PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of a life cycle approach in facilities management practices to reduce the carbon footprint of built facilities. A model to holistic life cycle energy and carbon reduction is also proposed.Design/methodology/approachA literature-based discovery approach was applied to collect, analyze and synthesize the results of published case studies from around the globe. The energy use results of 95 published case studies were analyzed to derive conclusions.FindingsA comparison of energy-efficient and conventional facilities revealed that decreasing operating energy may increase the embodied energy components. Additionally, the analysis of 95 commercial buildings indicated that nearly 10 per cent of the total US carbon emissions was influenced by facilities management practices.Research limitations/implicationsThe results were derived from case studies that belonged to various locations across the globe and included facilities constructed with a variety of materials.Practical implicationsThe proposed approach to holistic carbon footprint reduction can guide facility management research and practice to make meaningful contributions to the efforts for creating a sustainable built environment.Originality/valueThis paper quantifies the extent to which a facilities management professional can contribute to the global efforts of reducing carbon emission.
Facilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 7, 2016