CLAIMS OF SUSTAINABLE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: Exploring current practices

Susanne Balslev Nielsen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of current practices within the emergent management discipline: Sustainable Facilities Management (SFM). Background: To develop a sustainable society, facilities managers must become change agents for sustainability in the built environment. Facilities Management (FM) is contributing to the environmental, social and economical problems, but can at the same time also be a part of the solution. However, to integrate sustainability in FM is still an emergent niche within FM, and the examples of SFM so far seems to come out of very different mindsets of aims and means. Approach: SFM is studied as a phenomenon and a socio-technical construction using qualitative research methods in the period 2008-2011. This paper presents a synthesised understanding of SFM, based on literature studies, participation in research projects, testing of preliminary findings and dialogue with practitioners. Emphasis is on the openings for SFM in order to contribute constructively to the further research and development of the discipline. Results: The result is a framework which relates the studied examples and openings for SFM with the organisations general FM strategy and with the organisations general integration of sustainability as a value in core business. The general FM strategy and the role of sustainability in core business seem to be the most dominating factors for the possibilities for even starting to realise an SFM strategy. Three understandings of SFM are identified which have different strategic approaches: • The incremental: Limit environmental impact from organisation activities • The radical: Towards a vision of a sustainable future • The transformative: Going beyond the organisation to establish new partnerships for co-creating of new socio-technical services and technologies These SFM understandings are concluded to be coexisting claims of SFM definitions. Practical Implications: Facilities managers will be able to identify the mindset behind different services and technologies that are promoted as SFM. But maybe just as important is that they are provided with concepts that can help them clarify and improve their own emerging strategy of SFM. The limitations of the research call for deeper investigations and a collaborative effort from researchers and practitioners to develop SFM in practice and theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventCFM’s Nordic Conference - Technical University of Denmark 22-23 August 2011
    Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceCFM’s Nordic Conference
    CityTechnical University of Denmark 22-23 August 2011
    Period01/01/2011 → …

    Keywords

    • Innovation
    • sustainable facilities
    • realized strategies
    • management

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