In a world that seems to change at lightning speed, the role of facility managers (FMs) is transforming significantly. FMs find themselves at the forefront of a shifting landscape, where societal demands, technology, and data are reshaping the very fabric of real estate and facility management. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic still serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of resilience, business continuity, and providing exceptional employee experiences. Young FM professionals play a crucial role in navigating this demanding future. Typically, young people are more likely to embrace change, balance responsibilities, and lead the way in sustainable and technologically advanced facility management practices.
The Transformational Power of Technology
With 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions coming from buildings, the environmental impact of the built environment is a pressing concern. Energy consumption and pollution from construction, management, and maintenance demand immediate action. Additionally, other environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges are taking centre stage, thus compelling building owners/investors, occupiers, and service providers into prioritising sustainability. Organisations are increasingly emphasising the need for more detailed insights into their energy and sustainability performance, promoting transparency, and implementing measures to improve the sustainability profile of their buildings and associated processes.
Facility management and real estate professionals find themselves at the forefront of the ESG transformation. A global Planon ESG user research study involving over 600 professionals in the FM and real estate realm underscored the significance of ESG factors on their agendas. Technology has become the catalyst for achieving this shift, enabling FMs to enhance wellbeing and economic productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate ecological footprints.
Empowering Young FM Professionals
In order to tackle these challenges, it is crucial to equip young FM professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support their organisations in transitioning towards a sustainable future. To facilitate this, Planon values its role as corporate partner in the IFMA Foundation’s Eric Teicholz Sustainability Facility Professional® (SFP®) Scholarship Programme, which supports the use of technology for sustainable FM practices. The SFP scholarships aim to nurture a new generation of facility managers equipped with the competencies required to address this vital and evolving field and provide an opportunity for aspiring professionals to make a difference.
The landscape is challenging, but these young FMs have the chance to make a lasting impact, driving innovation and environmental consciousness in their field and beyond. By leveraging technology and promoting continuous learning, organisations and young professionals can work hand in hand to shape a future where workplaces are sustainable, productive, and safe.
If you are interested in applying for the Eric Teicholz Sustainability Facility Professional Scholarship, you can learn more at https://foundation.ifma.org/students-academics/eric-teicholz-sustainability-scholarship/. Submissions for the 2023 programme are still open until 1 September 2023 and we are happy to share that five additional scholarships have been added by the Eric and Judy Teicholz charitable trust.