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New Project On Health, Wellbeing and Productivity Launches

The World Green Building Council has launched a new global campaign on healthy buildings that will cover a range of building types, following last year’s well-received report, Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices.

The project will begin with the retail sector, work on which will be led by UK-GBC, and will be international in scope, ensuring the outputs are relevant for the retail sector globally. Retailers, as well as those who invest in, develop and manage retail property, are increasingly keen to understand the relationship between sustainable store design, the health and wellbeing of staff and customers, and profit.

The project will seek to adapt existing ways of measuring health and wellbeing set out in last year’s report specifically for the retail sector, to help strengthen the business case for sustainable stores, and pilot the metrics in real stores.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications and Interim CEO at the UK Green Building Council, said: “Green buildings must not only meet our planetary needs, but also the needs of people and business. That’s why health, wellbeing and productivity in the property sector is such a key topic – it’s essential for making the business case for green buildings. But it’s now time to go from awareness raising to action, and driving real change on the ground.”

The first sponsors of this new global campaign on health, wellbeing and productivity have been announced. Those sponsors are ARUP, Land Securities, Marks and Spencer, Skanska and Saint-Gobain.

Zoe Young, Property Plan A Project Manager at Marks and Spencer, said: “Post occupancy evaluations of our most sustainable stores have identified increased customer and staff satisfaction. Collaborating with the WorldGBC and UK-GBC on developing retail specific metrics will enable us to further establish the business case for sustainable stores. In support of our Plan A objectives, we want to understand if, in addition to being more resource efficient, sustainable shops can attract more revenue.”

David Richards, Director at Arup, said: “At Arup we design for people, so the health and wellbeing of the building occupants is of primary concern and becomes an integral part of our professional duty. Arup is committed to working with WorldGBC and UK-GBC to expand this research within the commercial and retail sector.”

Staffan Haglind, Green Business Officer at Skanska, said: “We already know that building features affect people. Now it’s time to let these factors inform business decisions. At Skanska we are happy to contribute to the improvement of the health and life of people and at the same time improve tenants’ profitability.”

Pascal Eveillard, Director for Sustainable Construction and Public Affairs at Saint-Gobain, said: “By joining the WorldGBC campaign, Saint-Gobain, who developed its concept of ‘Multi-Comfort’ constructions in 2004, wants to highlight its commitment to comfort and wellbeing in buildings and is willing to contribute with its expertise to accelerate the pace towards more sustainable constructions.”

The Retail Task Group will publish its interim results in mid-2015 and the first schedule of work will be completed by early 2016.

The free Healthy Offices App, available for iPad and Android, was recently launched. It allows users to explore last year’s report in a more interactive format, with new case studies and opinion pieces.

To find the Healthy Offices App, search “Healthy Offices” in the App Store or Google Play.

Further sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Michelle Malanca.

Read the report: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices.