Corporate Sustainability doesn’t cost the earth


Commercial buildings are by nature just that, commercial. Businesses put profits first. Sustainability used to be seen as a costly PR exercise. Now it is obvious that these practices reduce costs and increase investment. In fact, companies with a high standard of reporting on sustainability attract 85% of the investment in the ASX200.

For hotels, hospitals, universities and other commercial buildings, investing in comprehensive facilities management has become essential.

The commercial sector uses around 21% to 30% of the total potable water use in Australian urban centres. These buildings use more than 3,907 PJ of gross final energy consumption and are responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The problem is dire, but the solution is at hand. “Companies can’t afford to ignore facilities management anymore” says Paul Clayton from NCH Facilities. “The need for sustainable practices has become a commercial reality.”

There are 4 key strategies a facilities management plan needs to address. Reduce water and energy consumption, increase safety and reduce waste.

Unlike households, it takes more than switching off the lights or turning off a dripping tap to overcome these challenges on such a large scale. The solution, it seems, lies in science and technology.

NCH Facilities has recognised this and boast cutting-edge research labs around the world. With over 400 patented products, they lead the way in new product development.

A typical office building HVAC system accounts for 70% of base building energy consumption. Yet a best-in-class cleaning and maintenance program will improve air quality, increase efficiency, prolong your HVACs life and reduce your energy bill.

By taking a biochemical approach to drain maintenance, NCH were able to create a solution that is both curative and preventative. To treat wastewater, they developed their state-of-the-art FreeFlow™ bacteria. Combined with the BioAmp delivery system, it treats odours, sludge build up and high BOD, COD, TSS and FOG. It also reduces waste and energy costs.

Commercial and industrial buildings flush millions of litres of water down the drain each year, and watch their dollars go down with it. NCH Facilities developed solutions to harvest rainwater, condensate and other on-site sources for non-potable uses.

Taking a similar approach to odour control, NCH applied molecular chemistry to create an altered carbon particle that adheres to VOCs. This method not only removes odours but reduces pollutants and improves air quality. Applied on a commercial scale through HVAC systems, it will treat a 10 to 15 tonne system for up to 4 months.

“NCH takes a holistic approach. To be at the forefront of facilities management, our solutions don’t just mask problems, they actually address them. This prevents costly issues occurring down the line” says Mr Clayton.

They take the same science-based approach to maintenance and safety. This allows property management teams to minimise urgent structural problems and potential safety hazards.

To apply all these solutions in the real world takes an approach that is both bespoke and holistic. Highly-experienced staff tailor innovative solutions for each building to protect systems and processes.

Businesses need to recognise that sustainability and maximising profits are one and the same. But also, to see the management of the facility as a whole. By taking advantage of the technological advances in market, facilities managers and engineers can overcome the challenges of water consumption, energy consumption and ageing infrastructure. And it doesn’t cost the earth.