It is clear how much of an issue climate change is having on our environment, and how great human influence on the climate system is, therefore it is important to ensure as a business you are doing all you can to not only reduce the impact on the environment but also prepare for the issues which could be associated with the changing climate.
Within the facilities management industry, the effects of climate change are a hot topic, as it calls into question not only the impact of buildings on the environment but also their resilience to climate change itself and their ability to deal with the issues associated with it.
Climate change is increasing the chance of severe weather conditions such as flash flooding and unpredictable storms which can cause damage to property; as well as changes in the seasonal weather expected. For example, rather than expecting the coldest weather in November and December, we now tend to see it more in February and March. Here we will discuss the impact climate change can have on facilities management, and changes which may need to be considered.
Climate change is altering weather patterns and changing times when we expect certain types of weather, therefore it is important that property managers are aware of this and move their seasonal property checks in accordance with the changing seasons.
Generally, the impact of climate change means temperatures are rising. However, currently we’re still experiencing, especially in the UK, severe cold weather. The change comes, at the moment, in when we experience this the worst. It used to be that the coldest weather and things such as snow and ice would appear around December however due to a shift in the climate, we now tend to see the coldest weather in February/March time with snow having fallen as late as April in recent years.
This change means that property checks which are done in line with specific seasons will need to be altered. For example, the cold weather checks you usually perform around November may be better suited to January or February. However, these can be adjusted based on circumstance. It is important not to neglect seasonal checks later in the season as they are now unpredictable and prolonged so you could be at risk of damages if you don’t perform the relevant tasks in accordance with the weather.
Similarly, the warm weather associated with summer is getting longer. Rather than the hottest months being June and July, the warm weather tends to be seen in August and September time; sometimes stretching as far as October. As with the cold weather checks, you will need to ensure you’re continuing to conduct your property checks associated with the warm weather, well into the autumn months.
Climate change brings with it, unpredictable weather and increases the chance of natural disasters occurring such as flooding. For this reason, it is likely your business may experience an increase in the need for reactive maintenance in order to ensure you can be back up and running as quick as possible.
Whilst climate change is commonly associated with warm weather and rising temperatures, it does cause other severe weather such as mass rainfall and storms. A common occurrence in weather like this is flooding. Flooding can cause a massive amount of damage to your facility, even with the best defences, so it is important to have a team at hand you can help with damage restoration post-flood. It is essential to get your property dried out as soon as possible to minimise damage before having the building decontaminated and ensuring electrical circuits are safe and the building can be fully repaired ready for reuse.
As mentioned, climate change has made for an increase in severe weather such as storms, including tropical storms and high winds. The damage caused by this severe weather can be catastrophic to businesses due to the high volume of rainfall and extreme winds. Getting back up and running after incidents like this is essential so having a team at hand to help can be incredibly beneficial.
On the other end of the spectrum, rising temperatures mean there is an increased risk of drought during hot and dry summers. Whilst this may not seem like a massive issue in the UK, with temperatures continuing to rise, it very well could be. Therefore, it is important to note that water usage is an aspect to be considered; using less water or recycled water is one way to reduce the chance of a drought.
Business Impact on Climate Change
It is all well and good considering the impact climate change can have on your business, but it is also essential that you consider the impact your business is having on climate change. More and more now businesses are making a conscious effort to be more environmentally minded and sustainable therefore it is important to consider how you can do your part as a business owner.
Ensuring your business is energy efficient is one of the first steps you can take to becoming more sustainable; the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment and energy saving identification which applies to UK undertakings which employ at least 250 people or have an annual turnover above 50 million. For smaller companies, ensuring you are energy efficient is equally as important and researching steps which can help reduce your impact on the environment will help with the wider climate change issue.
MSL Property Care Services are available to assist with both reactive and planned maintenance. Offering restoration services for damage caused by severe weather conditions such as floods and storms, MSL Property Care Services can also assist you with your ESOS assessment and provide recommendations based on this assessment. To find out more call us on 0333 1234450.