The revision of the global standard for energy management isn’t groundbreaking news for most business leaders. Even for those with a particular interest in environmental issues, this isn’t a particularly interesting story – the BSI specifically stated in its announcement that it had not sought to make any specific prescriptions for how much energy organisations should or not use. However, for those involved in facilities management, as well as for those with a wider interest in the economy, the reasons behind the work that the BSI has done should undoubtedly be of interest.
Whatever views you may hold personally on man-made climate change, and how organisations should or should not respond, it is the responsibility of business leaders to prepare their organisations for whatever structural economic changes may be foreseen or transpire. And the environment is one of these factors, no more or less important than the interest rate, inflation or GDP and, of anything, perhaps even more fundamental.
For example, the difference in running costs in a building that must have its air conditioning running through 5 months of the year (as opposed to, say, six weeks) can be equal to the entire site margin in some sectors. In such circumstances the difference in power consumption across an entire estate could have a significant impact on the financial performance of the entire organisation.
However, this type of impact can be alleviated by proper attention to the fit out of design and premises, as well as M&E specification and maintenance. The key to doing so is being able to capture and maintain, and effectively analyse data on maintenance, capex and energy usage – not every organisation is able to do that, but building the capability will prove to be key as organisations already under pressure look to respond in an agile way to the most fundamental changes in the underpinnings of the economy.