In spite of all the negatives associated with coronavirus as a disease and global health emergency, it still has some positives, especially its impact on environment, facilities management experts have said.

They note that the virus has greatly improved the environment, as there has been a drastic drop in the level of pollution caused by human activities that negatively affect the environment.

These activities they listed as transportation which has reduced by 80 percent; use of buildings and their facilities which have also reduced by more than 60 percent; power utilization, water use, waste generation and others have reduced significantly due to lockdown and restriction of movement.

The experts spoke during this year’s World Facility Management Day which was hosted virtually in Lagos by the Nigeria chapter of International Facility Management Association (IFMA).

They said that facilities managers, engineers, janitors, security team and IT teams in residential buildings, hospitals, government offices, and public offices should be celebrated for the sacrificial roles they have been playing since the outbreak of the dreaded disease.

“Environments that are not properly managed could lead to building related diseases such as humidification; chemicals and cleaning agents; fumigation and pest control concerns; moist surfaces and dampness in buildings, etc,” explained MKO Balogun, GCEO of Global Property & Facilities International (Global-PFI) Limited.

Balogun who was the Guest Speaker at the virual event with the theme, ‘Celebrating Our Environment’, advised facility managers to focus on building a sustainable environment, adding that they should see need in turning buildings into green, as such buildings have been found to be a better environment than normal ones.

“It is also expected that facilities managers optimize energy and water; reduce all resources that have negative impact on the environment; educate occupants on culture that can positively impact the environment, and automate all touch points,” Balogun advised further.

He noted that “facilities management was a US$1.15 trillion global industry with over 65,000 professional and industry participants across the world; this industry has successfully integrated people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of lives of people and the productivity of the core business.”

Earlier, in her opening remarks, president of the Association, Abimbola Olusegun-Adamolekun, said facilities management practitioners play significant roles in operating and maintaining environments where people work and live. She noted that this is a huge responsibility that they proudly do every day.

According to her, “this special day enables us to reflect on the achievements of the profession. It is expected that this edition of the celebration will enable professionals to coordinate the workplace, people and technology, especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic so that facilities can remain open but free of viruses.”