In an effort to benefit the health and well-being of employees, customers, and the public, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association have launched the Healthy Workplaces Coalition. Made up of more than 40 national organizations, industry leaders, and trade associations, member organizations will collaborate to support and advance federal policy aimed at helping businesses and organizations better afford and implement health and safety improvements in workplaces and across the built environment.
Launched on Capitol Hill, the new advocacy coalition will support federal policy promoting healthy workplaces, and raise awareness using a collective voice to help the public, policymakers, and businesses understand the imperative of workplace health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
In addition to IWBI and ISSA, the coalition’s leadership team includes the following Steering Committee members:
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
- Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA)
- Green Seal
- International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
- The Real Estate Roundtable (RER)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
“For the first time, many of the nation’s most important building organizations and leading businesses are uniting to advocate for workplace health,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of IWBI. “This kind of collaborative advocacy will help drive the level of investment necessary to get us safely back to business now and fortify our workplaces for the future.”
Over the past two years, businesses across the country have struggled to meet new and evolving expectations for safely returning to the workplace. According to a recent Honeywell survey, 72% of office workers worldwide worry about air quality in their workplaces’ buildings. They are concerned about the impact of poor air quality on their well-being and want more information from their employers about actions taken to improve the built environment and support the health and safety of employees and patrons alike.
“While Covid-19 increased the public’s attention to the importance of cleaning, air filtration, and hand hygiene, there is now an increased focus and commitment by businesses and buildings to invest in healthy spaces,” said John Barrett, Executive Director, ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. “As more workers head back to physical workplaces, the demand and expectation for clean, healthy, and safe environments will continue to increase. This coalition will help to educate policymakers about the need to support policies to help employers make these essential investments in healthy workplaces.”
Businesses need education and financial assistance to accelerate and deploy proven workplace solutions and strategies to address health threats such as Covid-19 as well as broader health and safety-related issues of the future. While several relevant policy proposals have emerged, further action is needed to incentivize businesses to create and maintain healthy workplaces.
Members of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition include A SustainAble Production (ASAP); Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); American Hotel & Lodging Association; American Industrial Hygiene Association; Arxada; Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA); Carrier Global Corporation; Daikin U.S. Corporation; Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance; Fellowes Brands; FMI- Food Industry Association; Global Green; Honeywell; Household and Commercial Products Association (HCPA); Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association; Institute for Market Transformation (IMT); Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure; International Codes Council (ICC); International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA); Johnson Controls; Kimberly-Clark Professional; M Moser Associates; Mindful Materials; Plastarc; Poppy; PortionPac Chemical Corporation; Pritchard Industries; Schneider Electric; Spartan Chemical Company; Sustainable Investment Group; The IAPMO Group and Trane Technologies.
“Workers are much more cognizant of the spaces they spend time in then they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they want viable evidence that the buildings they use every day for work, school or care are healthier and use technology that helps to foster their well-being,” said Manish Sharma, vice president and general manager of sustainable buildings, Honeywell. “We look forward to working with the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to further educate, advocate, and support the adoption of federal policy that fosters healthier, more sustainable buildings.”
“We’re proud to join the Healthy Workplaces Coalition at this critical time when employees are returning to their workplaces and students are returning to their schools. Delivering healthier buildings with enhanced indoor quality as well as comfortable, safe, and sustainable environments has been at the heart of our mission at Johnson Controls for 135 years,” said Tyler Smith, Executive Director, Healthy Buildings at Johnson Controls. “It’s important for our coalition members to work together to keep building occupants safe and healthy indoors in the face of evolving health and compliance regulations, but also to empower organizations to commit to more environmentally sustainable projects by delivering solutions that also reduce energy use.”
“Together with other industry leaders, Kimberly-Clark Professional is proud to participate in the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to help advance the health and safety of workplace environments,” said Andy Clement, Chief Customer Officer, Kimberly-Clark Professional. “The coalition’s focus on advocating for healthier and safer buildings for employees, customers, and other building occupants aligns perfectly with our mission to partner with businesses to create Exceptional Workplaces, helping to make them healthier, safer, and more productive.”
The Coalition’s Steering Committee continues to welcome interested participants and anticipates that membership will expand over the next several months.