In episode 105 of Asset Champion, host Mike Petrusky talks with Stephen Ballesty about his experience in asset management and facility management, including his many contributions to the IFMA community. They cover the challenges of the built environment, the importance of the ISO 41000 series of standards, and the future of the industry, while offering specific insights and advice on how to take action on ESG priorities. 

Agenda 

  • Stephen’s professional journey in the industry 
  •  ISO Technical Committee for the 41000 series of FM standards 
  • Role of FM in sustainability, resilience, and adaptability 
  • Future challenges for FMs in managing the built environment 

What you need to know: Facility and maintenance takeaways 

Takeaway 1: The importance of global collaboration for facility management 

International collaboration plays an important role in the field of facility management. Stephen Ballesty emphasized the role of the ISO 41000 series as a tool for organizations to enhance the productivity, sustainability, and livability of their built environment. He highlighted the efforts of the ISO Technical Committee 267, which has been working since 2012 and currently includes 51 participating countries. 

“In addressing the global challenges that we all face. The ISO 41000 series provides us with a framework. A framework within which facilities management can demonstrate themselves as the foremost contributor to a more productive, sustainable, and livable built environment for all. And that is the big picture,” he explained. The standards provide context and a toolbox for facility managers to navigate issues ranging from climate change to the circular economy, he added. 

Takeaway 2: Facility management needs approaches that are integrated and sustainable 

Ballesty explained the need to transition from siloed to integrated approaches in facility management, pointing out the importance of holistic thinking and collective responsibility when dealing with the built environment. He also emphasized that sustainability has become a standard practice in the field, with resilience as the current response to global challenges. 

“My advice to your listeners, without borrowing too heavily from Nike because they’ve already used ‘Just do it,’ I would say two things. One is just do something. So don’t wait for what others are doing. There is a lot of good work that can be done, and not only in sustainability, resilience, and adaptability,” Ballesty said.  

“And then the second part of the messaging is, look at integrated approaches. Don’t think in terms of the silos, don’t think in terms of your part of the process. We need to think more holistically as being collectively responsible for managing the built environment. That’s the challenge.” 

Takeaway 3: The role of facility management is evolving in the face of global challenges 

Ballesty highlighted the evolving role of facility management in addressing various global challenges, and stressed the need to prepare for the future, suggesting that adaptability would become the third wave in facility management following sustainability and resilience. He also underscored the value of adopting standards to document and improve organizational practices. 

“If we return to this issue of what are the trends, I think a lot of them are embodied and elevated through ISO standards,” said Ballesty. “And perhaps most importantly in this suite of international FM standards is 4001, our own management system standard, which allows FM organizations to be ISO certified.” 

He concluded: “In addressing the global challenges that we all face, the ISO 41000 series provides us with a framework within which facilities management can demonstrate themselves as the foremost contributor to a more productive, sustainable, and livable built environment for all. And that is the big picture.” 

Asset management insights 

  • Cost reduction remains a key driver in the FM industry, but there is a growing focus on sustainability, resilience, and adaptability. 
  • The ISO 41000 series of FM standards provides a framework for facilities management to contribute to a more productive, sustainable, and livable built environment. 
  • The adoption of these standards has been slow, but they are elevating the role of FM and recognizing the broader agenda of the built environment. 
  • The FM industry needs to prepare for adaptability as the next challenge, following sustainability and resilience. 

Listen to the full podcast here. 

Go deeper. Dive into more episodes of Eptura’s Asset Champion podcasts. 

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Jonathan writes about asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions in his role as a digital content creator at Eptura. He covers trends across industries, including fleet, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality, with a focus on delivering thought leadership with actionable insights. Earlier in his career, he wrote textbooks, edited NPC dialogue for video games, and taught English as a foreign language. He hold a master's degree in journalism.