IFMA Press release

Leading Building Sector Stakeholders Announce Pact for Skills for Sustainable Facilities

IFMA EMEA, EU.BAC and REHVA Partner to Drive Continuous Improvement of Sustainability Skills and Knowledge Among Building Professionals

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – (July 27, 2023) – Three leading stakeholders in the built environment have come together to launch the Pact for Skills for Sustainable Facilities. IFMA EMEA, EU.BAC and REHVA have long championed the importance of upskilling the existing building workforce and effectively training the next generation of building professionals. Today’s announcement ensures that as the European Union continues to develop a text road map to achieve energy and sustainability goals, training for building operations and maintenance continues to be a priority.

Operations and maintenance account for more than 85 percent of a building’s cost over its useful life. It is during the operational phase of a building’s life cycle when energy savings are achieved and sustained. As demand for built environment efficiency evolves, so too does the skill set required to operate and optimize facilities and the systems that support them.

  • Managing Director of IFMA EMEA Lara Paemen said: “Continuing education has always been important to building sector professionals; but even more so now amid rapidly advancing technologies, elevated focus on occupant well-being and a global urgency to reduce buildings' environmental impact. Knowledge and skills requirements are expanding for all professionals who design, construct, manage and maintain the built environment. Ensuring the industries we represent have the training, resources and workforce necessary to meet increasing demands for sustainable operations takes a collaborative effort between organizations dedicated to achieving the same goals. The IFMA EMEA, EU.BAC and REHVA partnership enables a higher level of support to our professional communities.”
  • President of EU.BAC Hans Smid said: "We are proud to be part of this important initiative. By joining forces with IFMA EMEA and REHVA, we aim to drive the continuous improvement of skills and knowledge in the building sector. Skilled professionals are essential – without them, all the efforts set by the legislation will be useless, as the measures will not be implemented at the national level. We look forward to working with the European Institutions to make sure that there will soon be new policies and funding schemes that will effectively address the shortages of skilled professionals and invest in professional education, attracting new skills to strengthen European competitiveness and growth.”
  • President of REHVA, Cătălin Lungu said: ”As one of the three pilars of the pact for skills, REHVA proudly joins IFMA EMEA and EU.BAC with the primary aim of bringing global attention for a better education and practical knowledge of our built environment professionals. We all, as nations or institutions, have environment quality targets, outside but also inside buildings. Few of them will be accomplished entirely without a highly skilled workforce. Efforts made will be less valuable and difficult to sustain unless part of the EU budget is allocated, in a socially fair manner, for trainings generating required skills for long-term sustainable growth, green and digital transition. REHVA, together with IFMA IMEA and EU.BAC, will endorse any EU or global initiative in this regard.”

The Pact for Skills for Sustainable Facilities will enhance:

  1. Continuous improvement of skills and knowledge: The signatories commit to continuous learning and improving the skills and knowledge of sustainable operations professionals through ongoing education, certification and training.
  2. Awareness about the role of building operations in achieving designs for performance.
  3. Development of Pan-European resources to upskill professionals currently working in the building environment.

Learn about the European Commission’s Pact for Skills, one of the flagship actions of the European Skills Agenda, at

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