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ENGIE unveiled as best sustainable FM company in the UK  

Energy and support services specialist, ENGIE UK & Ireland, has come out on top in the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) Awards for a second successive year, achieving a platinum grade and the top SFMI score overall for 2019.

Mitie, which acquired a silver grade, has received the Rising Star Award in recognition of its growing commitment to sustainable FM practice. Other platinum-scoring FM service providers include Skanska Facilities and VINCI Facilities, while Bouygues Energies and Services and BAM FM achieved gold classification.

Now in its seventh year, the SFMI is run by sustainability consultancy Acclaro Advisory. As the only sustainability benchmark for the UK FM sector, the SFMI judges the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of FM service providers annually. Acclaro’s team conducts independent assessments across 23 criteria including sustainability frameworks, management systems, energy, water, compliance, health & safety, employee development, diversity, and more.

The findings from this year’s assessments reveal mixed results:

  • A three-tier structure to sustainable FM service provision has emerged in the UK market. The leading companies continue to demonstrate an ability to integrate their services into a holistic sustainability strategy. In the middle bracket, companies are providing traditional FM service well but struggle to integrate into strategic sustainability. At the lower end of the scale, efforts to integrate with sustainability are superseded by the need to deliver at the cheapest possible cost.
  • Average ESG performance of the leading FM companies on the SFMI continued to rise this year. This group demonstrates shared strategies such as leadership from the board, rigorous sustainability and social value frameworks, forecasting, collaborations and financial commitment.
  • On average, the sustainability performance of FM companies that do not engage with the SFMI continues to decline (the SFMI judges the information that these companies have made publicly available).
  • Water management and energy management scores have decreased by an average of 5% and 1% respectively from 2018.
  • Only 8% of companies use purchasing power to engage and motivate suppliers to reduce ESG impacts, while 31% require minimum certification from suppliers before entering their supply chain.
  • Areas receiving significant public attention in recent years have experienced a notable rise in scores. Since 2018, scores for sustainable communities (social value), wellbeing, circular economy, and diversity have all increased. However, much of this movement occurred in the lower quartiles of the SFMI and not in the upper levels, where Acclaro Advisory made scoring more stringent. This suggests that a number of FM companies are making an effort to tackle ‘PR-friendly’ sustainability issues but not yet developing the sustainability frameworks to drive real change.
  • 85% of companies included plastic reductions in some form of publicity, but no companies were able to show a circular economy business model at this stage.

Chris Havers, programme director of the SFMI for Acclaro Advisory, said: “We would like to congratulate ENGIE for winning the SFMI Awards for a second straight year. This feat demonstrates the organisation’s incredible commitment to sustainable FM and should act as a benchmark for any other FM service providers that have serious ambitions around their own sustainable development. The level of accountability that ENGIE has fostered within its teams through responsible business KPIs, a scrutiny board and its sustainability framework is an example that others can follow. 

“Beyond the leading FM companies, however, there is a risk that a significant portion of the FM sector will fail to develop its sustainability credentials just as environmental threats and the need for social change are most pressing. The heightened focus on areas such as plastic pollution, wellbeing and diversity can only be a good thing, but FM must do more to drive genuine change.”  

This year’s results can be found in the SFMI 2019 Summary Report.

About Sarah OBeirne

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