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Sustainability significant to FM sector

As most people now concede, to repair a damaged item is far more sustainable than replacing it, which is what we at Plastic Surgeon have been helping the construction industry to do for a quarter of a century.

We have also helped social housing providers and public sector organisations – hospitals, schools, the MoD etc – to become more sustainable. And more recently, we are seeing insurance companies and facilities managers improve their eco-credentials through their use of our repair services.

Indeed, an article from FM World has reported that sustainability is still one of the most significant issues for facilities and property managers, despite the last two years of economic hardship: this was according to panelists at the latest FM & Property Event.

Speaking at the event’s opening plenary session, Dixon Retail’s head of UK store facilities, Jake Ronay, cited as evidence his previous experience as renewables programme manager for Tesco, which conducted a major energy reduction programme “in the teeth of the recession”. But he also went on to suggest that for many firms, the success of sustainability initiatives will continue to be judged on the speed at which payback on investment begins.

… which, if FMs use our repair services, will be immediately. As for every one pound spent on our repairs to products such as doors, windows, baths, basins and worktops typically saves three pounds on material replacements. In fact this figure only examines material cost and not the labour involved in removing or reinstalling the damaged item, so multiples can go much higher, while our VisibilITy software precisely demonstrates the tonnages prevented from going to landfill, and the carbon savings made.

Meanwhile, speaking in his capacity as director of group property services at Hallmark Cards, FM World reported that BIFM chairman, Ian Broadbent, said that pressure for sustainability initiatives for his business came largely from the grocery channels through which Hallmark’s products are distributed.

He also went on to question the many changes made by the Government to its Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme, with panelists concurring that the scheme’s evolution into what is effectively a tax, would at least lead to its acceptance as such.

Whatever your opinion on the latest changes to the scheme, the fact remains that we are available, on a national basis, to help the facilities managers across the sectors to realize their dreams of becoming more sustainable.

It would also seem that the recent recession and ongoing financial hardships being faced by managers means that repairing broken or damaged building components is the only way to make funds stretch further; as far as we’re concerned at Plastic Surgeon, repairing rather than replacing is a no brainer when it comes to sustainability. It makes sense ecologically, logistically and financially.

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