EVORA Global partners with Fitwel to drive wellness in the built environment

Over recent years the focus on people-centric places within the built environment has gathered pace, with investors and tenants alike looking for ways to quantify and recognise the impact of buildings on their occupants as well as the wellbeing credentials of these spaces. This has been driven by a variety of factors, not least the growing evidence linking the quality of a building to occupant’s health and increased understanding of how the wider built environment impacts our daily lives.

With this in mind, EVORA launched its new Social Wellbeing service line in June, offering a holistic approach to Social Value and Health & Wellbeing. Having wanted to combine these two people-focused services for some time, EVORA’s new service line will provide best-in-class social value and health and wellbeing services backed by a robust methodology.

EVORA recognises the importance of healthy buildings and the positive impact they can have on their occupants and is therefore excited to announce it has become an official Fitwel Partner. Fitwel is one of the world’s leading certification systems which assess the impact of the buildings in which we live and work on our daily lives and long-term health. It describes itself as “a data driven certification system which aims to optimise buildings to support occupant health and well-being”.

Bringing together well-established best practice in built environment wellbeing and a blend of quantitative and qualitative social value frameworks, such as Fitwel, EVORA will be well positioned in an increasingly sophisticated market which will demand meaningful social and health engagement.

Philippa Gill, Executive Director, said of the partnership:

“We have worked with Fitwel for many years now and we are delighted to be formalising this relationship now.  Fitwel’s approach to data and evidence-based strategies aligns well with EVORA’s approach to impact through information and we look forward to the next stage in our impact-driven evolution together.”

Joanna Frank, President and CEO of CfAD, operator of Fitwel, said of the partnership:

“Our new Fitwel Provider and Fitwel Partner programs are helping further raise awareness of healthy building strategies that ensure increased occupant and tenant satisfaction. By aligning with and promoting Fitwel’s mission, we are thrilled to have such a great partner in EVORA, which is putting health and well-being at the forefront of its commitment to a people-centric approach through the built environment.”

See EVORA’s recent Fitwel work: PATRIZIA achieves Fitwel certification with the support of EVORA | EVORA Global

Walk like an EVORian

The Health & Wellness team have done it again!

May was all about getting into teams and walking as much as we could, for the WALK THIS MAY challenge. We were inspired by the UK national walking month and felt that, after the success of the Race the Thames charity event in January, this would be a great way to get EVORians active, help them unwind, and bring people from different teams and locations together.

There are several benefits we can gain from walking, such as muscle strength, weight loss and circulation improvement. Walking can also massively benefit our mental health, lightening our mood as it releases natural endorphins. A good walk can also help improve our sleep.

We were stunned to receive over 40 volunteers for this challenge, which allowed us to create 8 teams in total. We have to say, EVORians are brilliant at coming up with team names! Some of the favourites include Scrambled Legs, Red Hot Chili Steppers, and my personal favourite, Walky McWalk Face.

Every team did brilliantly, getting their steps in come rain or shine. It was amazing how quickly the teams got into the million steps bracket, putting their best foot forward in racking up the steps.

Huge congratulations go to the winning team ‘Walk like an EVORian’. They absolutely smashed the challenge, coming in at 1,865,784 steps.

We are so proud of everyone, and have had great feedback on how this encouraged colleagues to talk to one another regularly; especially, those of us who don’t usually interact, as we are in different teams with different duties and we are located in several countries. Each team had a private chat on Teams so everyone could write about their walks and share photos, so no one was restricted based on where they are located in the world.

In our team, we had 3 people based in London, one in Edinburgh in Scotland, and one in Berlin. It was wonderful when we shared photos of things we’d seen on our walks, and has definitely made me want to visit Edinburgh and Berlin this year. Everyone agreed that unless walking with a partner or friends, you had to have some form of audio as company and several EVORians shared podcast recommendations, audiobook suggestions and music playlists.

As well as private team chats, there was also one Teams chat for every participant to join in. Our colleagues in more rural parts of the UK wowed us city folk with pictures of rolling green hills and it goes without saying that we had several pictures of dogs and other amazing animals… even a selfie with a herd of cows!

Now that the challenge has ended, we definitely feel like we’ve incorporated walking more into our daily lives, making it more of a habit rather than a chore. Our team will be keeping up the steps, choosing walking over public transport when we can. This might all change in the winter, but with the sun shining and a list of podcasts to get through, for now, we will take it one step at a time.

Why Social Wellbeing?

EVORA Global is delighted to launch its newest Service Line this month: Social Wellbeing.

After months of preparation, we are now able to offer Social Wellbeing services to our clients as we continue to move towards delivering truly comprehensive E, S and G support to the industry.

Social disruption from climate change, inequality and public health are some of the defining issues of our times and the real estate industry plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges by harnessing strategies which protect and enhance all property, people and the planet.

There is a rapidly growing demand for safer, healthier, more equitable, more comfortable, more productive spaces. In turn, assets which deliver social value and enhance local community adaptive capacity, inherently create more resilient investments. EVORA now advises on the integration of social issues into investment strategies, as well as the collection and reporting of social metrics aligned with best practice and or regulatory frameworks.

For some, the language might well raise some eyebrows – what is Social Wellbeing after all?

What is Social Wellbeing?

Social Wellbeing draws on the principles of social impact and health and wellbeing: these factors and increasingly better understand within the market and are emerging as a global awareness and industry leadership seek to make the most impact within their funds around the world. Forward-looking real estate investors now incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into business operations. While human health and wellbeing is an implicit component of ESG, it is now becoming an intentional and increasingly institutionalized focus across the entire real estate industry.

What is Social Impact?

Social impact is broadly defined as the effect of projects or programmes of work on local community stakeholders. This means that social impact is strongly linked to issues of economic outcomes: spending with local businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing local people and supporting those that have difficulties accessing the labour market. Social impact is interested in seeing the positive benefits from living and working in a community that comes into contact with the client’s assets. We focus on delivering locally appropriate outcomes for our clients and the communities that we work in.

What is Health and Wellbeing?

Physical health can be affected directly through toxic exposures and indirectly by the impact of real estate development on human behaviours, such as physical activity and healthy eating. Mental health is also directly influenced by access to daylight, green space, biophilic design, and indirectly by the impact that urban and building design have on wider social interaction and connectivity. The real asset industry also has far-reaching effects across social health through its hiring practices, approach to procurement, site selection and community engagement.

Market leaders are already prioritising occupant experience in their investments and in some cases, health promotion is being incorporated (particularly post pandemic) as part of wider value drivers. More mainstream market participants are aware of these opportunities and are looking for points of entry and engagement.

Uniting Social Impact and Health and Wellbeing

The market is changing rapidly. There was a time when an environmental strategy was a “nice to have” but those days are long gone. Market expectations now mean that businesses can no longer present an ESG Strategy without a comprehensive analysis of the communities that they impact and an understanding of how they can do more to maximise the benefits that their assets deliver. Clearly, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the disciplines of social impact and health and wellbeing.

In short, the Social Wellbeing service line offers our clients support in developing and managing assets that serve the people that work, live and interact with them.

If you would like to speak to one of EVORA’s Social Wellbeing experts, please get in touch to see how we can help.