12 Feb Circular Facility Management: profitable, but challenging
Getting started with Circular Facility Management within your organisation generates benefits for all parties: your colleagues, you as a facility manager, your employer and even our society as a whole. However, it is also a major challenge. In this blog, we explain what challenges we see, while starting with Circular Facility Management.
We will start drawing the bigger picture. As is commonly known, raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce, and extracting them unnecessarily affects the environment. From this perspective, the circular economy – which revolves around reusing products in the best possible condition – is gaining ground.
Circular Facility Management is all about retaining and maximising the use of products – the assets – in the workplace. This offers your organisation advantages in two areas: first, and primarily externally: it contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. At a time when media and consumers are increasingly addressing sustainability, your employer will be happy to mention positive figures in a press release or annual report. And secondly, and especially internally focused: it contributes to lower purchasing costs, something that will put a smile on the face of your CFO.
For you as a Facility Manager, Circular Facility Management also offers benefits, which are mainly related to the increasing importance of your role within your organisation. For example, a transition to a circular economy – and therefore also Circular Facility Management – puts you as a Facility Manager, in de driving seat, leading to you having to become more strategic and responding to certain needs. In addition, with Circular Facility Management you will have to start thinking about the impact that your decisions make in an organisation that will be more value-driven than cost-driven. You are going to function in an organisation where the primary focus is no longer on the short-term objective of saving costs but on the long-term objective of adding value to the global environmental objectives by working in a circular manner. And finally, by applying Circular Facility Management, you will slowly become a resource manager, who takes care of the correct processing of all raw materials and office supplies, and who purchases assets with future use in mind. These three changes will ultimately lead to improved processes that benefit both you and your employer.
Circular Facility Management also offers benefits to your colleagues. It helps them make sustainable choices, both at work and at home. Besides, it also contributes to a different mindset that makes them more aware and ultimately happier and therefore more productive. After all, the combination between a circular organisation, a circular FM team and a circular-thinking employee also benefits society as a whole.
However, Circular Facility Management does not happen automatically. First of all, the basis must be in order. For example, there must be an overview of all assets at the workplace, and there must be a quality check per element. The starting point is to maximize the lifetime for each business asset by carrying out maintenance and repairs. And when purchasing new assets, the Purchasing department within FM must from now on bear in mind future use. If that is all arranged, then the basis has been laid for a long-term investment plan and the implementation of a circular strategy in the working environment.
In short: there are enough reasons to get started with a circular perspective in facility management!