Scholarly article on topic 'Discerning policy and drivers for sustainable facilities management practice'

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Abstract Due to the changing nature of the facilities management (FM) profession, facilities managers are increasingly engaged with the evolving sustainability agenda in the UK and the development or uptake of sustainability policies within their organisations. This study investigates how facilities managers are engaging with the sustainability agenda and the drivers, policy issues and information they use to improve their sustainability performance management. A web based self-administered questionnaire survey of facilities managers in the UK was conducted to identify drivers and issues that influence and support good sustainable practices. A total of 268 facilities managers responded. The results indicate that legislation is the most important driver for the implementation of sustainable practices. Corporate image and Organisational ethos are also recognised. However demand for efficient monitoring, management and reporting on environmental impact is not highly rated even though the top three issues of sustainability managed by facilities managers are energy management, waste and recycling management and carbon footprint. In addition, facilities managers are expected to take ownership of activities assigned to the reduction of carbon emission. Government industries and organisation with high turnover are more likely to have a sustainability policy. Financial constraints are the main barriers while legislations are the main driver for implementing sustainability. For non-profit organisations and the charitable sector, financial constraints are no hindrance to implementing a sustainability policy. The conclusion drawn is that sustainability agendas continue to be influenced by regulated environmental issues rather than a balanced approach which takes into consideration the wider social and economic aspects of sustainability. While this scenario is far from ideal, the expectation is that the organisation will trust FM to take a vital role in delivering a comprehensive sustainability policy due to the rising tide of legislation, public scrutiny, as well as the needed business case for genuinely embracing sustainability. However, as the integration of sustainability with core business strategies is continuously evolving the emphasis on different drivers will vary from organisation to organisation as well as the responsibilities of facilities managers.

Academic research paper on topic "Discerning policy and drivers for sustainable facilities management practice"

Gulf Organisation for Research and Development International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment

SciVerse ScienceDirect www.sciencedirect.com

Discerning policy and drivers for sustainable facilities

management practice

Abbas Elmualim *, Roberto Valle, Wisdom Kwawu

School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AW, UK Received 20 January 2012; accepted 26 March 2012

Abstract

Due to the changing nature of the facilities management (FM) profession, facilities managers are increasingly engaged with the evolving sustainability agenda in the UK and the development or uptake of sustainability policies within their organisations. This study investigates how facilities managers are engaging with the sustainability agenda and the drivers, policy issues and information they use to improve their sustainability performance management. A web based self-administered questionnaire survey of facilities managers in the UK was conducted to identify drivers and issues that influence and support good sustainable practices. A total of 268 facilities managers responded. The results indicate that legislation is the most important driver for the implementation of sustainable practices. Corporate image and Organisational ethos are also recognised. However demand for efficient monitoring, management and reporting on environmental impact is not highly rated even though the top three issues of sustainability managed by facilities managers are energy management, waste and recycling management and carbon footprint. In addition, facilities managers are expected to take ownership of activities assigned to the reduction of carbon emission. Government industries and organisation with high turnover are more likely to have a sustainability policy. Financial constraints are the main barriers while legislations are the main driver for implementing sus-tainability. For non-profit organisations and the charitable sector, financial constraints are no hindrance to implementing a sustainability policy. The conclusion drawn is that sustainability agendas continue to be influenced by regulated environmental issues rather than a balanced approach which takes into consideration the wider social and economic aspects of sustainability. While this scenario is far from ideal, the expectation is that the organisation will trust FM to take a vital role in delivering a comprehensive sustainability policy due to the rising tide of legislation, public scrutiny, as well as the needed business case for genuinely embracing sustainability. However, as the integration of sustainability with core business strategies is continuously evolving the emphasis on different drivers will vary from organisation to organisation as well as the responsibilities of facilities managers.

© 2012 The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Facilities management; Sustainability policy; Carbon footprint; Energy management

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 1183787344. E-mail address: a.a.elmualim@reading.ac.uk (A. Elmualim). Peer review under responsibility of The Gulf Organisation for Research

1. Introduction

Sustainability, defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) has grown in significance across many business organisations. Increasingly, organisations are concerned with the impact of their business

and Development.

2212-6090/$ - see front matter © 2012 The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsbe.2012.03.001

activities on environmental, social and economic sustain-ability, as well as the impact of sustainability issues on their business (Adams and Frost, 2008; Holton et al., 2010; Lind-sey, 2011). Hence, the perception of sustainability, as a matter of benevolence with no direct impact on an organisation's core business strategies, has changed over the years as organisations actively incorporate sustainability principles into their core business strategies. Increasingly, organisations are now integrating sustainability issues into their corporate reports for several reasons (Global Reporting Initiative, 2008; KPMG, 2008) such as complying with regulatory changes or improving their environmental, social and economic reputation.

The increasing importance of sustainability and its wider variety of sustainability issues and drivers affecting and influencing stakeholders with different values, has initiated a debate on the appropriate issues and drivers that provide guidance towards sustainability assessment and improvement in the built environment. Although, at first glance, the wide range of issues may appear inundating, the aim is to reduce the multitude of issues and drivers to a limited set to "keep it simple" as voiced by stakeholders and policy makers.

The built environment's potential as a significant contributor to achieving sustainability goals is well documented and recognised within the facilities management profession (Wood, 2006; Shah, 2007). The built environment has a significant impact on the sustainability agenda as it accounts for nearly 40% of limited natural resources consumed, and 40% of waste and greenhouse gases generated (Chartered Institute of Building, 2004). Indeed, existing building stocks use as much as 45% of generated energy to produce power and heat (Wood, 2006). With increasing utility and maintenance costs, coupled with increasing legislative and regulatory requirements on energy use and carbon reduction, many organisations, committed to the sustainability agenda, have developed sustainability policies as an integral part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (Walker et al., 2007; Loosemore and Phua, 2011).

Elmualim et al. (2010) and Shah (2007) emphasise that facilities management activities have a significant influence over how buildings and facilities are used and therefore are tasked to promote and implement the sustainability policies. Thus facilities managers are at the forefront of implementing their organisation's vision and commitment towards the sustainability agenda. Sustainability policies and drivers directly influence facilities managers' activities; however, current research on sustainability policies and drivers influencing the activities of facilities managers is limited. Hence identifying the key issues and drivers will reveal how facilities managers are engaging with the sus-tainability agenda in the UK.

For the purpose of this paper, the perceptions of facilities managers are considered as one that can reveal the significant issues and drivers being addressed by businesses in the built environment. This paper examines sustainability

issues as well as the drivers influencing policies through a questionnaire survey of facilities managers. Knowledge of these issues and drivers will lead to the improvement and development of good sustainable practices and policies within the FM industry.

2. Sustainability in facilities management

The potential contribution of facilities management professionals to achieving sustainability goals is well documented (Wood, 2006; Shah, 2007). In a study of the barriers and commitment of facilities management profession to the sustainability agenda, Elmualim et al. (2010) highlighted that facilities management professionals, tasked with implementing and managing sustainability as a core business strategy, face many responsibilities and challenges. However, they also have the best chance to add value to their organisations and customers through efficient management of sustainability issues and practices (Elmualim et al., 2010; Holton et al., 2010; Wood, 2006). Elmualim et al. (2010) advocated that facilities managers were "at the forefront of organisational behaviour change and in a position to influence individuals working in business; government departments and public services". In addition, the efficient management of facilities do have a significant influence in determining profitability, productivity, energy management, waste management, employee wellbeing and public perception of an organisation (Pitt, 2005; Ayres et al., 2007; Smith, 2007; Ortiz et al., 2009). Hence knowledge of the key sustainability issues and drivers that motivate facilities managers to adopt sustainability practices both theoretically and practically important.

2.1. What is driving sustainability?

There is some evidence that increasing legislative pressure rather than environmental and corporate image of businesses is the key driver (e.g. Casals, 2006; Ayres et al., 2007; Shiers et al., 2007). For example, Shiers et al. (2007) demonstrated, through reference to relevant literature and law reports, that recent laws relating to energy consumption in buildings was evidence of the ever-widening set of legal obligations regarding energy efficiency. Legal obligations often influence business and social obligations. In order to achieve sustainability targets, governments and international bodies are using legislations and regulations to influence the efficient use of energy, management and removal of waste and the subsequent reduction of carbon emissions. Within organisations, applying these regulations is often the responsibility of facilities managers. However, a major concern for facilities managers is that the regulatory objectives and the business objectives of their organisations have to be aligned at all levels (Shah, 2007) and each community and government organisation will have its own policies.

