ADVICE & OPINION
22 MAY 2022
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER’S VIEW
JAMES BRADLEY, COO AT CHURCHILL GROUP
ESG covers such a wide array
of factors that the optimist in
me believes there are almost
endless opportunities. Even
if a company is excelling in a
number of ESG objectives, there
will be others where it needs to
do more. FM can touch on every
part of ESG so there will always
be a place for our sector to
advise and act.
There are a couple of key
challenges that I’d like to touch
on. The first is staying on top of
ESG goals in the face of changing
legislation and company priorities. For example, the Department for
Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is expected to soon launch
a new building energy rating system for large commercial buildings
that could eventually replace EPCs. The new system would focus on
the current energy use of a building rather than theoretical future
FMs need to keep up to date on such changes and help prepare their
clients in advance. Those that stay on top of updates and share with their
clients will position themselves as key counsel for ESG strategies.
A second key challenge is embedding long-term planning and goals
into ESG strategies. It can be very easy to constantly look for quick wins –
these are great for sharing with customers and employees, as well as for
reporting back to senior management.
While quick wins are useful, the focus must be on the long-term, even if
we won’t be there to see the results of our work. The contract lengths we
work with can feel restrictive in that we might only work on strategies for
the length of that contract. We may worry that if we can’t evidence some
success during this time – the quick wins – it might look like we have not
achieved any ESG goals.
We owe it to our clients to set them up for success in the long-term.
Only then will they be able to achieve their lo iest ESG goals.
If we can develop strategies that show the benefits of long-term
objectives, as well as a roadmap of how we get there, clients may
commit to longer contracts. If not, they will still have a strong strategy in
A er I spoke about the need for long-termism in ESG at the recent
Workplace Futures conference, I suggested we start an industry-wide
committee to tackle various issues – anything from energy e iciency to
Let me be clear – this is not a Churchill initiative, but a chance for
anyone in FM to collaborate. We had our first roundtable in late March
and have identified refugee employment as our first project. We all know
the many challenges of hiring refugees, from visas to language barriers.
We believe that by coming together we can tackle this issue and make a
genuine change across the whole FM industry.
CLEANING SECTOR LEADER’S VIEW
DOMINIC PONNIAH, CEO, CLEANOLOGY
Business has the power to do
good. Every company measures
its financial health, but the
health – and impact – of a
business goes far beyond the
While the scale of
Environmental, Social and
Governance (ESG) criteria can
appear daunting, it helps to
break things down. The recipe
to meaningful change is to
monitor, and to follow a policy of
continuous improvement. This is
also the key to certification to environmental management systems like
A robust environmental policy will include the obvious elements
like o ice recycling and energy use but genuine ESG strategies should
also consider sta wellbeing. In an industry not known for high pay, to
improving pay. Sixteen of our top 20 clients are signed up to the Real
Living Wage, and we actively promote the scheme to new business and
existing clients, as well as investing in PR to raise awareness.
We are accredited as a Recognised Service Provider (RSP) by the Living
Wage Foundation, and recently joined the RSP Leadership Group. In
2021, we won the Living Wage Foundation’s Company of the Year award.
This shows our sta that we care, and are actively working to make a
With one fi h of the population living in poverty, it is also important
to look beyond our own four walls. The Hygiene Bank, supports the one
in three people who has had to go without hygiene essentials. Recent
appeals generated a tonne of hygiene products.
ESG is becoming increasingly more important and we can expect to
see it incorporated in many more tenders and requests in the future.
However, we need to remember that, in the same way that as
individuals we lead full, complex lives, our companies also span
di erent areas. And with the right planning, we can make
business a force for good.
FM and Property technology to power your organisation
and build a sustainable future
Coming together to change the future of FM, Real
Estate and Workplace software: download our guide
Or visit us at The Facilities Show,
17-19 May, ExCeL London