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Facility Managers, Turn Your Company’s Trash into Treasure

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Why Facility Management is Key to Environmental Sustainability

Whether to reduce maintenance costs, meet new greenhouse gas emission guidelines, attract and retain employees, or inspire greater brand loyalty, knowledge of environmental sustainability is a core competency for Facility Managers.

While not every building was initially designed to be sustainable, there are an infinite number of strategies a Facility Manager could take to create an eco-friendly facility. Here’s one easier-to-implement strategy that can help significantly reduce waste costs: creating a centralized trash system or composting in your building.

  • Step 1: Determine your current spatial needs, as this is factored into deciding the sizes and locations of the receptacles for trash and recyclables. In a hybrid work setting, it is not enough to count each workstation equally, as not all departments are in on the same day or at the same time. Some departments may need fewer receptacles than others.
  • Step 2: Identify opportunities that allow you to improve the efficiency of the facility team as they no longer have to visit every workstation to check for trash. This will free up time for other opportunities to increase the facility’s cleanliness and reduce the waste of every receptacle needing a bag.
  • Step 3: Survey the existing conditions to be sure the new trash receptacles will fit into the newly identified central locations. Attention to the details of when to install new bins, how to communicate the change to the team, and removal of the individualized receptacles plays a key role in the success of this initiative, and creating a strategy for this is important.
  • Step 4: To make implementation go smoothly, bring key facilities team members and leadership on board early to help achieve awareness and commitment to ensure a positive reaction from the rest of the team. Be sure not to overlook smaller details, such as the potential color of the bins or updated signage that not only identifies the new receptacle purpose but informs the end-user of what items should be placed where. Labeling should include “Recycle,” “Trash,” or “Compost.”

If you’re looking for other green building inspiration, check out the Bank of America Tower in New York City. This building is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, including features such as:

  • Wind turbines, installed on the northern side of the building to capture air flow, offset some of the energy used by the building.
  • Rooftop water systems that capture rainwater for reuse help the building use 45% less water from NYC’s system.
  • A Cogeneration Plant provides about 70% of all the building’s energy needs and is powered by natural gas.

At HF Planners, LLC, sustainability is an essential factor in all of our initiatives. Our expert team assists Facility Managers in implementing various sustainable practices, such as centralized trash and composting, in their facilities. One of the exciting aspects of Facility Management is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. Incorporating more sustainable practices is just one example, and it’s one of the many ways HF Planners, LLC helps clients stay at the forefront of these changes. If you would like to learn more about incorporating sustainable solutions into your space, contact us today.