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Industry Insight: Destination Net-Zero


Interview with Jeff Alden, CEO SEE Services

Later this month, leaders from around the globe will convene at COP28. In our second Q&A with Jeff Alden, CEO SEE Services (SEE), we discuss what impact COP28 could have on the facilities sector, and we explore the role facilities providers play in the journey to net-zero.

COP28 commences later this month, what are your hopes for the conference?
COP28 is an important event for the facilities sector, with the need for green infrastructure, stricter regulation, and innovative low-carbon technology all likely to be discussed. I hope the conference will have a positive impact on how facilities management is utilised in the transition to a net-zero future.

What role do you think facilities service providers play in achieving net-zero?
Buildings use 40% of global energy (World Economic Forum) and are therefore a significant contributor to carbon emissions globally. For businesses looking to decarbonise operations their net-zero strategy must address the emissions that are generated by their premises. Due to our detailed understanding of the built environment, facilities providers like SEE are ideally placed to help customers reduce carbon output and operational costs.

What solutions should businesses deploy to reach net-zero?
An effective net-zero property strategy will address many issues, including how an organisation is going to reduce the energy it consumes, while transitioning the necessary remaining consumption to low-carbon sources. At SEE, we conduct site-by-site sustainability surveys to identify the most impactful solutions for each individual location. The solutions we most frequently recommend include quick-wins such as replacing lighting with LED and fabric upgrades to reduce energy wastage, right through to more substantial measures such as onsite energy generation via Solar PV. Our advice will extend beyond the physical assets, considering energy tariffs for example and the organisations EV strategy too.

Why does the EV strategy matter?
The number of people driving electric transportation is growing at a tremendous pace, with nearly 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road. I recommended businesses consider two important factors with regards to EV: One, will they decarbonise their business via an electric fleet and what infrastructure will this require? And two, can EV chargers be utilised to enable business growth by establishing their locations as a destination of choice for EV drivers? At SEE we work collaboratively with customers to develop optimised solutions that suit their strategic needs, alongside the practical considerations for the installation of new infrastructure at a site. For example, electrical supply and carpark layout.

What advice would you give businesses to effectively engage facilities providers in the decarbonisation of their premises?
I would advise all businesses to engage their facilities providers as early as possible in their net-zero journey, using the data and knowledge their service provider has on asset performance, fabric condition, space utilisation and other factors to inform on a net-zero strategy. Working collaboratively with your facilities provider will enable the business to reduce operational costs and ultimately reach destination net-zero.

About SEE Services
For over 40 years SEE Services has delivered facilities management and infrastructure support services to customers across the UK. Recognised for its quality delivery combined with a personal touch, customers trust SEE to ‘Comply, Maintain & Sustain’ their properties. Find out more about SEE Services here.