Design and Construction, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Industry Groups Join Forces to Launch Healthy Workplaces Coalition

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association announced the launch of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition, a new coalition of more than 40 national organizations, industry leaders, and trade associations collaborating 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—to benefit the health and well-being of employees, customers, and the public.

Members of this new advocacy coalition launched on Capitol Hill will work together to not only support federal policy promoting healthy workplaces, but also 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 of ISSA.

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, according to the coalition.

Other 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 Corp.; Daikin U.S. Corp.; 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 Corp.; Pritchard Industries; Schneider Electric; Spartan Chemical Co.; Sustainable Investment Group; The IAPMO Group and Trane Technologies.

The coalition’s Steering Committee continues to welcome interested participants and anticipates that membership will expand over the next several months.

“Taking a holistic approach to the well-being of workers and workplaces has never been more urgent. Every individual, industry, and team that has a hand in workplace strategy must work together to create and sustain safe, healthy, inclusive, net-positive spaces that enrich the lives of all stakeholders,” said IFMA President and CEO Don Gilpin. “The more voices we can add to advocate for elevated workplace quality, the stronger our chance to be heard.”

Comments from other industry leaders can be found in the full announcement here.