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8 practical ways to improve FM ESG performance

The intersection of Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) and ESG in FM is on everyone’s minds these days. Translating the rules into workable solutions, Sathish Rajendren, Senior Executive Director & Head, Facilities & Asset Management Services, Knight Frank India offers a bevy of examples under each sustainability parameter for how FM can help facilities do better on their ESG report card.

1) Improve Capex investments in technologies to improve the environmental and social impacts of FM

As an organisation, we have set a target of 2027 to become carbon neutral in our overall operations. We identified areas of carbon footprint within the organisational functions and mapped where digital solutions will help bring neutrality. A dedicated team is working with short-term and long-term goals as part of ESG through digital solutions. In FM, we have invested in technology modules which contribute to various functions in reducing carbon footprint and to increase people efficiency/productivity.

2) Choose value chain partners/vendors who follow sustainable practices (sustainable sourcing)

We have incorporated sustainability criteria evaluation in our vendor on-boarding process along with ethical and integration of social performance factors. We expect a very detailed checklist adherence with respect to policies and commitments towards ESG goals from partner organisations before shortlisting them as channel partners.

3) Reduce energy consumption (electricity + fuel)

As part of FM, we organise energy profiling for the facilities we manage and draw out programs for energy conservation through various solutions. These include setting goals for reducing energy consumption, keeping benchmarking data and references to various standards like BEE, Green buildings etc. These will be driven till the completion of implementation through subject matter experts. We also have digital energy management solutions for effective monitoring through automation, data analysis and control.

4) Use more renewable sources of energy

We explore opportunities for installing rooftop solar plants in the buildings we manage and engage private power generators to supply solar or wind energy through open access/captive power generation. We also work to connect with energy trading platforms for the facilities we manage.

5) Reduce freshwater consumption (surface + groundwater)

For many of the buildings we manage, we have done detailed assessments to introduce rainwater harvesting for recharge and reuse. Collecting surface runoff water for reuse and using treated STP water for gardening & flushing are some of the measures through which we can reduce freshwater consumption by 30% in a few of our buildings.

6) Move towards zero liquid discharge (ZLD) facilities

In a majority of the facilities we manage, ZLD standards have been rolled out and water balancing reports are monitored on a regular basis. Key drivers for ZLD are:

  • Enhance efficiency of treatment plants
  • Installing softener plant and reusing treated water for cooling towers
  • Reuse for landscape through auto irrigation systems
  • Reuse treated water for flushing
  • Supply surplus treated water to other facilities

7) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

We have a clearly drawn out program as part of sustainability goals, based on the assessment of business parks we manage. A few of the initiatives are:

  • Introducing common bus system for large IT parks
  • Using EV mobility systems for internal conveyance
  • Replacement of CFL light fittings by LED with automation
  • Rooftop solar plants
  • 80% of renewable energy through private power purchase agreement in few facilities
  • Avoid VOCs
  • Environment friendly refrigerant A/C units

8) Use more recycled material or reuse more material

A few key initiatives:

  • Exploring opportunities for 100% recycled stationery items and toiletries
  • 100% plastic-free offices
  • Avoid paper cups
  • Avoid paper towels
  • Centralised dust bin system avoiding dust bins with liner near workstations

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