Sustainability practices just got easier for the facility management profession as the International Facility Management Association has announced a collaborative agreement with the Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments to develop and deliver sustainability educational programs, as well as provide research and planning tools.

Since 2003, the Alliance, which includes the international companies Johnson Controls, Milliken & Company, Forbo Flooring, Philips Lighting, JohnsonDiversey and Owens Corning, has been working to educate the marketplace and top management on the benefits of reducing the overall impact facilities have on the natural environment and on building occupants.

This new partnership will bring sustainability concepts and state of the art practices to a vital division of all business organizations. Currently, more than 18,400 facility management professionals are members of IFMA, managing nearly 23 billion square feet of workspace combined.

“Fifty-nine percent of IFMA’s North American members are currently implementing some sustainable practices, often without a plan, and another 17 percent plan to do so in the next two years,” says David J. Brady, IFMA president and CEO. “The Alliance has become a focal point for green building practices, with the right resources and unparalleled commitment.”

IFMA/Alliance programming and activities will include a number of environmental metrics, including the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programs, Energy Star, Climate Leaders and others. The Alliance also will take a key role in developing the first dedicated sustainability educational track at IFMA’s annual World Workplace Conference and Expo Oct. 8-10 in San Diego, California More than 5,000 facility management professionals are expected to attend.

“Facility management professionals have an incredible impact on how their organizations implement high performance, green solutions for their buildings,” says Bill Gregory, director of sustainable strategies for Milliken & Company, and a spokesperson for the Alliance. “Since these individuals collectively manage nearly 60 billion square feet of building space in the U.S., getting resources to them, combined with their commitment and experience, will greatly benefit the sustainability movement within the built environment.”