Why Building Managers Need to Make Sustainability a Priority

It’s time to reevaluate your priorities…


Building managers have to balance their never ending list of daily responsibilities and higher-level, long-term business planning. So typically, sustainability isn’t at the top of their priority list, and many building managers don’t even think about how their business is impacting the environment. Well, times are changing and so is the climate. It’s not only a good idea for building managers to add sustainability to their agenda, it is crucial. In November, world leaders will be meeting in Glasgow to discuss the state of climate change, and where we are in terms of meeting our global sustainability goals. Not only is there growing pressure from world governments, but there is pressure from the public to take action as well. Building managers no longer have the luxury of an “ignorance is bliss” approach to sustainability because tenants, management, and the community are demanding energy efficient facilities and business practices. 


There are many actions that can be taken to make a building operate more sustainably, but one of the most effective ways is to lower the amount of energy it consumes. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and heat is the number one contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 25 percent of all greenhouse gasses produced around the world. If we dive into the data a little deeper, we find that commercial buildings account for 35 percent of the electricity consumed in the U.S, and generate 826 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which accounts for 16 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. 


Many building managers are not only unaware of how much their buildings contribute to climate change, but also how much control they really have over that impact. Right now, taking action and making responsible decisions about managing and using energy is the best thing that building managers can do for their companies and the environment. Building management teams that take steps to lower their energy usage can save loads of money on their energy bills which can instead be put toward the growth of the company. Modern energy management systems will help building managers streamline efficiency so they can spend less time managing things like thermostat settings and more time focused on increasing their bottom line. Meanwhile, as building costs are decreasing and efficiency is increasing, the earth is getting a little greener and less polluted. It’s a win for all.


Imagine living in a world where every single person contributed to the greater good. It may sound like a crazy notion, but it is actually a very simple idea and it starts with individuals like building managers. The key to solving the climate crisis – the key to changing the world – is for individuals to realize that their actions make a difference, and then to do something about it. If you are a building or facility manager and you are reading this right now, your actions will make a difference! So… do something about it.



Adam Paul