04 September 2018 | Keith Chanter
Keith Chanter, CEO of Emcor, discusses the issue of sustainability in facilities management.
In what ways are you seeing clients reducing carbon consumption?
Facilities are reducing their energy footprint through energy audits of buildings or estates with a focus on energy-intensive activities; the introduction of heating, cooling and lighting strategies; and assessments of indoor air quality, to name a few.
Moreover, we are seeing a rise in the use of smart building control technologies such as the IoT. These are helping connect disparate systems and sensors to provide real-time analytical data on energy-related activities. FM is also one of the many industries leveraging the benefits afforded by AI, which is optimising building management and efficiency.
The shift towards sustainability is significant. The Scottish Government recently raised its target to 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, while Theresa May stated that “climate change action is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time” – while also pledging to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
How do you see FM changing?
Technology and innovation are forcing industries to be agile in responding to customers’ needs, and FM is no exception.
This positive disruption is playing a significant role in driving cost-efficiencies and competition within FM.
For FM, failure to adapt to technological change creates a danger of being driven down the value chain, creating a low-cost, low-margin commoditised service provision.
Information management and data capture will become even more sophisticated, enabling more informed FM decisions and helping to build on the continued advancement of FM taking its place higher up the value chain.
We’re also seeing a shift in the ‘conventional’ role of the facility manager, who historically may have been responsible for simply facility service provision, but is now recognised for shaping workplaces that enhance employee well-being and productivity. The needs of employees are changing. Workplaces are now required to foster collaboration, enable employee engagement and well-being and optimise environments that drive productivity and innovation.
What do you feel are Emcor UK’s challenges and plans for the future?
There is a requirement for FM companies to perform at higher service levels, with fewer resources. This is alongside additional challenges such as multi-generational workforces, ageing assets, rising energy costs, life cycle sustainability and socially responsible solutions, to name a few. Emcor UK will be launching new products and services to deliver further value to customers – while responding to the changing nature of customer needs.
We also want to see more women joining the ranks of facilities professionals, helping to guide the future of the industry. Increasing the diversity of workforces is a core commitment.