Increased focus on sustainability to improve air quality – City Xtra CEO to Facility Managers

Facility Management Professional Yussif Salford, CEO of City Xtra Limited, has disclosed that facility managers (FMs) have a critical role to play in contributing to improving air quality amid the recent air quality report by IQAir, urging them to embrace sustainable practices in their operations in a bid to alleviate the ongoing air quality challenges.

Recent data by IQAir captured Accra as a top spot with a staggering AQI of 238. A situation that is noted as “unhealthy” and has significant health impacts for the general population.

This highlights the ongoing struggle for clean air, particularly in developing cities like Accra, with an average PMP2.5 concentration exceeding the WHO guideline by over seven times.

“FMs can help improve air quality by embracing sustainability in their operations. Efforts should be made to reduce pollution by reducing consumption, particularly of energy generated from fossil fuels, and moving towards renewable energy sources such as solar,” he noted.

Mr. Salford underscored the potential of the report for facility management practice, adding that the impact places more responsibility on facility management professionals.

“In general, it’s a red alert for FMs. It means more stress on HVAC systems. The workplace must be airtight, preventing air exchange with outdoor air. HVAC system would have to be used extensively, resulting in high energy expense, and the adverse environmental impact is imminent.”

He noted that poor air quality affects employee wellness, productivity, culminating in setbacks in the aspirations of the triple bottom-line (social, environment, economic) of businesses.

Mr. Salford further advocates that, given the current situation, FMs, organizations, and the general population must move toward being sustainable in their operations since their activities have a diverse impact on climate change and the overall health of the world and its inhabitants.

“We all owe a duty of responsibility to live and consume in a manner that does not perpetuate resource depletion and deterioration of the ecosystem to compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs for consumption and existence.”

“Sustainable living, business, and governance are no longer a matter of choice but of strategy for survival,” said Yussif Salford, adding, “Organizations must move toward being sustainable since it impacts climate change and the overall health of the world and its inhabitants.”

“Organizations cannot just look at financial outcomes; they need to consider the positive and negative impact on the world,” he stressed.

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