Setting Up a Sustainability Initiative in FM with Josh Witte



Fm Evolution: Setting Up a Sustainability Initiative in FM w/ Josh Witte


Shownotes:

(2:56) Introducing Josh Witte

(4:41) What Are You Reading?

(6:44) What Lead Up To This Initiative?

(11:14) Updating Multiple Assets

(14:02) Sustainability Across Regions

(15:42) Electric Vehicles

(18:49) Preventative Maitnenace& The Sustainability Initiative

(22:05) National Vs. Regional Companies

(24:15) Recycling Programs

(32:02) Wrap Up



Links:

Shawn Black

Josh Witte

Dollar Tree Stores


Books:

The British Are Coming

Leviathan Wakes



Quotes:


"We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 25% across our scope on scope to emissions. We've committed to new in-store energy standards and or efficiency standards and also committed to sustainable sourcing and working with our vendor partners across all of our, all of our different markets to make sure that the companies we're working with have a sustainability plan in place are working towards carbon reduction."

(8:17) - Josh Witte


"Build a team to build momentum... have everyone on the same bus driving the same direction."

(10:38) - Shawn Black


"That way you have the ability to push even more aggressive. Those are the big, scary goals as we like to call them in the industry." (10:30) - Josh Witte


"... You know, guys up in the C-suite by saying, 'Hey we got rid of all of our fluorescents, now we're all LE, check, we're done!' You've to look at wholesale recycling and PM programs for those LEDs because they don't last forever. And the technology is continually evolving."

(13:38) - Josh Witte



Fm Evolution: Setting Up a Sustainability Initiative in FM w/ Josh Witte


We love to talk about innovation within the facility maintenance world, but today we want to do something different.

We were lucky to sit down and talk with Josh Witte of Dollartree about their sustainability initiative. Recently their team has made a goal that by 2030 they will reduce their carbon footprint by 25%. By committing to sustainable sources and working with all of their vendors, this plan could set the precedent for some major shifts across the FM world!

This is an ENORMOUS company. How this looks within retail and where they will actually begin are some of the questions on the docket, so let's dive right in!


The Sustainability Revolution


Many companies are taking on this task but depending on location and service, most are in different stages. Josh Witte has been in the FM world for almost 30 years and recently has joined the Dollartree team. From Ross to Samsung to JC Penny to Dollartree, Josh is ready to take on the daunting challenge which is this sustainability initiative.


Prior to the fall of 202, Dollartree had no real plan surrounding its future as a sustainable company. It took a group of activist shareholders coming together with some aggressive demands for it. They ended up pushing the board and executive leadership team to the initiative now being put into place.


With 16,000 stores, the environmental impact is HUGE. Dollartree has zero plans moving forward so truly that interdepartmental committee was formed to tackle ESG. This committee now is creating a report and laying out goals, and setting out clear-cut goals around social governance and sustainability.


We Have Our Goals... Now What?

Creating roadmaps and strategies for attaining those goals is Josh Witte's role. By placing the 10-year plan into action this year, he is finding out this is still a tall order.


First, identify stakeholders. By asking what you need and who you need to get on board you can then tackle the legal, compliance, environmental, HR and communications aspects. Getting your team to share your vision is key.


Next, you go after the low-hanging fruit to generate some credibility and buy-in. A strategy they adopted was to achieve micro-goals that have some tangible benefit.


"That way you have the ability to push even more aggressive. Those are the big, scary goals as we like to call them in the industry." (10:30) - Josh Witte


Updating Multiple Assets


There are a plethora of assets to be worked with on a day-to-day basis within retail. Updating each of those for increased energy efficiency is the question on everyone's mind. Josh explains that continuing to go after that "low-hanging fruit" like the HVAC system and lighting system. The opportunities for savings and efficiencies along with a carbon reduction standpoint make it one of the first issues to tackle.


By using CMs systems to track assets 90- 120 different assets per business unit it lays out where they need to begin. By looking at stores with the largest repair histories and highest repair costs, you can see what the energy market is like in each unit.


It is essential to look at the end goal holistically and not just placing checkmarks.


"... You know, guys up in the C-suite by saying, 'Hey we got rid of all of our fluorescents, now we're all LE, check, we're done!' You've to look at wholesale recycling and PM programs for those LEDs because they don't last forever. And the technology is continually evolving."

(13:38) - Josh Witte


EV and PM in FM

A hot topic is the usage of electric vehicles. Though the technology is not quite there for logistics networking, looking into charging stations at each store location is definitely in the question. This would depend on the region of each store as well. A rural family dollar is less likely to see the benefit outweigh the investment as compared to a Dallas or New York location.


Preventative maintenance will become the backbone to keep back emergency costs and ensure everything run smoothly.


"Especially in HVAC and LED, the efficiencies you gain with properly maintained equipment gives you light-years of, of return on your investment. "

(19:55) - Josh Witte


Dollartree is taking on a daunting and extremely important task. We will be keeping up with all of this and Josh Witte on this 10 year road and are hoping to see other FM's taking note!


Fm Evolution is committed to bringing you the latest news of the FM World, keep up with us each week to hear the current facility maintenance trends, innovations, and advancements. We are excited to see how we can all play a part in the sustainability initiatives taking hold worldwide!


What are you interested in hearing about? Leave us a comment and keep up with us by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

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