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Facility Managers Are Key to Shrinking a Building's Carbon Footprint

May 25, 2011
May 2011 Vol. 9 Issue 5

Facility Managers Are Key to Shrinking a Building's Carbon Footprint

For most organizations, carbon footprint reporting is a voluntary effort. Some companies measure their carbon footprints because it matches their values, boosts brand image, or public shareholders request reporting. The task usually falls to a marketing person, compliance officer, or sustainability coordinator, with facility managers merely handing over copies of utility bills. This dynamic misses significant opportunities to reduce an organization's overall carbon emissions. Facility managers work closest with the key building systems and can see the whole picture for the building – understanding everything from the mechanics to occupants. Facility managers are usually focused on keeping operational costs low and this can run counter to supporting environmental sustainability measures that come with a premium. However, keeping your building filled with tenants in an extremely competitive market is critical too. Faced with a choice among buildings, tenants who care about the environment and their own brand image will opt for the more sustainable building. A wise way to achieve both goals is first to increase operational efficiencies and then apply the savings to other sustainability efforts. By getting your carbon footprint on the radar of decision makers and finding upfront ways to fund the effort, you play a critical role in increasing the marketing value of your building.

Read more about calculating your building's carbon footprint …»

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GHGs: Measure, Reduce, Report
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are separated into three categories for accounting purposes. This separation is critical for managing the reporting and calculation of carbon footprints.
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Four Ways to Shrink Your Building's Carbon Footprint
Without you, the building's carbon emissions won't decrease, energy use won't lessen, and promises won't be put into practice. It's up to you to carry out these actions, making them more than just words.
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Carbon Reduction Fundamentals
Strategies for carbon reduction may seem complex to facility managers, but the fundamentals can be summarized by ERMO – Eliminate, Reduce, Mitigate, and Offset. Let's discuss each of the four elements.
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