Other studies have highlighted the relationship between organisational reputation (Loosemore and Phua, 2011),

business contexts (Pitt, 2005), client and end user demands (Nousiainen and Junnila, 2008), and sustainability drivers and issues. Clearly organisational values and business objectives influence at least the sustainability issues which organisations select as being worthy of persuing. Arguably, the differences in sustainable practices can be related to differences in policies, which one would expect in turn to be influenced by multiple actors like stakeholders, senior managers, governments, employees, clients and supply chain members acting at multiple levels, as individuals and collectively within organisations. These differences may influence the strategic behaviour and performance of the organisations (Lindsey, 2011; Sioshansi, 2011). Hence pressure from shareholders, clients and employees may be a driver for current practices and understanding of sustainability.

The role of senior management as a key driver of sus-tainability in organisations is well documented (Elmualim et al., 2010). Elmualim et al. (2010) emphasised that senior management's leadership style and commitment may be a key driver. However, as cited in Elmualim et al. (2010) and Mckinsey (2008), a global survey of the attitudes of senior executives, identified contrasting attitudes among senior executives about climate change's (sustainability) influence on their overall business strategies. In the report, 70% of the respondents viewed it as a key organisational ethos and reputational issue while 60% viewed it as important to business strategy. However, as the integration of sustainability with core business strategies is continuously evolving the emphasis on different drivers will vary from organisation to organisation as well as the responsibilities of facilities managers.

3. Facilities managers' responsibility on sustainability issues

With a wide range of stakeholders, including legislators, customers, clients and employees, the responsibilities of practicing facilities managers to the sustainability agenda is essential at all the strategic, operational and tactical levels (Shah, 2007). These include setting sustainability policies, procedures, implementation, monitoring and reporting on progress by integrating sustainability considerations into all business strategies. More recently, the IFMA report (2007), based on a research examining the future demands on facilities managers, noted that among other issues, sustainability was a key issue where facilities managers had to develop their competencies to face the demands, challenges and opportunities of sustainable development and practices. For instance, the report emphasised that facilities managers had to develop and implement programs to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, and work closely with end users to anticipate changes and conserve energy. The responsibilities include reviewing or monitoring the amount of energy used by the facilities they are managing; adopting energy efficiency measures like switching to efficient lighting equipment, matching heating and cooling and ventilation equipment to facility loads to reduce energy consumption. This is consistent with

the growing body of research in facilities management, which suggests that energy management (Wood, 2006), waste management and recycling (Pitt, 2005), transportation (Piecyk and Mckinnon, 2010), carbon footprint (Wang et al., 2010), environmental responsibility and community engagement (Fraser et al., 2006), and biodiversity (Halli-day, 2007) are the key sustainability issues being addressed in organisations (Elmualim et al., 2010).

To engage in value-adding activities that support and improve the effectiveness of the core business, the responsibilities of facilities managers may involve identifying indicators to monitor progress towards sustainable development and environmental management goals. It is also important that all practices comply with all applicable legislation, regulations and codes of practice (Casals, 2006; Wang et al., 2010), when responding to cultural change in the business environment. It is essential that all stakeholders are aware of the organisation's sustainability goals and objectives, often stated in sustainability policies which in turn influence the activities of facilities managers.

3.1. Sustainability policies

To stimulate good sustainability practices within organisations, sustainability policies seek to establish sustainable frameworks for integrating sustainability concerns into core business strategies (Elmualim et al., 2010). This enables organisations to communicate their commitment to the sustainability agenda, a road map for implementing sustainability, gaining senior management acceptance and support, internally and externally. Thus understandings of what is included in such policies describe the visions, aspirations and goals, what need to be done as well as emphasising areas where the organisations are lacking in commitment. The kind of information and issues dealt with in sustainability policies include among many others, energy consumption, water consumption, waste disposal and recycling, and employee well-being. Sioshansi (2011) advocated that "The large number of activities, as well as many connections between them makes up a major challenge when it comes to transparency and responsibilities within the system". However, it is argued that knowledge of the contents of sustainability policies are of greater importance as they determine sustainable development activities.

