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 In recent times, sustainability has become a ubiquitous buzzword, so it is important that its meaning does not become a trite reference to a future burden. Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity, a blueprint for immediate action that can lead to significant benefits for businesses and, of course, the planet.

The Blueprint: Identifying Areas for Improvement

Many businesses lack the knowledge of their true energy consumption, making it difficult to identify and address inefficiencies. For example, according to Energy Live News, in 2022 approximately £33.9 billion of energy was wasted by businesses in the UK alone.

As a result, governments are placing increased pressure on businesses to adopt sustainable practices. To prepare for future regulatory changes and to meet net-zero commitments, it is essential to have a better understanding of how a building consumes energy and the methods to decrease it. Conducting regular energy audits ensures that regulatory standards are met and helps identify areas of inefficiency in processes and services, determining whether and how a building is wasting resources.

Organisations may seek to work with a certified energy auditor, who will review utilities consumption and building data, and provide tailored suggestions on how to implement energy-efficiency measures. CAFM software, with a centralised database containing all necessary information, helps to streamline this process by providing supporting information about buildings and their assets.

Actioning Sustainability

As newer generations place a growing emphasis on corporate environmental responsibility, establishing a sustainable business also becomes advantageous for attracting and retaining staff.

It is essential to provide education and training to encourage employees to follow sustainable practices, as changing habits within a workplace can be challenging. This can be anything from promoting energy conservation, recycling, and eco-friendly commuting options. For instance, you can also place reminders on all devices to ensure computers and other machinery are switched off when left unused. These small actions can be fundamental in fostering a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Whilst audits provide a helpful overview of efficiency and sustainable practices, planned preventative maintenance (PPM) is necessary for analysing physical asset performance. Regular inspections and maintenance extend asset lifespan and prevent equipment failures, reducing resource consumption and lowering costs. Inefficient HVAC systems can waste up to 30% of a building’s energy consumption, so it is important to notice and upgrade or replace equipment before they become an even greater drain on resources.

CAFM software gives visibility of critical maintenance dates, deadlines and costs to ensure assets are serviced effectively. It helps FMs balance team resources against the workload to ensure works don’t slip. Tasks can be intelligently assigned to the closest operatives with the correct skillset to minimise travel distance and environmental impact. In addition, the operative can log tasks through a mobile device, reducing paper job sheets.

To improve the energy efficiency of a building, several physical changes can be made. One effective strategy is to replace outdated fluorescent lights with energy-efficient alternatives, such as LED and motion-sensor lighting. This not only reduces energy consumption but also creates a more comfortable working environment, leading to greater employee satisfaction and well-being. Another measure that can significantly impact energy efficiency is installing better-insulated windows. Improved insulation helps regulate indoor temperatures, leading to reduced heating requirements. Even a one-degree difference in temperature can result in substantial savings on energy bills over time.

Smart building systems and IoT sensors not only provide insight into energy usage but can also control and adjust lighting, heating and cooling within buildings when integrated with CAFM. This ensures that no electricity is wasted on a vacant room. Hybrid working, causing significant fluctuations of people within a building from day to day, has led to more companies seeking to deploy sensor technology to manage occupancy-related peaks and troughs. When joined up with CAFM and workplace management software, IoT sensors enable facilities managers to make significant cost savings, optimise the workplace experience for staff, and improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the buildings we use.

For more information or to speak to Service Works Global about how QFM can help with challenges within your company, please get in touch with us here.

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