Design and Construction, Energy Management and Lighting, Green Building, Heating and Cooling, Maintenance and Operations, Plumbing, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Top 10 Earth Day Must-Reads for Facilities Managers

Unless Elon Musk stops messing around with Twitter and gets us to Mars, Earth is our only home for the foreseeable future. That means we’ve got to take good care of the planet and conserve its finite natural resources. It’s also why sustainability is a hot topic all year long and why facilities managers are starting to play a key role in the global green movement.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we at Facilities Management Advisor have compiled our Top 10 must-read (or -watch) pieces of eco-friendly content. The goal is to help you stay informed on sustainability and perhaps inspire you to do even more to protect the planet.

1. FMA Shorts: What Is ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)?

Whether to save money, save the planet, or simply become good corporate citizens, many companies and other organizations are upping their game and taking the lead on sustainability by establishing ESG goals. (Notably, ESG has other related aspects, hence the S and G.) In this FMA Shorts video below, an expert explains the term for facilities managers and other stakeholders.

2. How Facilities Management Is Shaping the State of Corporate Sustainability

OK, now that we’ve established what ESG is, it’s important to establish your role in it. What can you do to help your organization meet its sustainability goals? Conversely, are organizations giving their FMs the support they need? This article explores those questions and provides new stats.

3. Back to Basics: How Businesses Can Participate in the ENERGY STAR Program

Energy efficiency is one of the, well, most efficient ways to shrink a facility’s carbon footprint and lower utility bills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) popular ENERGY STAR program not only certifies energy-efficient products to help you make smarter buying decisions, but also works alongside many major companies to help them upgrade their facilities. This “Back to Basics” article serves as a primer on the federal program.

4. 10 Ways to Reduce Your HVAC System’s Carbon Footprint

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems require massive amounts of energy to help keep facilities cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As the pandemic proved, HVAC also plays an important role in indoor air quality, a key factor for occupant health and safety. In other words, making these systems more efficient and sustainable is good for everyone—including Mother Earth! This article offers 10 tips to get the job done.

5. FMA Insights: What Does the LEED Update Mean for Facilities Managers?

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has long been a way to prove facilities are green and provide a path to ensure they meet high standards. In this exclusive interview with a USGBC leader, learn all about the LEED program and what its latest draft certification means for FMs.

6. How to Choose the Right Renewable Energy System for Your Facility

Although efficiency lessens energy usage, a facility still needs electricity to power its operations. That’s where renewables come in. Of course, this article isn’t an exhaustive list of your many clean energy options and considerations, but it’s a good place to start.

7. Obtaining Sustainable Waste Reduction in Facilities

If you’ve ever driven by a garbage dump, you know waste adds up. A lot. That can’t be good for the planet, can it? As this author points out, “As a facilities manager, you have a unique opportunity to impact the waste generated by your organization and how it’s handled.” Let this article be your guide.

8. Back to Basics: 6 Tips to Fight Water Waste in Your Office Building

Did you know that only about 3% of Earth’s water is fresh? And that most of that isn’t even available for us to use? Yikes! Water is an essential natural resource to maintain life, but if these facts aren’t motivating enough for you to tackle water management at your facility, the cost savings will be. Learn more in this “Back to Basics” article.

9. 3 Ways Investing in EV Infrastructure Can Improve a Commercial Facility

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution has picked up speed in the past few years. Because green cars cut global-warming emissions, many companies and consumers are embracing EVs, leaving them in need of places to recharge. Should your facility be one of those places? This article makes the case.

10. 4 Values to Look for When Working with Green Construction Companies

Whoa, is this the end of the Top 10 list already?! There are still so many other noteworthy articles on topics like green cleaning, eco-friendly landscaping, net-zero buildings, and sustainable schools. But given that embodied carbon in building materials accounts for a large chunk of global emissions, green construction has emerged as one of the hottest new trends in sustainability. If your organization plans to build a new facility, this article will help ensure your construction partner is in line with your green goals. Then, once the facility is complete, you can use all the strategies discussed above to keep it running as sustainably as possible! Earth will be better off for your efforts.

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