4. Research method

To gain an understanding of how facilities managers are engaging with the sustainability agenda, an online self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among facilities management professionals. A questionnaire survey was considered the most appropriate method of objectively examining the level of understanding, and opinions toward sustainability drivers and issues among facilities management practitioners. Questionnaire surveys have been used in investigating perceptions and opinions of

respondents in several industries in the UK (KPMG, 2008; Elmualim et al., 2010). In Elmualim et al. (2010) investigation of barriers and commitment of facilities management profession to the sustainability agenda, a similar approach was used.

The perception of facilities management professionals was sought on a total of eight drivers and 14 issues relating to sustainability policy and facilities managers' responsibility identified in the literature and interviews with practitioners. A pilot survey was conducted among a selected group of practicing facilities managers. The results of the pilot study was discussed by a focus group organised by the project's steering committee, comprising of 12 practising facilities managers and one academic. The questionnaire was accepted as the main data collecting instrument.

In order to have a broad spectrum of facilities management professionals participating in the survey, accessibility to the online survey instrument was open to all BIFM members and non-members for a period of one month in May 2010. No names or identifying information were requested on the questionnaires, and all respondents were assured of absolute confidentiality.

4.1. Data collection

The questionnaire instrument involved 21 closed questions and three open questions (please see Appendix A). However, to identify the key sustainability drivers and issues addressed in sustainability policy documents, perceptions were sought by asking respondents to simply select key drivers and issues. To identify the key drivers and issues, the data was entered into a Microsoft Excel database and analysed using descriptive statistics. A total of 268 respondents completed the entire survey, of which 198 (74%) responded to questions on sustainability drivers, 186 (69%) responded to questions on sustainability policy issues and 190 (71%) responded to questions on responsibility. Thus more than 69% of respondents provided opinions on the issues raised in this paper.

5. Survey results

5.1. Demographics of respondents

The survey results showed that over 90% of the respondents are either associate, corporate, certified, student or full members of the BIFM. Over 63% of the respondents are identified as a full member of BIFM meaning they have at least five years of management experience and over three years of FM experience. Seventeen percentage of respondents were associate members and 5% were corporate members. None of the respondents had gained an honorary fellowship yet. Nine percentage of the respondents, however, were not members of the BIFM. Furthermore over 50% of respondents worked in FM departments in end-user organisations (in-house departments). A further 16% worked in FM companies that have been out-sourced as

FM service providers. Other FM organisation where respondents worked were independent FM consultancies (11%), FM service providers (9%) and FM product suppliers (1%). Ten percentage of respondents, however, indicated "other" type of FM organisation. The findings indicate that the majority of the respondents worked as facilities managers within in-house FM departments or within FM organisations that provided FM services or consultancy to end-user organisations. Only 1% of the respondents worked as suppliers of FM products. Almost all the respondents worked or provided FM services in one form or another. Thus the respondents were knowledgeable about the views, needs and wants of FM profession when engaging with the sustainability agenda. In terms of type of FM organisation, the majority of respondents from end-user organisation worked mainly in the private sector (56%) and the public sector (33%). Only 11% of the respondents worked for charitable organisations and Not-for-profit organisations. In addition 24% of respondents worked in organisations that employed 1000-4999, 18% in organisations with 5000+ employees, 14% in organisations with 250-499 employees and 11% in organisations with 100-250 employees. Some of the respondents worked in organisations that employed 1-9, 10-49 and 50-99 people. Hence the respondents represent a good spread of different sized organisations.

