NEWS: New Coalition Launches on Capitol Hill to Advance Policy Push for Workplace Health and Safety

  • May 25, 2022

More than 40 national organizations, industry leaders and trade associations join to create the Healthy Workplaces Coalition, which will focus on advocating for healthier and safer buildings

(May 25, 2022—Washington, DC)—The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association announced today 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, 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.

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 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; Mindful Materials; Plastarc; Poppy; PortionPac Chemical Corporation; Pritchard Industries; Schneider Electric; Spartan Chemical Company; 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.

What leaders are saying about the launch of the coalition:

"American Institute of Architects (AIA) remains steadfastly committed to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public,” said AIA 2022 President Daniel S. Hart, FAIA, PE. “The last few years have demonstrated the pressing need for workplaces that are designed to maximize the health of building occupants. AIA looks forward to working with the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to advance common-sense policies that support a built environment where individuals can thrive."

“We are thrilled about the long-anticipated launch of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition – which aims to help businesses and other organizations implement health and safety improvements in workplaces and across the built environment,” said Gary Wheeler, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers. “The American Society of Interior Designers is honored to collaborate with industry partners and other members of the Steering Committee to advocate for policies that benefit not only ASID’s membership of interior designers but all those who work and exist in the built environment. We are eager to continue advancing federal policy that supports businesses in this goal to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their employees and other occupants.”

“ASHRAE’s longstanding commitment to drive health and human comfort in buildings aligns perfectly with the Healthy Workplaces Coalition,” said ASHRAE Executive Vice President Jeff Littleton. “We look forward to leveraging collaboration with the Coalition partners to drive ASHRAE’s vision of a healthy and sustainable built environment for all.”

“The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is proud to be a founding partner of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition,” said Pearce Crosland, Director of Federal Affairs, BOMA International. “As businesses continue their return to office and in-person work, maintaining clean and healthy office spaces is vital in keeping our employees, tenants, and the public safe and healthy. BOMA International looks forward to collaborating with partners across various industries to identify best practices to deliver clean, healthy, and safe spaces for employers and employees alike. The Healthy Workplaces Coalition will serve as a key advocacy group to educate Members of Congress on the importance of providing resources for the commercial real estate industry to achieve these goals. BOMA International is committed to providing the resources necessary for our members across the commercial real estate industry to provide safe and healthy workplaces.”

“The pandemic has unquestionably heightened the world’s focus on indoor environments and how they can positively impact public health,” said Ajay Agrawal, Senior Vice President, Global Services, Healthy Buildings & Chief Strategy Officer, Carrier. “Carrier is proud to join the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to support and raise awareness of federal policy that will benefit workplace health. At Carrier, we aim to inspire confidence as employees return to business and reap the proven long-term benefits on health and cognitive function that a healthier indoor environment supports.”

“The launch of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition is a significant step by IWBI and ISSA to connect industry and policymakers to promote health and wellness in workplaces and buildings,” said Dave Calabrese, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Daikin U.S. Corporation. “An integral part of a good indoor environment is the quality of the air we breathe. Federal and state policies can help make improvements to the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of buildings that directly contribute to a healthier shared indoor environment. As the global leader in indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, Daikin looks forward to advancing these efforts as we work together to support better air quality for all.”

“When it comes to the benefits of providing healthy workplaces, there is no shortage of research, only a shortage of resources,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “The past few years have made it clear that it should be an urgent national priority to advance policies that promote safe and healthy workplaces that allow people to thrive during the pandemic and beyond.”

“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.”

“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 President and CEO of the International Facility Management Association Don Gilpin. “IFMA is proud to join with longtime partners and new associates to advance efforts toward improving the human experience in the built environment. The more voices we can add to advocate for elevated workplace quality, the stronger our chance to be heard.”

“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.”

“Revitalizing downtown communities hit hard by the pandemic depends on getting America’s workers back to the office place – and supporting the mom-and-pop restaurants and stores that serve our central business districts,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable. “Policies that support investments to improve indoor air quality and other healthy building strategies will not only accelerate the return to the workplace, but improve the long-term resiliency of our nation’s built environment.”

“Americans spend 90% of their time indoors and as more of us are going back to the office, the work and mission of the Healthy Workplace Coalition has never been more critical,” said Ben Evans, Federal Legislative Director, U.S. Green Building Council. “USGBC has long advocated for healthier and safer spaces and looks forward to working with the coalition to shine a light on this issue and advocate for solutions.”


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