How ESG is Impacting Facility Management

Can Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Provide a Sustainable & Ethical Roadmap for Your Facility?

How ESG is Impacting Facility Management

Can Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Provide a Sustainable & Ethical Roadmap for Your Facility?

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) – what does that term mean? Much like Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality (DEI) initiatives gaining ground in business, ESG could become just another acronym that managers throw around. However, when you put ESG principles into practice for your facility, it can have an immediate impact on several fronts.

ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance and is gaining popularity for sustainable practices in facility management.


Sustainability is quickly becoming a watchword across every industry. That is certainly true of facility management as stakeholders, staff, and customers – whether students in higher education or medical personnel and patients in medical centers – put increasing pressure on facility managers to find solutions to mitigate or offset the consequences of construction, utility use, and infrastructure management on the environment.

Facility management companies are keen to demonstrate that they’re at the forefront of socially and environmentally responsible decision-making, and it is informing everything from what types of supplies they purchase to the carbon footprints of the vendors they contract with.


Are facility managers “going green” because they’re committed to combating manmade pollution’s effect on climate change? Many are, certainly. But there are also a wide swath who are looking at ESG through a purely commerce-based lens because practicing strong environmental and social governance can provide exponential positive publicity, while failing to embrace a greener social and facility management approach can impact your reputation and your bottom line. An added benefit, no matter what the root cause in choosing to adopt ESG principles, is that facilities managers may see reduced utility costs and market opportunities that can give them significant leeway in budgetary concerns.


The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), recommends asking three specific questions as you consider implementing ESG planning and execution into your workflows and contracts:

Does your organization minimize the impact of its activities on nature and its surroundings?

Does your organization improve its interactions with its workforce and the broader community?

Does your organization focus on decision-making processes, report on activities, and ensure ethical behavior?

Answering the above questions for your facilities and management team can help you to zero-in on the activities and practices that comply with ESG principles, and those on which you can improve to ethically and sustainably reduce your environmental impact while increasing your positive impact on your staff, customers, and community.

Once you have the map your facility needs to head in a more sustainable direction, you need to drill down into specific operational practices to execute the vision. Here are five ways you can integrate ESG principles into your facility management, operations, and maintenance:

1. Implement Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solutions

Facility managers can significantly reduce energy consumption by upgrading to energy-efficient systems and integrating renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. Utilizing smart building technologies and conducting regular energy audits will help identify areas for improvement, aligning operations with governmental sustainability practices aimed at reducing carbon footprints.

2. Adopt Sustainable Resource Management Practices

Effective resource management includes reducing water usage through the installation of low-flow fixtures, smart irrigation systems, and annual water loss surveys, as well as optimizing waste management by implementing comprehensive recycling programs and conducting sanitary and storm sewer assessments on a regular basis. Facility managers should prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials and products, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and certifications like LEED.

3. Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality

Improving indoor air quality, lighting, and acoustics can contribute to the overall well-being and productivity of occupants. Facility managers should ensure proper ventilation, use low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, and integrate biophilic design elements. These practices not only meet societal expectations for healthy work environments but also adhere to standards set by organizations like the EPA and WHO.

4. Promote Social Responsibility and Community Engagement

Facility managers can foster a culture of social responsibility by supporting local communities and engaging with stakeholders. This can be achieved through initiatives such as creating green spaces, offering community workshops on sustainability, and partnering with local businesses for sustainable sourcing. Such efforts demonstrate a commitment to societal governance and contribute to positive community relations.

5. Ensure Compliance and Reporting Transparency

Maintaining compliance with environmental laws and regulations is essential. Facility managers should implement robust monitoring and reporting systems to track ESG performance metrics. Regularly publishing sustainability reports and engaging in third-party audits enhance transparency and accountability, aligning with best practices in corporate governance and building trust with investors and stakeholders.

Integrating ESG principles into facility management does take time, practice, and effort to achieve buy-in from all parties. Once you have achieved a solid ESG policy, however, it can have longstanding positive effects on your brand, reputation, and facility function for decades to come.

GPRS helps customers Intelligently Visualize The Built World® and can support your ESG efforts. What can we help you visualize? 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do renewable energy sources contribute to improved ESG implementation in facility management?

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with environmental governance goals. By decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, facilities lower their carbon footprint and contribute to global sustainability efforts. Additionally, utilizing renewable energy can lead to long-term cost savings and improved energy security, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable practices that attract environmentally conscious stakeholders and investors.

Why are accurate existing conditions documents crucial for effective ESG implementation?

Accurate existing conditions documents provide a comprehensive understanding of a facility’s current state, including structural integrity, energy usage, and resource management. These documents are essential for identifying areas needing improvement, planning sustainable upgrades, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. Precise documentation helps facility managers make informed decisions, track progress, and demonstrate due diligence in their ESG initiatives, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability in their operations.

How can streamlined communications enhance ESG implementation in facility management?

Streamlined communications facilitate better coordination and collaboration among stakeholders, including facility managers, employees, contractors, and community members. Clear and efficient communication channels ensure that ESG goals, policies, and progress are effectively conveyed, fostering a shared understanding and commitment to sustainability initiatives. By reducing misunderstandings and improving information flow, streamlined communications support timely and accurate reporting, stakeholder engagement, and the successful implementation of ESG strategies, ultimately leading to more cohesive and impactful outcomes.