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Facilities Management and the Move towards Sustainability: Understanding Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions

Baskar Sundaram

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the urgent need to address climate change, many companies are taking a closer look at their own carbon footprint and seeking ways to reduce their impact on the environment. The majority of Fortune 500 companies have adopted the three scopes of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions measurement as a means to manage and report their emissions:

  • Scope 1 – Emissions from fuel sources that a company directly owns and controls.
  • Scope 2 – Emissions from the purchase of electricity.
  • Scope 3 – Indirect emissions from areas outside of a company’s direct control, such as the supply chain, transportation, and asset portfolios. This is often the largest scope for many industrial sectors.

To align with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015 and encompass both social and environmental aspects of sustainability, companies must take a comprehensive approach to sustainability. While many enterprises have taken steps to measure and reduce their carbon footprint using GHG protocols, there is still room for improvement in measuring their social footprint and generating insights from social footprint data.

Facilities Management Providers: Seizing the Opportunity in the Sustainability Space

Facilities management providers have a unique opportunity to help companies navigate the sustainability space and reduce their environmental impact. By extending the GHG emissions scopes to include a social footprint, facilities management providers can support companies in achieving a holistic approach to sustainability.

Baachu recommends including the following elements in a company’s social scope:

  • Scope 1 – A company’s positive and negative impacts on employees, including workplace diversity, gender pay gaps, accessibility, employee health and well-being, parental leave benefits, and job security.
  • Scope 2 – A company’s positive and negative impacts on contractual and outsourced employees, customers, and supplier diversity programs.
  • Scope 3 – A company’s wider impact on customers, supply chain, community, and other stakeholders, including expanded products and services to underserved markets, welfare policies for suppliers, consideration of consumer well-being in designs, employment opportunities for local communities, sustainable resource exploitation, and impactful CSR initiatives.

Baachu advocates for a comprehensive indexing of enterprises’ social and environmental footprints to help drive sustainability efforts. To achieve the SDGs, it is essential to evolve our measuring standards and bridge the gap between the environment and people aspects of sustainability.

To get started, facilities management providers can begin by offering education and guidance on sustainability and the use of GHG emissions scopes. By taking a consultative approach, facilities management providers can help companies understand their current carbon footprint and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, facilities management providers can offer their expertise and resources to help companies implement sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient buildings, sustainable transportation options, and waste reduction programs.

By taking an active role in driving sustainability efforts, facilities management providers can not only help companies reduce their impact on the environment but also create new business opportunities and stay ahead of industry trends.

If you have questions or would like to discuss developments in the facilities management and sustainability space, reach out to Baskar at baskar@baachu.com. Our team is here to help you make an informed decision and benefit from the expertise of outsourced facilities management services.

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