Healthy Workplaces Coalition Nearly Doubles in Size, Sets Sight on New Policy Opportunities
The Coalition hosted its inaugural in-person meeting last month in Washington, D.C. to discuss policy opportunities for the year
In May of last year, the Healthy Workplaces Coalition jumped on to the federal policy scene in Washington, D.C., launching with more than 40 organizational members working together to advocate for healthier and safer buildings. Less than a year later, the Coalition has nearly doubled its membership as more and more organizations, industry leaders and trade associations rally around its mission to advance policies that support healthy workplaces.
By educating national policymakers, the Coalition works to shine a light on policy proposals that aim to provide critical federal support to help businesses implement workplace improvements and strategies that can advance the health, safety and well-being of employees and all others inside these facilities. In the past two Congressional sessions, there has been growing momentum for healthy building policy with nearly a dozen bills introduced that seek to incentivize businesses to create and maintain healthy workplaces.
Last month at its most recent Coalition meeting, members gathered to discuss and map out policy opportunities for the year, while also taking time to highlight relevant studies and other reports recently published. It was the Coalition’s first in-person meeting, which was hosted at the headquarters of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), an incredible space that in 2017 became the first project in the world to earn WELL and LEED Platinum certification.
On behalf of the meeting’s host, Lauren Earley, who leads government relations and public affairs at ASID, provided welcoming remarks. “Like all organizations, and of particular interest to our group gathered here today, the pandemic changed the way we work, and ASID, along with most other organizations in this modern world are exploring how to establish policies for continued utilization of our office spaces,” said Earley. “ASID is honored to serve on the Steering Committee of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition – and to host the first in-person meeting – working to raise awareness about the importance of healthy workplaces, ensuring the public, policymakers, and businesses understand that health and safety are critical to doing business now and beyond COVID-19.”
Later in the meeting, Jeff Johnson, Executive Director of Government Affairs at the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), provided an overview of findings from a recent IFMA report, titled Experts Assessment. The report detailed several significant shifts in how organizations are now operating and how it will affect the future of facility management. Duane Desiderio of the Real Estate Roundtable also provided a timely economic outlook into the current commercial real estate market. His presentation helped spur a larger discussion about possible policy implications relevant to the Coalition’s 2023 priorities.
The Coalition created two working groups, one focused on indoor air quality (IAQ) policy opportunities and another focused on identifying executive actions that could help accelerate healthy workplaces.
During the meeting, the Coalition also welcomed the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) as its newest Steering Committee member. The Steering Committee is made up of 12 organizations which help lead the larger coalition. Other Steering Committee members include ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), Green Seal, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), The Real Estate Roundtable (RER), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
In addition to sitting on the Steering Committee, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) serves as the Coalition’s co-secretariat, overseeing the group’s quarterly meetings and ongoing policy activities.
If interested in joining the Coalition, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.