And facility management is sexy after all! Panel discussion at the TH Nuremberg on a new culture of values in the facility management industry.

There was unanimity on the podium of the business ethics discussion at the TH Nuremberg as part of the gefma Lounge Bavaria-Nuremberg: Facility management will only become attractive and sustainable as an industry if it is managed in a value-oriented manner. Fabíola Fernandez, Co-CEO of the Gegenbauer Group, Peter Engelbrecht, General Manager of the Dorfner Group, Anna Barth, founder of humaQ gGmbH and board member of Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie Bayern e. V., Dr. Isabelle Wrase of ZHAW and Co-President of IFMA Switzerland and Richard Weller, Managing Director of Alpha IC GmbH discussed the topic "Returns and Sustainability. Limits and opportunities of a new value culture in the FM industry". Heying had opened the discussion with the five quite provocative theses of his keynote speech and claimed, among other things, that an industry that always sees itself only as a secondary process, as also manifested in the existing gefma guidelines, cannot appear and act in a valuable and "sexy" manner.

Engelbrecht and Fernandez agreed: "The path to more sustainability and a new culture of values in facility management is not easy, but by repeatedly rejecting inadequate orders to protect our employees, we are setting an example both internally and externally and are slowly emerging from the image of a bending secondary process. Dr. Isabelle Wrase confirmed from a Swiss perspective that the behavior of refusing is slowly becoming the norm. She advocated establishing benchmarking in real estate management with appropriate KPIs for sustainable management. In this way, not only costs would be reflected in annual reports, but the behavior of managers would be put into perspective with a view to greater sustainability. Such an attitude on the part of the industry would also meet the interests of the current young employees who are looking for a meaningful task.

Anna Barth compared FM work with care work, which is also not fairly remunerated, and encouraged a view that focuses on the added value created by a job for society. Richard Weller also referred to this with his statement that sustainability means taking responsibility: "Making a return on investment and acting with the common good in mind can be the successful and sustainable basis of a new culture of values for the FM industry."

All the protagonists unanimously answered an audience question in the affirmative: "Longer-term customer relationships will lead to greater sustainability. Because, for example, in the area of energy management alone, effective changes cannot be realized in two-year contract periods."

The common goal is to sell one's own products and services better, because this benefits the entire chain, said Fabíola Fernandez. She cited her company's "Blue is WOW!" image campaign as a positive example. For Peter Engelbrecht, innovations such as the integration of robotics are also part of this to create more value and more room for maneuver with a higher margin. The head of 11,000 Dorfner employees agreed with Fabíola Fernandez that the industry is on a positive path to a new culture of values, which is definitely accelerated by the topic of ESG.