For organisation size by turnover, the survey results indicate that 21% of respondents worked in organisations with annual turnovers between £10 and £50 million, a further 19% worked in organisations with turnovers between £51-250 million, respectively. Thus approximately 40% of respondents worked in organisations with turnovers ranging between £10 million and £250 million. Other 15%, 13%, 11% and 12% of respondents, however, worked in organisations with turnovers under the £2 million, between £2 and £9 million, between £251 and £500 million and over £1 billion, respectively. This indicates that a good spreads of different sized organisations are represented in the survey.

5.2. Issues addressed in sustainability policies

Fig. 1 shows that of the 186 (69%) respondents who answered questions about issues relating to sustainability policies, 90%, 89% and 81% reported that waste management and recycling, energy management and carbon footprint are the key aspects covered by their sustainability policy respectively. Health and safety (69%), and sustainable travel (66%) are also identified. Other aspects covered by the sustainability policies are targets, measurement and reporting, ethical purchasing and community engagement, specification of sustainable products and services. Only 35%, 30% and 26% reported that building disposal, biodiversity and staff productivity has coverage in their policies. Clearly, the respondents consider waste management and recycling, energy management and carbon footprint as the sustainability issues mostly covered by their organisa-

Waste management & recycling Energy management Carbon footprint Health & safety Sustainable travel Targets, measurement and reporting Ethical purchasing Specification of sustainable products...

Community engagement Training Flexible working Building disposal Biodiversity Staff productivity

20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 Percentage of respondents

i Policies I Responsibilities

Fig. 1. Sustainability issues addressed in sustainability policies and FM responsibilities.

tion's policies. Comparatively, Fig. 1 indicates that for each sustainability issue, the majority of the respondents indicated that the key issues were addressed in policies rather than being the responsibility of facilities managers.

5.3. Facilities managers' sustainability responsibilities

Fig. 1 shows that of the 190 (71%) respondents who answered questions on sustainability responsibilities, 76% had responsibility for energy management, 71% indicated responsibility for waste management and Recycling and a further 60% indicated health and safety. In addition, 52% revealed that they had responsibility for carbon footprint and 42% had responsibility for targets, measurement and reporting. These results were expected as these issues are already included in activities assigned to facilities managers regardless of the sustainability components within them.

In marked contrast, only 15%, 15% and 14% of respondents revealed that they had responsibility for sustainable issues such as community engagement, flexible working and biodiversity, respectively. The results show that the

four key areas of sustainability responsibility assigned to the respondents are targets, measurement and reporting, carbon footprint, health & safety, waste management & recycling and energy management. Facilities managers have the least sustainability responsibilities for staff productivity, flexible working, community engagement and biodiversity issues.

Table 1 shows a ranking and comparison of the key sus-tainability issues addressed in sustainability policies and the corresponding key issues for which facilities managers have responsibility. Table 1 indicates that while the four key sustainability issues remain the same, the emphasis however differ. For instance, the majority of the respondents identified waste management and recycling as the key issue addressed in policies but energy management as their key responsibility. Similarly, carbon footprint was ranked as the third key issues in policies but health and safety issues were identified the third key issue in the responsibilities of facilities managers. While staff biodiversity and productivity were rated as the 13th and 14th key issues identified in the policies, the same issues were rated

Table 1

Ranking of sustainability issues.

Issues Policies (% of respondents) Ranking Responsibilities (% of respondents) Ranking

Waste management and recycling 89.8 1 71.1 2

Energy management 88.7 2 76.3 1

Carbon footprint 81.2 3 51.6 4

Health and safety 69.4 4 60.5 3

Sustainable travel 66.1 5 31.6 7

Targets, measurement and reporting 54.8 6 42.1 5

Ethical purchasing 54.3 7 22.6 10

Community engagement 53.8 9 14.7 12

Specification of sustainable products and services 53.8 8 37.4 6

Training 52.7 10 25.3 8

Flexible working 48.4 11 14.7 13

Building disposal 34.9 12 25.3 9

Biodiversity 30.1 13 14.2 14

Staff productivity 25.8 14 15.8 11

Legislation Corporate Image Organisation ethos Senior management / Director's leadership Pressure from clients Lifecycle cost reduction Pressure from employees Pressure from shareholders

28.8 18.3

0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 Percentage of respondents

Fig. 2. Drivers for implementing sustainable practices.

as the 14th and 11th key issues in terms of facilities managers' responsibility.

