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IWBI initiates year-long WELL healthy buildings global awareness push

March 1, 2023
Newly announced effort seeks to educate and empower IWBI’s global community of advocates and practitioners with a collection of new resources focused on the business case for healthy buildings and healthy organizations.
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The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) this winter announced the launch of a yearlong awareness effort designed to help arm advocates and practitioners alike with resources that show the return on investment and other economic benefits of healthy buildings and healthy organizations.

Coinciding with February's press release announcement of the initiative, IWBI released its comprehensive research review, entitled Investing in Health Pays Back: The Growing Research Behind the Business Case for Healthy Buildings and Healthy Organizations.

The report, now available for download, summarizes major findings from nearly 60 independent studies, including research led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Colorado-Boulder and other institutions.

Rachel Hodgdon, president and CEO of IWBI, commented: “For years, our community has been asking for a definitive resource that articulates the ROI for investing in healthy buildings and organizations. We’ve answered the call with this compilation of nearly 60 peer-reviewed and other leading studies from many of the most reputable research organizations in the world.”

According to a press release, highlights from the report include research that tied higher ventilation rates to an 8% uptick in employee performance. A new peer-reviewed study is also cited, which connected WELL Certification to a 28% improvement in overall satisfaction with the workplace. Numerous case studies, including one that demonstrated a 300% return on investment for workplace wellness programs, are also contained in the report.

“Buildings - the places where each of us spends roughly 90% of our lives - must be at the heart of the solution to foster wellness and deliver positive health outcomes at scale, not to mention the many economic benefits for organizations implementing these science-backed strategies,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States, as quoted in the report.

In addition to the comprehensive research review, IWBI is also providing other supporting resources, including shorter overviews around key topics including the following resources:

  • Strengthen Real Estate Returns, a summary resource that highlights how commercial real estate investments in healthy buildings can drive significant financial benefits.
  • Good for People, Good for Business, another resource that summarizes how strategic investment in health and well-being strategies can enhance business performance and drive higher financial returns.

Jason Hartke, EVP of External Affairs and Advocacy at IWBI and lead author of the research review report, remarked: “Now, with such a robust set of research, the market is rallying around a very profound healthy building axiom - that investing in health pays back. The research literature is unambiguous, showing that these health investments pay back for employees by boosting well-being and productivity, as well as increasing organizations’ bottom lines.”

Over the coming months, IWBI said it will conduct ongoing outreach and engagement to bring these resources to everyone across its global network.

“Now, we’re doing our part to help ensure this information is readily available and accessible for champions around the globe who are working in their communities to advance people-first places,” added IWBI CEO Hodgdon.

As part of the awareness efforts, on March 2, IWBI is hosting its inaugural Investing in Health Pays Back webinar. The virtual event will feature a panel of experts who will further explore the strong connections between health investments and enhanced business performance, increased asset value and higher financial returns.

Learn more about the webinar and register.

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