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Why IoT plays an essential role in achieving sustainable facilities management

Internet of Things (IoT) systems have the potential to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by the year 2030, according to a report published by Ericsson. And as worldwide attention on sustainability continues to increase, many organisations are taking a closer look at the role they can – and should – play in reaching sustainability goals. Facility and operations professionals should be right in the middle of this conversation. In fact, it’s reported that the built environment accounts for as much as 40% of global CO2 emissions, which means facilities teams, whether in-house or outsourced, have a huge opportunity to help their organisations make impactful decisions and moves to become more sustainable.

Organisations have set ESG goals, but still struggle with reporting

The vast majority of companies are already adapting their business models and operations to perform better on sustainability. Brand and reputation along with stakeholder value and health & safety are important drivers for this. With the introduction of new environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulations to be rolled out in many countries, organisations are also forced to make sustainability a top priority.

A recent global research study around drivers for investment in corporate ESG confirmed the importance of ESG on organisational agendas. While business drivers may differ, facility services teams have a clear focus on reaching ESG commitments and being able to offer ESG services to customers, as well as increasing performance transparency and accountability. Notably, 43% of facility service providers stated that they have been asked for ESG proposals by their customers.

This research also uncovered that most organisations have set ESG goals and targets but are struggling to measure and report on ESG performance. To drive ESG improvements and achieve real change, detailed insights are required. In addition, they need to comply with regulatory requirements pertaining to climate risk and decarbonisation, as well as social metrics when these become more stringent.

This is where technology, like IoT, building management software, and facility service solutions come into play. As digital and intuitive technologies are now widely adopted in almost every organisation, the data they can provide in real-time for facilities teams and their organisations is essential for effectively managing sustainability initiatives.

Data is the biggest catalyst for successfully turning ESG ambitions into actions

IoT, specifically, is one of the major technological forces enabling building managers, facility managers, and facility service providers to accelerate their digital transformation for the purpose of achieving more sustainable buildings and FM services.

According to a 2022 a 2022 Verdantix Green Quadrant on IoT for smart buildings on IoT for smart buildings, organisations are increasingly leveraging IoT to tackle key strategic objectives. Leading IoT use cases are around space utilisation, tracking energy consumption and reporting compliance, and proactive asset and maintenance management.

Many firms still have a long way to go before fulfilling their ESG ambitions. This is illustrated by the fact that many companies still lack a precise view of energy consumption usage, as they rely on high-level data from utility bills and building-level meters. Furthermore, they need to have a process in place for carbon emission calculations. Using IoT-enabled submetering technology solutions will provide data-driven insights for operational savings and opportunity findings, as well as consumption data for compliant reporting on energy performance and CO2 footprint.

Drive sustainable performance with IoT-enabled building management software

To effectively track an organisation’s sustainability initiatives, you must have the basics in place. This requires the ability to collect accurate and timely energy and usage data from the devices and assets that you aim to improve. IoT enables organisations to gather and analyse the real-time information they need to set goals and KPIs, and to ensure they stay on track. Access to historic data can also help organisations to set or refine protocols and reduce risks.

If your organisation has a large building portfolio or is launching several IoT initiatives impacting various stakeholders, then the question may arise how to manage these initiatives and maintain control over what is going on in your buildings? This is where you might consider a platform approach to managing all IoT initiatives.

Choosing an IoT-enabled building management or facilities services platform brings several advantages, especially when you go beyond the level of point solutions and have a need for simplified management across a mixed portfolio of owned and rented buildings. Leveraging IoT data at a business level, integrated within the domain specific software for maintenance, space, and sustainability management will provide your managers, operators, and field technicians with insights in just one glance. In addition, they benefit from the ability to quickly react to issues and be more proactive with defined rules based on specific thresholds for energy consumption, asset behaviour, or space occupancy.

Future-proof your sustainability efforts by choosing the best supporting technology

The future is IoT driven. Facility managers and service providers who want to make a difference and stay relevant in today's market, cannot ignore the essential role of IoT in achieving sustainable facilities management.

Want to know more about our IoT-enabled solutions or how Planon can support you with IoTinitiatives? Navigate to our glossary page on IoT for more information.

About the author

Bianca Dekker | Solution Product Marketeer

With a background in marketing, Bianca has more than 25 years of experience in the ICT industry. She likes to work at the intersection of business and technology and has extensive experience in product marketing, focused on creating compelling value propositions and launching new solutions. Having held several marketing and management roles in leading technology companies, such as KPN, Detron, Cegeka-dsa, and Visma|Raet, she currently works as a Solution Product Marketeer at Planon.

More posts by Bianca Dekker

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