5.4. Drivers of sustainable practices in organisations

Fig. 2 shows that of the 198 (74%) respondents who answered questions on drivers of sustainability, 66% identified legislation as the most significant driver for implementing sustainable practices in the respondents' organisation. Sixty-one percentage of respondents identified corporate image as the next key drivers for implementing sustainable practices in organisations. Surprisingly less than 50% of the respondent perceived organisation ethos (43%) and other drivers like senior management and directors' leadership (39%), pressure from clients (29%) as key drivers. The least drivers identified by the respondents are pressure from employees (21%) and pressure from shareholders (15%). Hence, the top four drivers identified by the respondents are legislation, corporate image, organisation ethos and senior management/director's leadership.

5.5. The influence of type of organisation on sustainbility uptake

The results showed a staggering effect of the type of organisations on the uptake and implementation of sus-tainability policies. The level of Sustainability Policy was highest in Government organisations (93%) and annual turnover greatly increased the likelihood of a policy in an organisation. Hundred percentage of organisations with an annual turnover of more than £1 billion had a sustain-ability policy implemented. Sustainability policy increased with the number of employees, however, more SME had a larger number of policies implemented. Organisations with 10-49 employees had over 63%. The number of aspects covered by the sustainability policy also correlates positively with the size of the organisation. Government

industries rate highly across all aspects of sustainability. The same trend is evident for aspects of carbon footprint-ing and management of indirect footprinting.

Non-profit organisations challenge the trend relating to the annual turnover in an organisation. These organisations rank fourth with reference to the Financial Constraints as a barrier and over 50% of these organisations having an implemented sustainability policy. Results for these organisations have highlighted large increases in policy comprehensiveness in comparison to other organisations. This movement towards more comprehensive policies within the industry shows that money within an organisation may not play such a large role in best practice or "ideals" of Sustainability. Declining barriers and a more active role of FM regarding sustainability highlight this.

6. Discussion

In general, the findings are consistent with the argument that sustainability issues addressed in sustainability policies often influence the activities of facilities managers in terms of sustainability issues which they have responsibility for. The findings also show that the respondents perceived legislation as the key driver for addressing the sustainability agenda ahead of corporate image and organisation ethos (Ayres et al., 2007; Shiers et al., 2007).

The identification of waste management and recycling, and energy management as the key issues featured in respondents' organisation's policy is consistent with Elmualim et al.'s (2010) findings. However, the findings also indicated that carbon footprint is now featured higher than health and safety, a contrast to Elmualim et al.'s (2010) findings which showed that carbon footprint was the 8th key issue compared to its 3rd position in this study. Similarly, in terms of the responsibility of respondents, carbon footprint is again featured higher than health and safety. However, energy management and waste and recycling

remain the top issues for which facilities managers have responsibility as found by Elmualim et al.'s (2010). Clearly emphasis has switched to addressing organisations' carbon footprint, an indication of the increase in significance carbon footprint in sustainability policies and responsibilities.

In spite of key sustainability issues addressed in sustain-ability policies being related to facilities managers' responsibility, the findings indicate that significant difference remain in which issues are highly featured with the list as seen in Fig. 1 and Table 1. This can be attributed to the fact that organisations hold different perspectives on the importance attached to each particular sustainability issue in terms of policy and responsibility.

Given that sustainability is growing in importance as a core business strategy and the FM profession has a great opportunity to add value to their organisation's sustain-ability agenda, there is a need for organisations and facilities managers to tackle equally important issues like staff productivity and biodiversity and flexible working. Much of the emphasis seems to be on energy management, waste management and recycling and carbon footprint. A reason may be that organisations adopt a compliance approach (Holton et al., 2010), hence their presence in sustainability policies and responsibilities. In a study of how the leaders in corporate sustainability in the UK precast concrete industry were managing for sustainability, Holton et al. (2010) found that by adopting a compliance approach, the organisations engaged in the activities and developing the capabilities necessary to manage sustainability.

