Sunday, October 11, 2009

Report on IFMA WorldWorkplace 2009

As you no doubt noted from my last post, there was no shortage of fun in Orlando. But, we also networked, sat through numerous educational sessions and walked our way through the exhibition floor learning about new products and technologies. Although the event was smaller this year (no surprise there) the content quality that I experienced seemed to have improved over my last visit to WorldWorkplace. Kudos to the IFMA team, volunteers and especially to those who took the time to prepare and present information that FM practitioners need to improve our own quality and outcomes.

As you might suspect renewable energy, LEED, and all other things green were in prominence. It was appropriate then that Andrew Winston, author of Green to Gold present the opening keynote address to set the tone. In some regard this felt a bit like “preaching to the choir” since FM’s are keenly attuned to the issue of environmental responsibility. Still, there were good reminders and insights that may help you make the green case in your workplace. Here are a few attention getters from Andrew:

75% of MBA students believe that Corporate Social Responsibility is a requirement.

Every year China builds the equivalent of 31 Manhattan’s – not one year, every year.

Being “lean” is no longer just smart, it is becoming a necessity as resources are diverted to developing and emerging economies.

The U.S. automobile industry didn’t collapse so much because of the credit crunch as to market forces. Companies like Honda, Nissan and Subaru all grew year over year because they had the right energy efficient products.

Toyota’s Prius is the most successful green product ever (to date).

In another session Dave Alpert focused on recent and developing environmental legislation in California that will directly affect FM’s operating in the state. Assembly Bill (AB) 32 for example requires renewable energy be a part of every development project. Exactly what that means is yet to be determined, but the message is clear. Renewable energy is a key element of California’s forward strategy. AB113, modeled after European Union regulations will require the monitoring and reporting of energy use by large facilities. And in Dave’s and multiple other presentations it is clear that Cap and Trade legislation is now presumed. Some companies are investing in green technologies to lean new projects underway now in anticipation, spending now to create a new revenue stream when Cap and Trade legislation becomes law.

Those are just a few of the many highlights. To those of you who missed the trip we’re sorry you weren’t there and hope to see you next year in Atlanta.

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