Founded in 2004, ABRAFAC, the Brazilian Association of Facilities, celebrated its fifth anniversary last year. The association now represents more than 450 members from across Brazil. ABRAFAC has worked to raise the profile of both those working in the field and the facility management (FM) profession as a whole.
The formal concept of FM began to be used in Brazil around the middle of the 1990s. Although the activity is well established within large organizations and continues to evolve and gain status, FM still remains to be totally understood by local Brazilian organizations.
Brazilian facility managers (fms) have been enthusiastic in the search for both professional and organizational development, and since the 80s (before the formal adoption of the title of FM, many informal support groups came into existence, each aimed at promoting the exchange of experiences, benchmarking, and good practice. Today’s fms are now tasked with working within the additional framework of the organization’s wider environmental and social objectives and are therefore involved in corporate sustainability in its widest sense.
FM is also the subject of formal qualifications, ranging from a variety of introductory operational/vocational courses promoted and supported by ABRAFAC, to a formal MBA at POLI/USP (one of Brazil’s most respected universities), now in its seventh year.
In other international FM news, Stan Mitchell was honored in October 2009 with the BIFM Award for Overall FM Industry Impact. As BIFM Chairman from 2002 to 2004, he played a key role in the restructuring of the Institute during a period of rapid growth and change. He was also a key player in the workshops, discussions, and negotiations that culminated in a series of meetings in Philadelphia in 2005 to establish the Global FM alliance.