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New report helps FMs reduce vulnerability to effects of climate change

April 21, 2020
Adapting to Climate Change 2020

Published by IFMA’s Environmental Stewardship, Utilities and Sustainability Community (ESUS) in partnership with the FM Research and Benchmarking Institute and sponsored by BGIS, “Adapting to Climate Change for Facility Management Professionals” is a follow-up to the 2019 report, “Climate Change Fundamentals for Facility Management Professionals.”

A primary goal of this report is to assist facility management professionals in reducing vulnerability to the effects of climate change for the organizations they support. FMs will need to address two aspects of climate change – impacts to the business and reduction of their business’ impacts on the planet. In some cases, these two may overlap, but it is important to look at both aspects since assessments and action plans may differ for each.

“Failing to prepare for environmental extremes can become an expensive and disastrous oversight,” said Kathy Roper, RCFM, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow, author of “Climate Change Fundamentals for Facility Management Professionals” and contributor to the new report. “This new report presents tools and resources for performing climate change risk assessments and developing solid plans for resilience. It also contains specific risk scenarios to help you build focused plans for varying climate change realities.”

Climate change is global. While it is unlikely that any region will escape its effects, some regions may experience more drastic consequences than others. Regions will have differing impacts that require specific adaptations. Preparation for potential climate change impacts is vital to an organization’s adaptation and survivability. “Adapting to Climate Change” helps FMs learn the language and skills associated with risk management and adaptation. A focus is provided on assessing climate risk for a specific property or geography; then providing resources to learn about potential adaptations for the assessed risk.

“Our first report provided FMs with meaningful insight into the impact of climate change on their roles as stewards of the built environment. ‘Adapting to Climate Change’ is a proactive guide to safeguarding facilities against environmental risks,” said Dean Stanberry, CFM, LEED AP O+M, Chair, IFMA Environmental Stewardship, Utilities and Sustainability Community. “We all need to brace for the unprecedented threat that climate change poses to the built environment and our roles as FMs. Be aware and be prepared.”

“Adapting to Climate Change” was cowritten by facility managers and contains information that can be used immediately. The report covers the major topics of risk management, how to conduct a climate change risk assessment, relevant climate change components, mitigation techniques associated with components, factors that impact mitigation, and supplemental resources available to the reader.

“Climate change is an increasing threat to the facilities we manage. It’s vital that we understand how it can affect our properties, how to perform risk assessments and develop plans for resilience,” said Roper. “Climate change concerns almost every aspect of the built environment. We can’t allow it to catch us off guard.”

Released on April 21 in recognition of Earth Day’s 50-year anniversary, “Adapting to Climate Change for Facility Management Professionals” is available as a free download in IFMA’s Knowledge Library at bit.ly/IFMA-ClimateChange2.