5 Ways to Build ESG into Your Strategic Planning – Part 3: Fostering Safe and Inclusive Environments that are People-and-Planet-Friendly
This article is part of our ongoing ESG in Senior Living series. Be sure to read our previous articles “5 Reasons ESG Initiatives Should Be In Your Strategic Plan”, “Part 1: Build Transparency & Accountability”, and “Part 2: Increase Proactive Wellness Interventions“ for additional background and information. This week, we’re focusing on implementing environmental and social programs in conjunction with technology to build and measure healthier working and living environments.
Eco-friendly environments have been shown to produce considerable health and financial benefits such as energy cost savings and tax credits. A Harvard study researching the impact of the indoor built environment on health showed cognitive scores were, “61% higher in green building conditions and 101% higher in enhanced green building conditions.” The study concluded:
“Cognitive function scores were better in green building conditions compared to the Conventional building conditions across nine functional domains, including crisis response, strategy, and focused activity level.”
Implementing environmental and social programs while tracking resident and employee trends with tools like Fynn, will help you build and measure a healthier working and living environment. Here are a few programs to help you get started:
LEED certification – The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is, “the most widely used green building rating system in the world,” and a keystone of ESG initiatives. While many newly constructed communities meet LEED safety standards, existing communities can make changes to become certified and/or recertified according to the LEED v4.1 rating system. Use the interactive Discover LEED Tool to get started.
Promote seniors’ social inclusion – The World Health Organization recognizes, “promoting older people’s inclusion in and contribute to all areas of community life,” as a major contributor to building sustainable, age-friendly communities. Intergenerational programming is mutually beneficial to seniors and younger generations—giving seniors an avenue to continue their involvement in shaping their outside community while younger people can learn from seniors. Find a local intergenerational program near you using Generations United’s program database.
Employee education, wellness, and safety programs – Demonstrating genuine care for the safety and well-being of your employees is critical in today’s competitive and lean labor market. Great Places to Work identifies five key elements to include in your employee wellbeing program: mental and emotional support, sense of purpose, personal development and career growth support, financial satisfaction, and meaningful connections; however, creating a program that works for your organization starts with understanding the specific needs of your employees. A few examples of well-being programs from the top 100 best places to work include offering employees child and elder care support as well as financial education courses.
Here’s how Fynn will help you track and improve your community’s people and planet-friendliness:
- Reducing inefficiencies and redundancies to conserve resources
- Resident and staff behavioral trend analysis to easily understand social and/or environmental conditions impacting residents’ and employees’ emotional well-being, physical and cognitive health, and behaviors
- Third-party integrations with existing HR and employee wellness systems and/or resident programs