress globally. Organizations can refer to ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management which guides guiding organisations within energy efficiency and energy management in both private as well as public infrastructure domains. Similarly, for buildings and infrastructure, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAM) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) are two of the most widely used assessment and rating systems for sustainability. If organizations are looking for guidance in contributing towards sustainable development, they can go for the ISO 26000 certification. 

FM obviously plays a key role in ensuring compliance by leadership, people, property, and community during the end-to-end lifecycle of cumulation of these certifications. 

Regulating Day-to-day Green House Emissions Inside the Premises

The journey to NetZero is made up of multiple pathways involving different stakeholders. One more way with which FM can ensure reduced emissions is by taking step towards regulating day-to-day green-house gases. The first and the easiest step is investing in energy efficient appliances. The electric appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, air coolers, etc. are energy star certified for user’s reference. Another day-to-day step involves installing heaters and lightings that run on solar energy. If the phasing out of conventional lighting system gets too overwhelming for the organization, a stage-wise plan can be made to accomplish the goal by the FM contractors. 

How can Facilities Management Support NetZero? 3

Sustainability- A Journey and Not a Task

FM firms (the good ones, at least) do not employ sustainability or NetZero goals as a separate task to be accomplished by the organization. Instead, the goal of sustainability is integrated in the very core of organization’s processes, KPI’s, CSR, and resource management. Also, the FM contactor’s role should minimize additional costs involved in achieving NetZero for the organization. Through regular, well-planned quality checks, in-house audits (APPA and IBEAM), temperature checks, air quality and water quality checks, recycling drives, and carbon emission tracking, FM can enable smooth navigation of organizations towards their environmental goals. 

Evbex collaborative work with Conserve Consultants integrates NetZero into Facilities Management in a seamless way. As up to 80% of the effort required on a journey towards NetZero is available within an enhanced FM scope, the journey need not be expensive or painless as the FM resources already exist. An organisation may therefore embark on an efficient and effective journey towards NetZero through baselining the current position; managing and measuring performance through three monthly indicators, namely: Compliance, NetZero, and Conformance. The FM supplier’s remuneration may also be linked to performance. In this way, the organisation navigates effectively towards NetZero in a way which ensures that the FM scope (encompassing NetZero) conforms and that the organisations is always compliant in a transparent manner. 

The NetZero3 SFMP contract effectively enables organisations to channel its NetZero objectives and targets through a conventional FM contract. 

In summation, FM service contractors are not only an organisations journey to NetZero. 

Evbex is an experienced Facilities Management Company, specializing in advisory, research, consulting, technology, and training. We partner with organizations to guide and execute them in the journey towards environmental sustainability. Visit us at to know more. 


Date: Oct-22

Comments are closed.