During this year’s celebration to be held under the theme ‘Celebrating our Environment,’ the industry is showcasing what it has been doing over the past years to protect the environment through continuous focus on positive and eco-friendly practices. Believing that the issues of environment protection and natural resource conservation are of global importance, FM professionals are showing the world what they can contribute to lessen the environmental impact of various buildings and structures in an effort to inspire other sectors to follow suit.
Constructing and maintaining buildings and other facilities that conform to ‘green’ practices are essential to safeguard the environment, and many have already made investments along these lines. By the year 2018, the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing grew by an estimated USD 30 trillion (AED 110 trillion) according to the Global Sustainable Investment Review, and that number is set to keep rising due to the high demand. While in the Gulf region, the adoption of green building practices is still at its initial stages.
To integrate green protocols into various facilities, FM experts are taking note of the fundamentals, including green procurement, carbon emissions reduction, pollution prevention, waste and materials management, to name a few, as they become more conscious of the sector’s environmental performance and corporate responsibility. This only shows the imperative role of the FM industry in the global environment movement, which is being further highlighted during the World FM 2020 celebration.
The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA) has been playing a major role in the growth and development of the FM sector across the region over the last 10 years by conducting continuous training programs and implementing key initiatives, especially those related to the environment. Since its creation in 2010, MEFMA has been consistently underscoring the significance of using available technologies and innovations in its networking events, seminars, and forums not only to raise the sector’s global competitiveness and promote capacity development but also to shed light on the FM community’s impact on the environment, communities, and the economy.
To date, MEFMA members now number more than 500, with a growth rate of 20 per cent in its initial member base. Its growing influence in the region is unstoppable. At least 1,000 MEFMA-certified FM professionals have undergone certification training courses to enrich their knowledge and update their skills according to the high MEFMA standards and modern needs, which include the mounting calls for green buildings and facilities. Further, the association is at the forefront of encouraging industry professionals to tackle challenges, share best practices, do business together, and learn through its events across various parts of the region.
One of these events is the annual MEFMA CONFEX, where new ideas are being born every year. CONFEX is an educational hub and a place where participants can network, learn, and take advantage of new business opportunities. As part of its response to the global environment movement, MEFMA is hosting the 2020 edition of CONFEX in Dubai in November under the theme ‘Facility Management Transformation Towards Sustainable Development.’ The event will feature an Opening Ceremony and a Gala Dinner on day one; a conference and exhibition on day two; and FM in Action practical workshop and site visits on day three and four.
As the association is now considered the voice of the regional industry, it is well-positioned to push for the adoption of green practices in maintaining structures of various sizes. MEFMA’s initiatives in this regard are not only significant but are also timely, especially in a region that is putting more and more emphasis on the environment.
World FM Day is an opportunity to showcase the FM’s yearly growth and expansion. In the Middle East, the occasion opens doors enabling facilities managers to display their progress, innovation, commitment, and role in the growth of the regional and global industry.
Ultimately, as managing facilities is all about people and behavioral changes, shifting the industry’s focus towards protecting the environment is not only a step in the right direction but it is also inevitable in the 21st century.