Clearly the most significant driver for implementing sus-tainability practices is legislation. A reason might be that legislation forces organisations to comply with regulations and in the process drives the uptake and practice of sus-tainability practices. For instance, the ever tightening legislation around the carbon emission related issues means that facilities managers are expected to increasingly take ownership over activities flagged under the carbon emissions or energy management arena (Shah, 2007; Holton et al., 2010)

Legislation as the key driver is consistent with the view that governments are increasing pressure on organisations to comply with regulatory frameworks (KPMG, 2008), especially on aspects relevant to the management of carbon emissions. Legislation ensures legal compliance. However, sustainability frameworks continue to place more emphasis on regulated environmental aspects like carbon emission, carbon footprint and energy usage (Sioshansi, 2011), disregarding the balanced approach which takes into consideration the wider social aspects of sustainability. Corporate image and organisation ethos are recognised as key drivers; however, these are often influenced by client demands and competitiveness in the industry.

6.1. Practice implications

The key sustainability issues features in sustainability policies and responsibilities are waste management and

recycling, energy management, carbon footprint and health and safety ahead of other issues. The key driver for the uptake of these issues seems to be legislations and corporate image.

However, regardless of the levels of uptake, the issue of "effective implementation" is not addressed in this paper, therefore one should not assume that the development of a policy framework implies appropriate management of the policy. The management of the policy is a much broader concept that considers the core project cycle stages (identification, formulation, appraisal, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). This argument is supported by the evidence in Fig. 1 and Table 1, where the proportion of respondents who reported on issues addressed in sus-tainability policies outnumbered those who reported on sustainability responsibilities.

7. Conclusion

Facilities managers have a great role to play in advancing the sustainability agenda in the built environment through the practice of sustainable FM. However, the practice of sustainable FM is continuously evolving in response to global, national and local sustainability agendas. Drawing on an online questionnaire survey of FM professionals, a broad understanding of the key sustainability issues featured in facilities managers' responsibilities and their organisation's sustainability policy is provided. The findings indicate that waste management and recycling, energy management, carbon footprint, and health and safety remain the key sustainability issues, while staff productivity, biodiversity and flexible working issues remain the least in both organisations' sustainability policies and facilities managers' responsibilities. However, emphasis on each issue vary significantly in the extent to which they are promoted in policies and responsibilities.

The key drivers for sustainability are legislation and corporate image. However less than half of the respondents viewed organisational ethosor employee and shareholder pressure as key drivers. Clearly sustainable management practices continue to be influenced by regulated environmental issues rather than a balanced approach which takes into consideration the wider social and economic aspects of sustainability.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), members of the project Technical Group and members of the BIFM Sustainability Special Interest Group.

Appendix A. 2010 SUSTAINABILITY SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

Demographics

1. BIFM Status

1. Non-member

2. Student

3. Associate

4. Member

5. Fellow

6. Honorary Fellow

7. Certified member

8. Corporate member

2. Qualifications

1. GCSEs O levels

2. A levels

3. NVQ

4. HND

5. BSc/BA/BEng or other first degree

6. Masters

7. Doctorate

8. Other

3. If OTHER was selected in Q2, please specify Qualification.

(Provide Comment Box)

4. Type of organisation

1. End-user (e.g. In-house facilities management department)

2. Facilities Management Company (e.g. outsourced providers of full FM services to 3 client organisation)

3. FM product supplier (e.g. provides relevant products to FM departments)

4. FM service provider

5. Consultant (independent)

6. Other

5. If OTHER was selected in Q4, please specify type of organisation

(Provide Comment Box)

6. Identify your Economic Sector?

1. Private

2. Public

3. Not for profit

4. Charitable

7. Total Employees (End-user only)?

1. 1-9

2. 10-49

3. 50-99

4. 100-249

5. 250-499

6. 500-999

7. 1000-4999

8. 5000+

8. Annual Turnover (End-user only)?

1. <£2m

2. <£2-£9m

3. £10-£50m

4. £51m-£250

5. £251m-£500m

6. £501-£1bn

7. >£1bn

Questionnaire

9. Does your organisation have a Sustainability/CSR policy?

1. Yes

If you answered YES to Q9, please answer Q10 and Q11. If not, you may go directly to Q12.

