Experts have called for the adoption of Facility Management (FM) standards in the improvement of quality, productivity and financial performance in the real estate value chain.

Real Estate

They said such enhances sustainability and reduces negative environmental impact. “FM standards also aid with maintaining regulatory compliance and providing safe workplaces; optimizing lifecycle and costs and improving resilience and relevance,” according to Global Facility Mananger, Duncan Waddell.

The experts spoke at the 10th Nigerian FM Roundtable organised by Alpha Mead Facilities in commemoration of World FM Day in Lagos, Themed “The Role of Facility Management in Building a Sustainable Africa.” The event attracted experts from all walks of life to deliberate on the way forward for FM and real estate at large in Africa.

In his keynote address, Waddell stated: “Facility managers no longer have the option of practicing sustainability because we think it is a nice thing to do, but it is becoming required. Not exactly by law but by expectations of end-users. FM connects substantially to the sustainability of an organisation because it covers a broad spectrum of activities including economic, environmental and social aspects.

“It is not just about going green; it has an impact financially and social aspects of day-to-day life. With its holistic approach, facilities management will play an important role in managing future requirements.”

On how harnessing ISO standards will help achieve sustainable FM practices, Chairman of the technical committee charged with formulating ISO standards for FM said: “One of the aims of facilities management is to ensure that the support it provides is in line with demands of the organisation’s mission and strategy.

The Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead, Femi Akintunde, highlighted the impact of infrastructure on sustainable living. Upon delineating between the two broad categories of infrastructure: economic and social, he presented an assessment of the current state of infrastructure provision in Nigeria.

This assessment was done by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in collaboration with Alpha Mead Group as part of the NSE’s Infrastructure Scorecard Report and presented to the Federal Minister of Works and Housing in December, 2021. Akintunde identified the seven key priority areas for Nigerians to live sustainably as: education, healthcare, agriculture, electricity, transportation, housing law and security.

On electricity, Akintunde said: “No nation can get proper industrialisation without power. With stable power, production becomes easier and cheaper. We also need to change the model of central power generation, transmission and distribution as it can no longer work for us. What the country needs is alternative sources of power and decentralisation of the system. The current system, which was built over 30 years ago, can no longer serve us as our needs are bigger and the population is larger.

He advocated active power distribution system that divides each state into clusters and have private sector players cater for their electricity needs.

“These firms will determine how they generate their electricity, be it through gas, renewable energy or diesel, and when you factor in stiff competition, power generation and distribution will significantly improve. I know that the government are making strides to decentralize the sector but we need closer attention at this point,’’ Akintunde added.

The event also had a panel session that featured top executives, including the Commercial Director of sustainability firm and net-zero promoters, Sintali Group, Eleni Polychroniadou; General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency, Adenike Adekanbi; President, Nigerian Chapter, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Segun Adebayo; Managing Director, Alpha Mead Development Company, Wale Odufalu and moderated by the Managing Director, Alpha Mead Facilities, Wole Olufore.

Source: Guardian Newspaper