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There are multiple ways for facility management professionals to make an impact on their building's sustainability efforts. According to Encompass reporting, energy, water and waste are all areas of focus, but there are even more.

The four biggest areas where sustainability can make a difference are green cleaning, energy management, materials and resources and waste management.

• LEED offers a range of tools to help facility cleaning managers identify chemicals and products that can make green cleaning cost-effective. Green cleaning products can help safeguard the health of both building occupants and the planet.

• Choosing sustainable materials can help ensure a facility’s longevity and adaptability. One common example is the use of hand dryers versus paper towels, with the former reducing energy, waste, and the overall carbon footprint by 70 percent, the article said.

• Waste management efforts can help reduce disposal costs, decrease the amount of waste that enters landfills, and conserve energy. A waste management plan can allow a facility professional to conduct life cycle assessments, assess various disposal methods, and find where improvements can be made.

• An energy management plan should start by measuring consumption and then identifying potential energy savings. Facility executives can then implement cost-saving measures and track progress.

By reducing energy consumption, implementing green cleaning initiatives, using environmentally-friendly materials and setting up a waste management program, cleaning executives can show their positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. Armed with the proper strategic and financial planning tools, managers can develop, implement and maintain sustainable facility practices, creating long-lasting value to their organization.

Read the full article here.