10 Steps to Improve ESG and Sustainability at Your Facility

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG in facilities management refers to principles and practices that prioritize sustainability, ethical governance, and corporate social responsibility.

There are many benefits to ESG and sustainability for facilities management. Key among them are:

  • Cost savings through energy efficiency and reduced waste
  • A reduced carbon footprint
  • Compliance with LEED and BREEAM sustainability practices
  • Long-term viability for buildings, equipment, and operations

When facility managers understand ESG data and how to implement these practices into the facilities management process, the advantages of increased sustainability quickly become apparent.

What is ESG?

ESG in facility management can usher in many benefits, such as lower operational costs, improved reputation and brand value, heightened employee morale and productivity, and a more sustainable and equitable future.

But what practices fall under the “E,” “S,” and “G” in ESG?

Environmental factors in ESG for facilities management may include:

  • Minimizing energy consumption and waste,
  • Meeting Environmental Protection Agency standards
  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and
  • Conserving natural resources such as water and raw materials.

Social considerations can include:

  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of building users,
  • Supporting diversity, equity and inclusion, and
  • Promoting community engagement.

Governance considerations may include:

  • Ethical and transparent decision-making,
  • Responsible financial management, and
  • Compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

10 Steps to Take to Improve ESG and Sustainability in Your Facility

There are many business strategies that can improve ESG and sustainability for facility maintenance. These steps play a crucial role in helping facilities attain global standards for operational excellence and an enhanced workplace experience.

  1. Perform an Environmental, Social and Governance evaluation: Examine your facility’s ESG performance to pinpoint areas for improvement and establish baseline goals for future growth.
  2. Establish sustainability objectives: Generate precise and quantifiable sustainability objectives for the building, including reducing energy costs, optimizing water quality and usage, increasing waste recycling, or enhancing indoor air quality.
  3. Implement energy-efficient practices: Install LED lighting, motion sensors, Integrated Workplace Management Systems and programmable thermostats, and optimize HVAC systems to save energy.
  4. Reduce waste: Keep equipment operating at peak condition, implement a recycling program, and install water-efficient systems to reduce waste.
  5. Improve air quality: Using low-VOC paints and cleaning products, augmenting air flow, and routinely caring for HVAC systems can improve indoor air quality. HVAC systems with increased ventilation and HEPA filters can also improve air quality in commercial properties and lower the spread of viruses.
  6. Customize the HVAC maintenance program: The HVAC maintenance program should consider criteria such as the system’s age, condition, size, brand, and frequency of use and customize maintenance to the system’s specific needs.
  7. Foster a culture of sustainability: Engage the facilities management team and building occupants in sustainability efforts by providing education and training on sustainable strategies and encouraging their participation in sustainability initiatives.
  8. Consider renewable energy: Building owners can expedite the transition to a renewable energy grid by implementing renewable energy systems, such as rooftop solar panels or wind turbines, when appropriate. Renewable energy certificates, utility green power products, and other green energy procurement measures also can help.
  9. Monitor and report progress:  Record the progression toward sustainability objectives using key reporting standards and consistently report on performance to the facility management team, corporate management, employees, customers, and investors.
  10. Get certified. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility can be accomplished through LEED or BREEAM certifications. Achieving the objectives outlined by these certifications leads to high-performance buildings with lower energy and water use. Taking steps toward certification can lower utility bills and maintenance costs, improve indoor air quality and contribute to the health and wellbeing of building occupants.

By following these steps, facility managers can increase ESG and sustainability in corporate real estate, thus creating a more sustainable, efficient, and resilient operation. Apart from conserving energy, water and funds, satisfying ESG regulations has tremendous social value, serving to strengthen a company’s reputation as a champion in sustainability in the corporate world.

Goodway Helps Facilities Management Teams Meet ESG and Sustainability Goals

Goodway assists facility managers in meeting ESG commitments and improving sustainability. Here are a few examples:

Minimizing Energy Use

A power plant was experiencing reduced power output due to scale deposits within its chillers. Goodway recommended using ScaleBreak-MP for the first 1,700-ton system cleaning, which removed over 4,100 pounds of scale. After cleaning, the plant reported chillers operated at full load with a 75-degree Fahrenheit outside ambient temperature. The chiller approach went from a 12 to a 3 and the plant showed an increase in overall flow.  Read the full story.

Cost Savings

A military facility’s high efficiency boilers, air handler and two hot water coil air rotation units struggled to meet its demanding heat load. A technician traced the drop in performance to fouling within the boilers. Goodway recommended the GDS C-92 descaling pump system and ScaleBreak-SS (Stainless Steel) liquid descaling solution. After circulating ScaleBreak-SS solution within the boiler, the loop temp came up to the automation set point (170) and both boilers were commanded to standby via automation. Cleaning these two boilers provided an annualized gas savings of over $11,000. Read the full story.

Keep it Clean

A food and beverage facility needed a cost-effective way to keep equipment clean without water to ensure maximum efficiency and to protect employee and customer safety. Goodway recommended a low-moisture steam cleaner to clean and sanitize water-sensitive equipment, processing surfaces, and industrial areas. Vapor steam cleaners can clean and sanitize surfaces without chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. Read the full story.

These are but a few examples of how Goodway can help commercial facilities achieve ESG and sustainability goals. Visit Case Studies: Innovators in Maintenance | Goodway Technologies for a complete list of how Goodway has helped companies improve energy management, save money and reduce labor needs.

Next Steps

Goodway is here to help. Our HVAC maintenance solutions can help corporations increase energy efficiency, cut back on waste, and improve indoor air quality to meet ESG metrics. Our surface sanitation solutions can help companies maintain a healthy and safe workplace. Sustainability consulting is available to discover strategies that elevate ESG performance and meet sustainability targets. Educational and training materials are also available to develop and maintain a sustainability culture.

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