Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Issues are now a major concern for all organisations. As facilities managers we manage fuel and power, much of our work needs hazardous substances or chemicals, and we are usually also responsible for the disposal of waste.

Our buildings often incorporate potentially dangerous substances such as lead pipes, asbestos, and silica insulation and lead-based paints all of which need special handling. Our services also present potential hazards to our staff, customers and the general public if not managed and maintained appropriately.

All well and good, but what is it?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.

At a fundamental level, CSR involves going beyond looking solely at how to make the most money, to include a wider commitment to building a better society. This can either be through their actual business practices, or through “extracurricular” activities such as charitable donations, or staff volunteering projects.

Corporate Social Responsibility can make a significant contribution towards sustainability and competitiveness, both in Europe and globally. The European Commission’s definition of CSR is:

A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.”

Whilst another, perhaps more encompassing definition is provided by the World Business Council in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts:

Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large

When considering the role any organisation has to play in terms of the CSR it is useful to think of it in terms of the inputs to the organisation, the operations and the effects they may have and finally the outputs. The diagram below summarises this.

Input, Operations, Output Diagram

Corporate Social Responsibility can make a significant contribution towards sustainability and competitiveness, both in Europe and globally. The European Commission’s definition of CSR is:

A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.

Essentially, CSR means many things to many people. In the broadest of terms it involves ensuring well-being and quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come, by meeting social and environmental as well as economic needs.

 

IWFM (BIFM) Qualifications

This article relates to the following IWFM (BIFM) Qualification Units:

  • IWFM (BIFM) Level 3 in Facilities Management
    • FM3.02 CSR and Sustainability in Facilities Management
  • IWFM (BIFM) Level 4 in Facilities Management
    • FM4.01 Overview of Facilities Management
    • FM4.19 Sustainability and Environmental Issues and their impact on Facilities Management
  • IWFM (BIFM) Level 5 in Facilities Management
    • FM5.01 Facilities Management Developments and Trends
  • IWFM (BIFM) Level 6 in Facilities Management
    • FM6.02 Facilities Management Governance and Risk
    • FM6.11 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Facilities Management
Find out more about IWFM (BIFM) Qualifications