In June this year, the SFMI began a collaboration with RICS to help begin a very exciting project that could be used to shape the global debate on how the built environment embeds responsible business practices.

As you can tell, this is no small feat, and the SFMI is excited to be a part of this potentially huge project from the get-go. It also touches on the hugely important topic of giving social value, which is heavily discussed across the FM sector and others.

What is this project? – The Responsible Business Leaders Forum

What is that then? – This forum brought together a group of business leaders to discuss issues that can shape global debate in the role of the property sector (inclusive of all areas of property such as FM) to manage responsible business issues. These issues are far reaching; from climate change, employee development, well-being, giving social value – the list goes on – whilst balancing these responsibilities with the need to turn profits and appease the shareholders. Add in the rapid advances in technology and the risks and opportunities associated with data, automation and AI and you have yourself a fascinating debate of how a responsible business conducts itself in the future.

When was it? – The forum took place in late July at the RICS head office, on Westminster Square.

What next? – We are releasing a document to the members of the forum, and the wider group of interested senior level industry personnel and aim to setup a second forum in the UK to continue the discussion with a wider group. RICS are also aiming to roll out the discussion globally to understand the challenges across different regions of the world, so that we can collect the results and assess learnings that can be had.

These learnings can then be discussed at the WBEF (World Built Environment Forum) in May next year, and by then we shall be closer to the understanding the business case for a global standard of responsible business in property could look like.