10. In your opinion, how effective is your organisation at implementing and managing its Sustainability/CSR policy? (e.g. ensuring accountability, enabling feedback, making timely adjustments)

1. Poor

2. Inconsistent

3. Adequate

4. Very good

5. Excellent

11. Please select which aspects are covered by the policy? (you may tick more than one)

1. Building disposal

2. Ethical purchasing

3. Carbon footprint

4. Flexible working

5. Sustainable travel

6. Specification of sustainable products & services

7. Targets, KPIs (you've got this under 11)

8. Health & Safety

9. Energy Management

10. Waste management & recycling

11. Biodiversity

12. Community engagement/involvement

13. Training

14. Staff productivity

12. Please select which stakeholders your organisation reports to? (M/C)

(You may tick more than one answer)

1. None

2. Government

3. Share holders

4. Clients/Customers

5. Local community

6. Donors/ Sponsors

7. Employees

13. Please select which aspects of sustainability your organisation reports on? (M/C)

(You may tick more than one answer)

1. Building disposal

2. Ethical purchasing

3. Carbon footprint

4. Flexible working

5. Sustainable travel

6. Specification of sustainable products & services

7. Targets, measurement and reporting Biodiversity

8. Health & safety

9. Energy Management

10. Waste management & recycling

11. Biodiversity

12. Community engagement

13. Training

14. Staff productivity

14. How does your organisation report on this information? (M/C)

(You may tick more than one answer)

1. Website

2. Annual report

3. Separate report

4. Intranet

5. Other

15. If you answered OTHER to Q14, please specify how information is reported by your organisation

(Provide comment box)

16. If your organisation manages its carbon footprint, please select which aspects are covered within the management strategy?

(You may tick more than one answer)

1. Building energy consumption

2. Non-building energy consumption

3. Waste disposal

4. Water consumption

5. Business travel - company cars

6. Business travel - Air travel

7. Business travel - Public transport

8. Commuter travel

9. Commercial transport 10. Supply chain emissions

17. How does your organisation manage its supply-chain carbon footprint? (M/C)

(Please select the one that best applies to your organisation)

1. We don't

2. Supplier audits

3. Supplier Questionnaires

4. Ongoing contract management

5. Other

18. If you answered OTHER to Q17, please specify used management approach

(Provide comment box)

19. In your opinion, how effective is your organisation in managing its sustainability responsibilities?

1. Poor

2. Inconsistent

3. Adequate

4. Very good

5. Excellent

20. Does managing your organisation's sustainability responsibilities form part of your own responsibilities?

1. Yes, formally with support. Embedded within roles and objectives.

2. Yes, informally. Sustainability objectives are important but not obligatory to complete.

3. No, outsourced or assigned to other member of staff.

If you answered NO to Q20, please answer Q21. If you answered YES, you may go directly to Q22.

Q21. Please specify the role of the person in charge of managing sustainability in the organisation? (Provide Comment Box)

22. Please select the sustainability areas which you are responsible for? (M/C)

1. Building disposal

2. Ethical purchasing

3. Carbon footprint

4. Flexible working

5. Sustainable travel

6. Specification of sustainable products & services

7. Targets, KPIs

8. Health & safety

9. Energy Management

10. Waste management & recycling

11. Biodiversity

12. Community engagement

13. Training

14. Staff productivity

23. In your opinion what prevents your organisation effectively managing its sustainability responsibilities (M/ C)?

(Please select those that best apply to your organisation)

1. Customer constraints

2. Physical constraints (e.g. building structure)

3. Organisational engagement

4. Lack of training

5. Lack of tools

6. Lack of awareness

7. Financial constraints

8. Lack of senior management commitment

9. Lack of knowledge

10. Time constraints

11. Historical constraints (e.g. listed buildings)

24. In your opinion, what drives the implementation of sustainable practices in your organisation (M/C)?

(Please select those that best apply to your organisation)

1. Corporate Image

2. Legislation

3. Organisation ethos

4. Senior management / Directors leadership

5. Lifecycle cost reduction

6. Pressure from clients

7. Pressure from employees

8. Pressure from shareholders

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