The 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference. Tokyo, September 27-29. In print.
Today's construction and real estate companies have in most cases both the knowledge and the technology to minimize environmental impacts during a building's life cycle, but unfortunately environmental issues are often forgotten or overridden by the economic arguments or short-term economic planning and quarterly business One obvious reason for this is the lack of ethics or different ethical principles among various construction or real estate companies. Ethics constitute the foundation of responsible business, for example sustainability reporting, and are still essentially voluntary.
This study describes how Senate Properties, the biggest real estate owner
in Finland, has included ethical principles as a part of its operations, and
the way these principles have been applied to a company's partnership program
and co-operation with clients. In addition, the study introduces the main
reasons for Senate Properties' decision to focus on corporate responsibility.
These include, among others a company's ownership base, the opportunity to
improve buildings' quality, corporate responsibility, and customers' demands.
Corporate responsibility is seen as a sign of a strong customer oriented approach.
The study shows that corporate responsibility, one of the four strategic goals of Senate Properties, has had positive influence on employees' attitudes. Employees perceive corporate responsibility and environmental issues as important and value the environmentally friendly operation practices. Employees also feel that their personal influence in carrying out a company's corporate responsibility is exiguous, and thus are pleased that Senate Properties' ethical principles are implemented throughout supply chain in all everyday operations.
Similarly strategic partners, such as facility service providers and construction companies have started to follow Senate Properties ethical principles, harmonizing their operation practices and codes of conduct to those used by Senate Properties. One clear example of this is the ecological construction method, in which environmental goals are set at the beginning of the project. During the project, each project party works to fulfil these shared goals. Senate Properties also encourages facility users to pay attention to environmental management. For instance, energy issues are discussed several times per year with the user.
In conclusion, the study illustrates that a real estate company, especially a large one, can exert influence in other companies' attitudes and ethical principles. A company can also promote pro-environmental and ethical practices in general in real estate and construction business. A major challenge continues to the motivating facility users to work for the environment and enlisting them to pursue the same environmental goals. If partner companies and users share the same ethical values, principles and codes of conduct, and succeed in sharing these with their employees, companies are able to reduce environmental impacts more comprehensively during the buildings' life cycle.
The 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference. Tokyo, September 27-29. In print.
Sustainability has become a strategic issue in many international companies. However, only very few companies have emphasized the actions taken to improve the performance of their office facilities as a strategy for enhancing their environmental performance. One reason may be that hardly any studies have quantified the environmental impact of building use and compared them to the other activities of the user organization. Another important part of selecting feasible environmental strategy for a company is naturally the financial consequences of the selected strategy.
This study applies life cycle assessment framework to quantify the environmental impact of a U.S. based service organization. The study aims to demonstrate the importance of sustainable facility management in the environmental strategy of the organization. Along with the life cycle assessment method, which has been used to calculate the environmental impact of the company case, an operation cost computation has been conducted in order to compare both the environmental impact and costs of the facility operations to those of other operations in the company.
The result showed that whilst only representing around
7% of the company's expenses the use of office buildings caused over half
of the environmental impact of the organization. From the range of individual
activities, the use of the office facilities was clearly found to impact the
environment the most. Its average contribution to the environmental impact
was 54%, ranging from 17% in the summer smog category to 83% in the heavy
metals category. Other activities that had substantial impact were the commuting
(20%), the business travel (13%), and the office equipment (9%). The two remaining
activities, the purchased services and the office supplies, clearly produced
less environmental impact, below 3%.
The result would suggest that enhancing the facility management to support the environmental work in companies could produce a great environmental improvement potential and that the additional cost from the improvement would be quite low compared to other strategic alternatives.
In: Tulla, K.: Facilities Business and its Management, Combining Forces Advancing Facilities Management & Construction through Innovation Series. 11th CIB International Symposium, Combining Forces, Helsinki, June 13-16. Finland. VTT-Technical Research Centre of Finland, RIL-Association of Finnish Civil Engineers. pp. 560-572. ISBN: 952-5004-627.
In service and light industries (SLIs) more and more companies are paying attention to environmental management, and some SLI companies have already realised that the use of facilities causes a large share of their environmental burdens. This study presents the most typical environmental objectives within the largest companies operating in SLI, and investigates whether facilities or facility management have been specified as an environmentally high priority issue in these companies. In addition, the study aims to determine whether there has been any growth in environmental requirements set on facilities management organization in recent years. It was found that the most typical environmental objectives in SLI are electricity, waste recycling/re-use, waste minimisation and climate change, which are closely related to the use facilities. At present, a one third of companies have emphasized the role of facilities in their environmental management. When comparing the results between the years 2003 and 2005, it can be seen that the most typical environmental indicators have changed but more companies have explicitly stated the role of facilities or facility management.
In: The European Facility Management Conference 2005 Proceedings. Frankfurt, April 19-21. Berlin. VDE Verlag GMBH. pp. 553-563. ISBN 3-8007-2884-2.
Environmental management has become a part of companies' everyday activities and a large share of service and light industry companies' environmental burden is caused by the use of facilities. The purpose of this paper is to describe facility users' environmental information needs and expectations of a selected commercial building, as well as, the obstacles to efficient environmental management of process parties (i.e. co-operation between user, owner, manager and facility service provider). The research is based on case-study research methodology. The results show that facility users tend to gather and observe more and more detailed environmental information while they emphasize their aspiration to adapt more sustainable workings. The basic facility-related data, consumption of heating energy, electricity, water and the amount of waste, reported regularly by the owner or manager would satisfy most users' needs if this data were provided in adequate form. Based on the case studied, the main reason for drawbacks, however, seems to be that the owners and managers have not specified the information needs of customers. What the users seem to want is that the facility owner or manager report such information as waste management costs, provide environmental services such as personnel training, instructions, and suggests feasible environmental actions. If facility owner and manager took more notice to users' needs from the environmental point of view and develop environmental services, they would support user organisations environmental work and improve their customer satisfaction.
In: Bröchner, J. & Haugen, T.I.: Proceedings of the Third European Research Symposium in Facilities Management. Copenhagen, 12-14 May. Trondheim. Danish Facilities Management Association. pp. 131-138. ISBN xxx.
In service and light industries (SLIs), the use of facilities causes a large share of the environmental burdens of individual companies. This study presents the environmental objectives of large companies operating in SLI, and aims to determine whether facilities or facility management have been specified as an environmentally high priority issue within the companies. These were found to have numerous environmental objectives, but only a few, five out of thirty-one, mentioned facilities or facility management directly as an issue in their environmental objectives. However, the environmental objectives that were mentioned most often, namely electricity, water and waste, are all closely related to facility management. In conclusion, it seems that, while facilities and facility management have not been explicitly mentioned as a significant environmental issue in SLI companies, the companies have indirectly stated the importance of facility management through the choice of their environmental objectives.
In: Then, D.S-S.: Cib W70, Facilities Management & Maintenance. Human Elements in Facilities Management - Understanding the Needs of Our Customers. Hong Kong, December 7-8. Hong Kong. Department of Building Services Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. pp. 93-101. ISBN xxx.
The study uses life cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impact of a service sector company with the aim of demonstrating the importance of office-use. The result showed that whilst the office represented only 7 % of the organization's costs the actual use of the office was responsible for almost half of the environmental impact of the organization. Other environmentally important activities were found to be commuting, business travel and the use of office equipment. Office supplies and purchased services only had a minor impact on the environmental performance of the studied organization. The result suggests that the environmental performance of an office building and facility management could have a key role in the environmental management of a service sector company.