Sewell Facilities Management is making long-term plans to achieve a greater positive impact on the environment and society, and improve its sustainability performance.

The business has recently been recognised in the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) 2020 E-Awards, the UK’s only sustainability benchmark in the sector, after putting itself forward for assessment with a view to building on feedback for the future.

Sewell FM was particularly praised for its culture and social value contribution, including partnering with the Mencap charity to offer employment and training to young people with a learning disability.

Audits, interviews and evidence-backed information about Sewell FM’s sustainability and social value endeavours formed part of the benchmark process and the company is now mapping out its aims and plans for the future to make further improvements.

It plans to employ a Sustainability Manager whose sole responsibility will be to improve sustainability across all areas of the business, as well as for Sewell FM’s clients, including working towards zero carbon targets and choosing greener options.

Martin Stead, Managing Director of Sewell FM, said: “We’re delighted to be featured in the index as a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), as almost all of the other companies involved are much larger.

“We wanted a benchmark to see where we are with sustainability and how we can improve, and we want to be accountable because it is such an important issue.

“We were assessed on 23 different factors and recognise we have a long journey ahead, but we have great ambitions to move up the scale alongside some of the bigger market leaders.”

Sewell FM is also looking at improvements around energy monitoring for the business and its clients, including reducing its carbon footprint and using more efficient and effective sustainable products.

Chris Havers, Programme Director at independent sustainability consultancy Acclaro Advisory, which runs the SFMI, said: “Sewell FM has taken the brave decision to compare itself against the larger FM providers with greater resources and who are more experienced in managing a wider range of environmental, social and governance issues within the business.

“During our assessment, we found some welcoming results for a company in the early stages of its sustainability journey.

“Sewell FM already has a responsible business culture that many companies take years to create and nurture, which is a real strength and asset. Its embedded values resonate throughout the organisation and Sewell FM has a real focus on the communities it operates within.

“For an FM provider, this is a good quality given the role that social value is playing in public sector contracts. This inherent social value is a cornerstone of the company culture and should be kept as it develops a more structured approach to managing a wider range of sustainability issues on its journey.”

He added: “The green shoots that have been highlighted show the company has strong ethical foundations and values, which it can use to build its sustainability strategy.”