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IFMA: Competency #7 – Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

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  • Post last modified:July 4, 2020

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability is one of the eleven competency areas as identified by the International Facility Management Association’s global job task analyses.

What is Environmental stewardship and Sustainability?

Environmental stewardship is a management obligation to reduce the negative impact of human and business practices on the environment. Sustainability is achieved with the creation and use of the built environment that does not harm the natural environment.

Why is Environmental stewardship and Sustainability important?

  • Strong need to reduce and prevent harmful by-products that affect air, ground and water quality.
  • We need to reduce energy consumption and preserve the natural environment.
  • Alternative energy sources should be used where available.

How Environmental stewardship and Sustainability competency helps the Facility Manager

  • Ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
  • Implement a sustainable facility management plan.
  • Monitor, measure and manage sustainable practices.
  • Conduct employee education about sustainable practices.


  1. Reduce the consumption of energy through energy audits and use of energy-saving devices or systems. Track the Energy Use Index (EUI) to ensure progress.
  2. Help establish a waste reduction and recycling program that all employees can use and follow on a regular basis.
  3. Preserve water through water management programs that include waste, drinking, and rain/storm water. Also consider the use of recycled potable water (gray water) for landscaping irrigation.
  4. Understand and work with any wetlands or wildlife issues that may be part of the property being managed.
  5. Specify how biodegradable chemicals and materials need to be used in the exterior maintenance of the facilities in order to protect the natural environment.
  6. Research new technologies that will reduce carbon emissions – particularly with boilers and air conditioners.
  7. Encourage the use of sustainable public transportation.
  8. Decrease the amount of annual plantings and increase indigenous plantings.
  9. Plant fast growing trees to shade the south side of the building.
  10. Work with purchasing department to help vendors and suppliers use sustainable practices. For example, decrease the amount of packaging.
  11. Prepare a list of the green chemicals in your facilities.

The Competency Areas

All the 11 competency areas are:

Image credit: annca from Pixabay

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