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Rated Office and Factory Spaces Boost Confidence in the Post COVID-19 Environment

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) today announced that Carrier, a global leading provider of heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, and its subsidiary EMSI are the first organizations in China to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. Properties in multiple cities including offices and a factory add to the list of over 500 leading facilities across the world taking proactive measures focused on prevention and preparedness, resilience and recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rating, which is third-party verified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) signifies Carrier/EMSI have prioritized health and safety in managing and operating their offices and manufacturing facilities, instilling trust and confidence among Carrier/EMSI employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Carrier/EMSI are among the initial group of global organizations that enrolled in the WELL Health-Safety Rating program announced by IWBI in early July, 2020. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for new and existing buildings and space types and is focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies.

“WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide organizations in preparing their spaces to effectively address health and safety concerns not only due to COVID-19, but also other infectious diseases, ” said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. “Organizations like Carrier/EMSI are leading the charge to re-instill confidence in the way our spaces are managed and operated, and  this kind of trust empowers the business bottom line.”

Adapted from features in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that focus on facility maintenance and operations, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to maintain facilities that prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders. It also serves as an annual process that supports efforts to promote long-term health and safety.

“Being the first to have achieved WELL Health-Safety Rating in China underlines Carrier’s long- term commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our employees, clients and all other stakeholders,” said Titus Yu, managing director at Carrier North Asia. “The rating aligns Carrier’s focus on promoting healthy indoor environments with IWBI’s internationally recognized standard and can guide us aiming for best practices in our own operations.”  He said the experience to achieve the rating also provides valuable expertise for its newly launched Carrier Healthy Buildings Program through which Carrier works to advance healthier indoor air quality  to clients in critical sectors such as commercial, health care, education, retail and marine transportation.

Carrier/EMSI enrolled their offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a new Carrier factory in Shanghai for WELL Health-Safety Rating. EMSI, a Carrier subsidiary and a green and healthy building consultancy based in China, implemented the rating requirements for both organizations.

“Implementing the WELL Health-Safety Rating for our own facilities provided us an opportunity to familiarize our staff with the knowledge and nuances necessary to achieve the rating,” said Dr. Yi Chun Huang, EMSI general manager. “The award is a testament to our commitment that EMSI follows the world’s leading standard and the best practice when it comes to human health sustainability.”

To achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, Carrier/EMSI submitted documents for review that met feature requirements in the following areas:

  • Cleaning and sanitization procedures that include supporting handwashing in contact-free settings, optimized cleaning practice, and providing hand sanitizer;
  • Emergency preparedness programs, which entail the provision of PPE, and include a comprehensive re-entry plan after emergency events;
  • Health service resources, which promote employee well-being through health screenings, and ensure smoke-free environments;
  • Air and water quality management, which includes the assessment of HVAC risk factors for virus transmission, monitoring indoor air and water quality;
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications, which include promoting health literacy among employees.

“Leadership is demonstrated through practice, and Carrier/EMSI have proven to all organizations in China that WELL Health-Safety Rating is for all types of facilities,”  said Xue Ya, president of IWBI Asia.

Created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

Owners, operators and tenants can pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating for projects independently, seamlessly using the rating as a stepping stone to achievement of WELL Certification, or integrate the rating as a milestone within their WELL Certification or WELL Portfolio journey.

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. . WELL v2 is the most recent version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types, focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health and safety-related issues into the future. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, WELL Portfolio Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Workforce, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

About Carrier
Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. Carrier is part of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Click here for Carrier Healthy Buildings Program.

About EMSI
EMSI is a market leader in providing green and healthy building consulting services to achieve livable, valuable and responsible buildings and communities. Our consulting services cover development life-cycles from corporate standards, design analysis, project management, certification, commissioning, to audits and retrofits. As a global early adopter of IWBI membership and an accredited WELL Performance Testing Organization, EMSI has successfully consulted on many projects in China with WELL Certified space totaling more than eight million square feet  as of August 2020.  Click here for more information.