In FMJ's regular monthly column, our team of FM experts answer your questions
20 MAY 2022
about the world of facilities management
SOCIAL VALUE EXPERT’S VIEW
GUY BATTLE, CEO,
SOCIAL VALUE PORTAL
Environmental, Social and
Corporate Governance (ESG)’s
origins lie in compliance - it is all
about the need to minimise risk,
avoid harm, meet regulations and
disclose the metrics. It is therefore
no longer su icient for facilities
managers just to be good at rent
collection and environmental
building performance. I think the
FM industry needs to place its focus
on three things; People, Place and
Planet. If that happens, meeting ESG criteria
will come naturally.
The health and wellbeing of the people
who make up an organisation is now
recognised as a key issue that drives
productivity, culture and ultimately
the success of an organisation.
The FM lead needs to ensure that
they understand the role they have
to play in promoting a healthy
There is also a big opportunity for
FMs who actively promote community
engagement and this starts with finding
out what the local community needs. For
instance, knowing where the most deprived
areas are, what is understood about the issues faced
by the community and how its needs can be met. This could
be by creating more local jobs, improving relationships
with education settings,
showing care for the elderly
or addressing crime rates for
A healthy community that is
being upskilled and encouraged
to flourish will ensure that there
is a greater choice of talent, a more
resilient workforce and ultimately, a
more e icient business.
The real estate sector is unique in that
it always has a ‘place’ and contributes to our
communities not only physically but also through
occupier engagement - a building is simply a vacuum until
the occupier arrives, at which point it becomes a positive
By improving the lives of local people, FMs have the
unique opportunity to develop a better performing asset.
Put simply, a flourishing community leads to increased land
prices, the asset value goes up and that means FM fulfils a
fiduciary duty to the investor while also meeting ESG criteria.
The climate crisis is a global emergency and we all have
a duty to address this. Buildings are responsible for over 25
per cent of world carbon emissions due to the energy they
use to heat, cool and light.
Procurement decisions are therefore vital to reducing
emissions. Through increasing access to renewably
sourced energy, no longer purchasing from global suppliers
and tasking your supply chain with contributing to net zero
goals, every area of the FM role has a part to play.
By acting locally but thinking globally, it is possible to
identify opportunities to reduce emissions whilst
committing to reducing overall emissions at the
If minimising risk is the ESG side of the coin,
maximising social value sits on the other side
to complete the picture. Social value is about
how a business meets its social purpose,
contributing ‘net positively’ to society.
Since the Public Services (Social Value Act)
2012, private sector organisations are seeing
the positive results social value has brought
to public sector work and are increasingly
bringing it into their own decision making as a
result. So, without a solid social value policy, FM
outsourcers will not now easily win new work - or
meet ESG obligations.
My advice for the FM industry is to extend your scope,
reimagining your role to include culture, ‘doing good’ in
the local community. Do that, and ESG should seamlessly
integrate into your organisation.
Social and Governance
(ESG) criteria is now
an essential part of the
FM remit, encompassing
as it does the many
strands of sustainability,
from achieving net zero to
supporting the supply chain.
It also incorporates the core goal
of FMs in achieving compliance. What
are the challenges and opportunities for FMs in
integrating ESG into their organisations?
ADVICE & OPINION
The climate crisis is a
global emergency and we all
have a duty to address this.
Buildings are responsible for over 25
per cent of world carbon emissions
due to the energy they use to
heat, cool and light.
– Guy Battle