By Veena Muthusamy, Manager, Corporate Responsibility
As we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Cushman & Wakefield’s leading brand, this Earth Day we’re shaping a new approach to sustainability. We have adopted a broader definition of what it means to be a good steward of built and natural environments by incorporating human wellness principles as well, as we prepare for the next century of success. Given that the average American spends 90% of her or his time indoors, a focus on buildings’ effects on occupant wellness is very important.
So, in 2017, in addition to LEED certification for additional Cushman & Wakefield and client offices, also be prepared to see pursuit of the WELL standard at the new Chicago headquarters and other firm offices. The WELL standard is the first to focus solely on the health and wellness of building occupants. Grounded in years of medical research, the standard provides a framework to “harness the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and well-being.”
WELL identifies seven concepts that go beyond stringent building standards to promote healthy behaviors, including:
AIR— promoting clean air so we can all breathe more easily
WATER— providing high quality water to hydrate the body
NOURISHMENT— ensuring availability of wholesome food
LIGHT— supporting our bodies’ Circadian rhythm
FITNESS— integrating physical activity into everyday life
COMFORT— creating distraction-free work environments
MIND— supporting healthy body = healthy mind
Thoughtfully integrating WELL concepts into work environments will challenge us and our clients to find ways to help employees thrive. As we expand this implementation going forward, we believe the effects will benefit all employees’ lives.
Veena spearheads Cushman & Wakefield’s Corporate Responsibility Program, which was launched in the fall of 2015. She works to integrate sustainability objectives into Cushman & Wakefield’s internal operations, managing the firm’s carbon footprint and publicly benchmarking sustainability goals. During her career she has served as an acting representative on partnerships initiatives with organizations including U.S. Green Building Council, Urban Green, and The Clinton Global Initiative.