NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Center for Active Design (CfAD) announces a partnership with the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) benchmark for real estate assets. After only six months in the market, Fitwel has become the leading global health certification system with a unique portfolio-based approach, and with more than 600 projects committed to apply Fitwel through 2018. Fitwel was created as a joint initiative led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration, with CfAD selected as the operator in 2016.
CfAD is the newest GRESB Real Estate Global Partner, joining leading service, solution and data providers to assist GRESB participants in efficiently completing their GRESB Assessments, manage their ESG data and advance their ESG performance, specifically within the Health and Well-being Module. Fitwel offers strategies for developing and maintaining optimum health-promoting environments, which align with GRESB’s criteria for recognition and exemplary achievement in this space.
“The partnership between GRESB and CfAD demonstrates a shared mission for market transformation at the asset and organizational level. We have seen an incredible interest for health & well-being metrics and strategies in commercial real estate and we believe that Fitwel is helping to answer the demand for solutions that create not only more efficient, but also healthier spaces,” said Roxana Isaiu, Director, ESG & Real Estate, GRESB.
Industry-leading companies and early adopters of Fitwel who are prioritizing health and sustainability outcomes for employees and tenants have already begun to see the benefit of this partnership and are leveraging both Fitwel and GRESB to excel in developing and operating healthy workspaces.
GRESB member and Green Star company Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), the first REIT to be named a Fitwel Champion and the first company of any kind to receive Fitwel certifications for its buildings, is applying Fitwel across its portfolio. Alexandria’s five Fitwel three-star ratings—the top rating achievable—contributed toward its recognition as the top-ranked company in the U.S. in the GRESB’s 2017 Health & Well-being Module.
“We promote the health and productivity of our tenants with the highly sustainable environments at our collaborative life science and technology campuses,” said Vincent R. Ciruzzi, chief development officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. “Alexandria has prioritized the health and wellness of our innovative tenants, dedicated employees and trusted construction partners for many years. Health and wellness is central to our mission, and we will continue to pursue cutting-edge healthy building practices and certifications as a key driver of success for the company.”
Kilroy Realty Corporation (NYSE: KRC) just last week announced Fitwel certification across 2.5 million square feet, representing 17% of its stabilized portfolio, and a commitment to continue use of Fitwel across its portfolio. This year, KRC was named the #1 office real estate company in North America in sustainability by GRESB for the fourth year in a row.
“With its solid foundation in scientific research conducted by the CDC and other respected institutions, Fitwel provides us with a clear, verifiable benchmark of how our buildings currently promote healthy outcomes for tenants and employees, and a roadmap for how to make the most impactful health-focused building improvements,” says Sara Neff, senior vice president of sustainability for KRC. “We applaud the Center for Active Design for partnering with GRESB, and we look forward to reporting to GRESB next year that we have the most Fitwel certified space of any private owner in the world.”
“Employees spend an increasing amount of time indoors and the buildings they work in have an impact on their health,” says Jon Douglas, Director of Sustainability, Menkes. Menkes Developments Ltd. a fully integrated real estate company based in Toronto and the first Canadian real estate company to become a Fitwel Champion.
“For Menkes, wellbeing is a priority within our sustainability initiatives, and is why we have launched a new three-year wellbeing initiative called Healthy Spaces. We believe that Healthy Spaces will promote health and wellness throughout our buildings, creating opportunities for occupants to make healthy lifestyle choices. Fitwel as a new evidence-based building certification system will be used as a strategic resource and measuring tool in creating healthier work environments. The partnership of Fitwel and GRESB will assist Menkes to continue our commitment to promote sustainability and prioritize wellbeing to our tenants and occupants.”
“As the operator of Fitwel, we see unparalleled demand for companies wanting to prioritize health across their portfolios. Our valued Fitwel Champions including Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Kilroy Realty Corporation, and Menkes Development Ltd. play an essential advisory role to CfAD on the expansion of Fitwel.” said Joanna Frank, president & CEO, CfAD. “We are delighted to partner with GRESB to continue to advance global market transformation in the real estate industry.”
About Fitwel & the Center for Active Design
Named one of Fast Company's 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good, Fitwel is the premiere global health certification system for optimizing building design and operations. Generated by expert analysis of over 3,000 academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and wellbeing. Fitwel was created as a joint initiative led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention d together with the General Services Administration. The Center for Active Design, an international non-profit that uses design to foster healthy and engaged communities was awarded the exclusive operating license in 2016 with the mandate to expand Fitwel globally to the private sector. Twitter: @active_design + @fitwel