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Top 8 Sustainable Facility Management Best Practices Your Business Should Adopt

As the demands for energy efficiency, waste reduction, and carbon footprint mitigation escalate, companies grapple with optimizing their operations while reducing their impact on the planet. The rising costs of non-renewable resources, increased regulations, and a socially conscious consumer base that demands environmental accountability from the brands they engage with further compound this dilemma.

A survey by Deloitte, which polled over 2,000 business leaders from 21 different countries, found that 66% are taking steps to improve energy efficiency, such as implementing energy-saving practices in their buildings. Additionally, 57% are already using climate-friendly machinery and equipment, indicating that more and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of addressing climate change.

So, Sustainable Facility Management has emerged as one of the top facility management trends in recent years. It is a comprehensive approach that integrates environmental, social, and economic considerations into managing buildings and facilities. 

Facility managers can reduce their operations’ environmental impact and create healthier and more productive spaces for occupants by implementing sustainable practices. This article explores various best practices in sustainable facility management, highlighting their benefits and positive impact on organizations and communities.

Practices that make your facility sustainable

What are best practices of facilities management is a prime question that you encounter when building sustainable facilities? Answering, below, we list the accepted set of practices that facility managers must follow to sustainably manage and maintain facilities.

Energy Efficiency

Efficient energy use is a crucial aspect of sustainable facility management. According to the EPA, commercial buildings in the US are responsible for 16% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and spend over $190 billion annually on energy. 

The time has come for a transformative shift in managing energy consumption within these establishments. Regular energy audits are crucial in identifying areas for improvement and potential energy savings. 

Energy-efficient LED lighting systems can significantly reduce electricity usage and waste by extending bulb lifespan. Smart building technologies, like occupancy sensors and automated systems, adjust lighting and HVAC systems according to occupancy patterns, optimizing energy usage. Renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines can significantly reduce energy usage and the facility’s carbon footprint. It is essential to implement these measures to ensure efficient energy use and reduce environmental impact.

Water Conservation

Water conservation is another critical aspect of sustainable facility management. Identifying and promptly fixing water leaks not only saves water but also prevents water damage to the facility. Installing water-efficient fixtures like low-flow toilets and faucets contributes to substantial water savings over time. 

Furthermore, adopting water recycling and reuse strategies, such as capturing rainwater for irrigation or using graywater for non-potable purposes, can conserve precious water resources. Landscaping practices that prioritize drought-resistant plants and efficient irrigation systems also play a vital role in water conservation efforts.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

The EPA estimates that around 75% of all waste is recyclable, but only about 35% of municipal solid waste (MSW) is actually recycled in the US. Facility managers can significantly impact sustainability by implementing waste reduction and recycling initiatives. Conducting waste audits helps identify waste streams and opportunities for improvement. 

Also, by setting up effective waste segregation programs, facilities can divert recyclables from ending up in landfills. Collaborating with recycling initiatives and engaging with waste management partners further enhances the facility’s waste diversion efforts. Additionally, reducing the use of single-use plastics and packaging within the facility can help combat plastic pollution and promote a more circular economy.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Ensuring a healthy indoor environment is crucial for the well-being and productivity of occupants. Adequate ventilation improves air quality and prevents the buildup of indoor pollutants. Opting for low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and eco-friendly materials in construction and furnishing minimizes harmful emissions and creates a healthier space. 

Implementing proper pest management practices using non-toxic and environmentally friendly methods reduces the need for harsh chemicals. Moreover, incorporating biophilic design concepts, such as adding greenery and natural elements, fosters a connection with nature and promotes a sense of well-being among occupants.

Sustainable Procurement

Purchasing sustainable products and materials plays a significant role in sustainable facility management. By sourcing environmentally friendly products, facility managers support eco-conscious suppliers and contribute to the demand for sustainable alternatives. 

Prioritizing local suppliers helps reduce transportation-related emissions and supports the local economy. Considering life cycle assessments of products ensures that their environmental impact is minimized throughout their entire life span. Building green vendor partnerships strengthens the commitment to sustainability and encourages suppliers to align with sustainable practices.

Green Certifications and Standards

There are several green certifications and standards available to acknowledge and verify sustainable facility management initiatives. Some of the notable ones are:

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): It is one of the most widely recognized certification programs, focusing on sustainable building design, construction, and operation. 
  • BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method): It is a prominent assessment method that evaluates environmental performance and sets benchmarks for sustainable development. 
  • Green Globes Certification: It offers a flexible and affordable approach to sustainable building certification. 
  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management System: It provides a framework for organizations to develop and implement environmentally responsible practices.

Employee Engagement and Education

Engaging employees in sustainability initiatives is crucial for successfully implementing sustainable facility management. Conducting sustainability workshops and training sessions educates employees about the importance of sustainability and provides practical tips for incorporating green practices into their daily routines. 

Encouraging employee-driven green initiatives empowers individuals to contribute their ideas and efforts toward sustainability goals. Recognizing and rewarding sustainable practices further motivates employees to participate in sustainability efforts actively. By integrating sustainability into the company culture, facility managers foster a sense of responsibility and collective commitment to a greener future.

Monitoring, Measurement, and Reporting

To ensure the effectiveness of sustainable facility management practices, monitoring, measuring, and reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential. Setting specific and measurable targets helps track progress and identify areas that require further improvement. 

Implementing real-time energy, water, and waste monitoring systems enables facility managers to make data-driven decisions and respond promptly to deviations. Regular sustainability reporting communicates the facility’s achievements, challenges, and goals to stakeholders, creating transparency and accountability. Continuous improvement based on data analysis and feedback fosters a culture of sustainability and drives further advancements in facility management practices.


Sustainable facility management is a responsible approach toward environmental stewardship and a smart business decision. By implementing energy efficiency measures, conserving water resources, reducing waste, and prioritizing indoor environmental quality, facility managers can create healthier, greener, and more sustainable spaces for occupants. 

Embracing sustainable procurement, green certifications, and engaging employees in sustainability initiatives are essential to driving positive change. Through monitoring, measurement, and reporting, facility managers can continuously improve their sustainability performance and contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come.