The world is waking up to the dire need to go green. When looking at the current global trends, it seems that the percentage of people opting for eco-friendly products and strategies has increased substantially, and for good reason. This movement is not only visible in domestic settings but within the corporate world and Facility Management as well.
As stated by The World Health Organisation, it is estimated that about a quarter of the global burden of disease that is currently being experienced is due to environmental factors that can be managed and/or changed. According to Angela Mathee and Caradee Wright in their report entitled Environmental Health in South Africa; “Addressing environmental factors in the places in which people live, learn, work, and play, is a cost-effective means of preventing ill health and reducing the burden of treatment currently borne by the health service.”
In the realm of Facility Management (FM), decision makers have come to realise that going green is not only beneficial to the health of the environment but to the bottom line as well. Eco-friendly products are currently in high demand and require a certain level of expertise. The constant striving for the most innovative and effective technology and design means that eco-friendly products are often more reliable, long-lasting and effective than the generic counterparts. This, in turn, means that less products are needed and therefore less money is spent. “By using green cleaning products, the amount of cleaning products used can be reduced by as much as 50 percent,” explains John J Coetzee, Managing Director of Green Worx Cleaning Solutions.
This technology also means that eco-friendly products are free of harsh chemicals which could be damaging to the health of employees and customers alike. Utilising eco-friendly products means that Facility Managers are dealing with healthier staff members who are more present and productive when at work.
“Part of the FM role is ensuring the health and safety of employees, while creating an environment that is safe and will not negatively impact on the long-term health of employees or the environment,” adds Coetzee.
The green movement’s global appeal also indicates that potential customers, partners, suppliers, and clients show a higher interest in working with organisations that match these ideals. In the current cultural climate, facilities that can prove that they are functioning as green facilities may stand a better chance of gaining and maintaining business. “Corporates are going green in facility management because the global culture is going green. With benefits from healthier employees and a healthier environment, to less money spent and more productivity, it is easy to understand this distinctive shift,” concludes Coetzee.