Jones Lang LaSalle, Lend Lease and Skanska are corporate sponsors for the project and the Green Building Councils of Hong Kong, the UK, USA and Colombia are also partners.
Even modest improvements to staff health and productivity can have a dramatic impact on organizational profitability, it said. Studies have found gains in productivity of up to 11% from improved ventilation and up to 23% from improved lighting design. World GBC said that there can also be a significant improvement in employee recruitment and retention as a result of green retrofits.
However, challenges remain in attempting to measure health and productivity outcomes, and attaching financial value to them. The WorldGBC’s project aims to establish a common way of capturing these benefits, and to provide best practice guidance on the type of green building features - such as day-lighting, ventilation and indoor office environments - that enhance them.
Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC, said: “While there is a growing body of research that firmly supports the connections between sustainable buildings and improved health, productivity and learning outcomes of those who occupy them, this evidence is yet to inform investment decisions in the same way as traditional financial metrics. This project aims to identify the metrics that will support investment in greener buildings.”
Claudia Hamm, head of strategic workplace (EMEA) at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Our recent experience has confirmed that when making strategic location decisions, corporate clients are shifting their focus away from space efficiencies and are asking questions about the environmental credentials of the space and how it will support the productivity of their staff.”
Geoff Dutaillis, group head of sustainability at Lend Lease, said: “People are an organisation’s greatest asset and lie at the heart of the broader sustainability challenge, which is to meet our needs for the future, while respecting nature – the very system that supports our existence. As the fight for talent increases, corporate health and wellbeing strategies are increasingly being used as a competitive edge to attract and retain the best people. The spaces we occupy are an integral part of this endeavour.”
Staffan Haglind, green business officer at Skanska, said: “The situation today – where buildings’ impact on human health, wellbeing and performance is usually not taken into consideration – is not good enough. I’m totally convinced that optimising premises from a human perspective will help people as well as organisations to thrive and outperform.”