April 2023
The landscape of corporate sustainability is set to accelerate this year. In late 2022, the United Nations released guidelines to help organizations align on Net Zero carbon emissions goals and avoid “greenwashing,” deceptive or exaggerated claims about an organization’s products, services or operations. There is growing pressure from governments and consumers alike for organizations to go green. With energy use in buildings responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions, facilities are a strong starting point for widespread corporate change.

The 2023 State of Corporate Sustainability Report, from Smart Energy Decisions and Atrius, surveyed over 300 industry professionals across different sectors to find out where organizations are on their sustainability journeys, and what progress needs to be made. The responses indicated an important theme for facilities management this year and after: energy management is the first step of a longer and broader corporate sustainability journey. Facilities teams are the on-the-ground leaders responsible for bringing many key sustainability initiatives into action, and it’s crucial they have the resources they need to make progress and accomplish goals. The report revealed several key findings that can help these teams gain the traction they need for sustainability investments. 

Collecting (and maintaining) facilities data such as asset condition, the info on a manufacturer’s label, maintenance logs, inspection results, energy efficiency, and repair vs. replacement costs gives you clear visibility into what’s happening in your buildings today and what you need to plan for tomorrow.

Explore the 8 strategic advantages of collecting and maintaining facilities data including better resource allocation, capital planning and facility optimization. Then discover how AkitaBox Capture makes data collection easier than ever.

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CleanLink’s Women in Cleaning Virtual Forum returns in 2023, with conversations centered around leadership, work-life integration and making women’s voices heard in the industry and communities. Panel discussions, presentations and networking will provide a perspective on women’s impact on the industry and address how women can tap into shared qualities to enhance their roles as professionals, leaders and learners.

In honor of Women’s History Month, 10% of all sales will benefit the national mentorship nonprofit Step Up, which helps girls define and achieve their unique visions of success through structured programs, focused support and inspiring connections.

Bobrick Washroom Equipment recently redesigned its Automatic Universal Roll Towel Dispenser with a streamlined appearance and improved operation. The North Hollywood-based company says the sleek design makes for an attractive profile, and the new and intuitive, patron-friendly LED light clearly directs users to the towel activation zone, eliminating hand-waving frustration.

The Automatic Universal Roll Towel Dispenser  accommodates universal roll towels, which cost less, reduce waste and require less maintenance for reduced total cost of ownership, especially in high-traffic facilities. Converting from folded towels to roll towels saves 30% in ongoing costs, while open-market universal purchasing provides freedom from locked-in contract prices and removes the risk of an empty dispenser. The Automatic Universal Roll Towel Dispenser is a key element of a well-designed, high-functioning, hygienic restroom that will stand the test of time.

The Book of the Week from FMLink's new Books section comes from the Green Building category. This collection of peer-reviewed books has been curated by the editorial team at FMLink to provide facilities, engineering and A&D professionals with access to publications relating to the Green Building topic.

2023 Green Building Costs with RSMeans Data is designed to aid construction professionals in estimating, planning and budgeting the costs of green construction — both new commercial construction and renovation work. A wide array of green building products and systems, from high efficiency heating, cooling and electrical plumbing, to photovoltaic panels, green roofs and wind power, to high performance glass and more.

In the world of facilities management, risk is everywhere you turn, and no two facilities have the exact same set of needs. That’s why OpenWorks is harnessing the power of data to help customers make proactive decisions that reduce uncertainty and risk. The national FM company has introduced the OpenWorks Portal, a digital hub where communication occurs in real time among OpenWorks, its customers and the facility services providers who support them.

The Portal enhances interaction and visibility among all parties involved in each customer relationship. With the customer at the center, OpenWorks provides operational oversight and expertise while professional franchise owners and independent service providers focus on making facilities safer, cleaner and more compliant. The Portal is expected to add a new layer of confidence for customers, reinforcing OpenWorks’ impressive 99% customer retention rate.

Fast reads . . .
Convergint, a global provider of service-based systems integration, announces the results of its first annual Voice of the Customer Benchmarking Survey, which revealed that the role of physical security professionals has grown increasingly complex, now requiring intensive information technology (IT) skills in areas like cybersecurity and cloud computing. The survey found that 72% of physical security professionals anticipate that their roles within their organizations will change in the next one to two years — with an increased emphasis on emerging technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, mobile credentialing and autonomous solutions.

The elevated status of physical security is also evident. Indeed, 35% of survey respondents noted that they report directly to the CEO or other C-level executives, demonstrating how physical and electronic security and risk management are now an organizational and strategic importance.

Keynote speakers for NeoCon include world-renowned futurist Amy Webb, founder and CEO of the Future Institute; designer, writer, and teacher Michael Murphy, co-founder of MASS Design Group; and “The Hip Hop Architect” Michael Ford, AIA, NOMA, alongside Chicago Hip Hop legend and visiting MIT professor, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, a.k.a Lupe Fiasco. Pulling from diverse backgrounds and experiences and drawing inspiration from music, poetry, technology, and the power of community, the thought leaders will explore how to build a more sustainable, equitable and brighter future.

On the early registration front, THE MART reports that attendee registration is up 30 percent over NeoCon 2022, and even significantly more over the October 2021 show. It appears there is demand on the design and facility management side to plan workplaces and education campuses for the new ways of hybrid working and learning. Further, healthcare designers are also coming to NeoCon in search of new solutions for care environments.

Keynotes will be presented live onsite during the show and will also be streaming on the NeoCon Programming Hub.

The 54th edition of the leading platform for commercial interior design and facilities planning returns June 12-14 to THE MART in Chicago when NeoCon 2023 unites the design community to experience commercial interiors products, educational programming and industry gathering.

Occupational and environmental health and safety group AIHA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM), entering a three-year agreement to enhance and promote the roles of professionals in fields represented by both organizations: That is, occupational and environmental health and safety and hazardous materials management.

The MOU inaugurates a partnership that aims to advance the professionalism and practice of hazardous materials management, workplace health and safety, and industrial hygiene. Specifically, the two organizations will collaborate on planning, developing, and disseminating joint occupational and environmental health education programs and will also promote their partner’s products and services to their respective members.

With sweeping changes in work and workplace, it’s imperative for facility management professionals to lead their organizations to higher levels of performance and experience. Hosted by the association that has provided training, knowledge sharing and support to FMs globally for more than 40 years, IFMA’s Facility Fusion is about building future-ready leadership skills. It’s about exploring what’s possible — for our facilities, industry and careers — and synthesizing ideas and industries for a new world of work.