Mark Hill, director of strategy and transformation, Sodexo UK & Ireland asks, are we sustainability savvy?

In today's rapidly changing world, sustainability is a topic that concerns not just professionals in the field, but also senior directors and decision-makers across all departments. With UK workers more sustainability savvy, pursuing a net zero office and embracing sustainability can actively drive employee engagement.

Research* we conducted last year revealed 90% of UK private sector workers expect their employer to operate sustainably with their top three sustainability expectations: reduction in plastic usage, responsible energy usage and waste management.

To truly embed sustainability goals and aspirations into the workplace requires more than a commitment to protecting the environment, it requires a transformative vision that encapsulates the whole workplace and the behaviours of those working within it.

Synergy between people, space and sustainability is core to building a future-proof workplace and driving business performance.

Our Vital Spaces workplace solution encompasses smart building technologies, generating data that can help improve comfort, increase energy efficiency and provide a higher level of security.

The use of advanced automation and data analytics can significantly reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation resulting in substantial cost savings, the most efficient resource distribution and carbon footprint reduction.

By using these systems and sensors we are able to accurately measure workplace utilisation, facilitate use of spaces and optimise energy usage.

Smart climate control systems will adjust temperature, humidity, and ventilation based on occupancy patterns and smart lighting makes the best use of natural light and adjusts to promote productivity and a pleasant atmosphere.

A great example within FM services is with dynamic cleaning. Traditional building cleaning takes place based on a fixed schedule based on historical and ‘problem location’ information. Any change from this schedule is reactive e.g. cleaning up an accidental spill. Dynamic cleaning improves productivity by monitoring occupancy patterns, cleanliness of spaces, availability of consumables, using sensors and apps to track room occupancy data and cleanliness in real time then dynamically allocating labour and supplies.

Our smart building solutions not only contribute to our own net zero 2040 target but the sustainability strategies of our clients too. Smart buildings are not just transforming workplaces, they are also leading the way to sustainable living and working environments.