Commercial Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption in the Union. As the number of buildings continues to grow so too will energy consumption will continue to increase. Reduction of energy use in the building sector can reduce carbon emissions and dependence on foreign sources of energy. These targeted reductions rely on actual building performance, not just design.
On 22 January, the European Commission published the Communication on the EU’s 2030 Climate & Energy Framework. The key proposals included in the package are; a binding 40% GHG reduction target by 2030, an EU-wide binding renewable energy target of at least 27% by 2030, establishment of a market stability reserve at the beginning of the next Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) trading period in 2021, creation of a set of key indicators on competitive energy and a new governance system based on national plans for sustainable energy.
Noticeably absent from the communication was any mention of energy efficiency or improved performance in commercial buildings. It is our understanding that the question of how best to deliver the optimal energy savings through 2030 will be addressed later in 2014 which means an EU FM coalition would still have time to organize and shape the plan. The overarching goal is for energy efficiency is to move from ‘passive’ to ‘active’ which must necessarily include more emphasis on building performance and effective facility management.
In creating and maintaining high-performance buildings capable of significantly reducing energy and water use while promoting worker health and safety, a well-trained facility management staff is an essential element. Hiring and training professional facility managers ensures a working knowledge of industry trends, best practices and that building systems continue to perform as intended.
As the European Union continues to drive towards the goals of the Europe 2020 Energy Directive there is an increased emphasis on aligning skills and training with future workforce needs, youth employment and worker mobility. The Build up Skills Initiative and the Youth Skills Initiative are two programs aimed at achieving these ambitious goals.
BUILD UP Skills is a new strategic initiative under the Intelligent Energy Europe to boost continuing education and training of craftsmen and other on-site construction workers and systems installers in the building sector. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of qualified workers across Europe to deliver renovations offering a high energy performance as well as new, nearly zero-energy buildings. The initiative addresses skills in relation to energy efficiency and renewables in all types of buildings. Facility Management must necessarily be part of this conversation.
Similarly, the youth skills initiative which seeks to reduce unemployment and provide training for younger persons which aligns with the employment needs must provide information about FM related fields for young people making career choices. The Coalition can position FM as a quintessential green job capable of delivering high wages, reliable employment, position mobility and a positive impact of building performance.
EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an initiative of the European Commission which first took place in 2006. Today, it is coordinated by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, in close cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy.
EU Sustainable Energy Week showcases activities dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. It is our hope that the EU FM Coalition can play a role in EU sustainable Energy week in 2015 and beyond. Our participation in this important event, which will take the form of a briefing, reception and targeted meetings, will highlight the role of the FM in achieving and optimizing building performance. We believe FM product and service providers, interested in supporting the FM profession, would be inclined to sponsor this event.
March – May 2014 – Allocate Resources, Enlist Coalition Partners
June 2014 – Kick Off Meeting and Strategic Planning Session During EFMC in Berlin
July 2014 – Monthly Conference Calls with Coalition and INTEREL begin
October 2014 – Quarterly Visits to Brussels by Coalition Representatives begin
June 2015- Participation in European Sustainable Energy Week