This groundbreaking partnership will increase Fitwel’s impact by more than 2,500 projects globally over the next five years, ensuring evidence-based design and operational strategies are effectively leveraged to impact today’s chronic disease health epidemic.
Toronto, Canada — Yesterday, the Center for Active Design announced a groundbreaking strategic partnership with BOMA Canada and Fitwel. This partnership aligns the strengths of BOMA BEST, the leading Canadian sustainable building certification with Fitwel, the premier health-promoting building certification. Both certification programs represent a cost-effective, high-impact approach to transforming existing buildings.
“BOMA Canada couldn’t be prouder to partner with Fitwel,” said Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO of BOMA Canada. “Our BOMA BEST program is already the world leader in improving the sustainability of existing buildings, so it is a natural fit to partner with Fitwel, given its focus on health promotion in buildings. The fact that both our programs are low-cost, high-impact and high-volume makes this partnership even more promising.”
In only 14 weeks, Fitwel has established itself as the healthy workplace market leader, impacting over 165,000 employees. Fitwel is advancing chronic disease prevention and strengthening health promotion worldwide.
“Fitwel is the world’s leading health-promoting certification system, with over 90 projects submitted for certification and over 600 currently planned projects through 2018 after just four months in the public market,” said Joanna Frank, President & CEO at the Center for Active Design. “We have seen remarkable demand for Fitwel since its public launch in February of this year. We are committed to leveraging the demand for health-promoting environments into a holistic approach that furthers market transformation that was activated by sustainability.”
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “approximately four out of five Canadian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for chronic disease (tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and harmful use of alcohol). By utilizing Fitwel, BOMA Canada is strengthening their healthy workplaces efforts, by contributing to chronic disease prevention in categories such as increasing physical activity, providing healthy food options, reducing morbidity and absenteeism, impacting community health, and supporting social equality for vulnerable populations, among others.
BOMA’s Strategic Partnership with the Center for Active Design began with the development of a crosswalk between Fitwel and BOMA BEST to identify overlapping strategies between the two systems, with expected publication in Fall 2017. Fitwel and BOMA BEST will provide input at the strategic level to align both systems. The BOMA BEST program is Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings in Canada, with more than 2,500 buildings certified in Canada today, and a growing presence in the US. It is a unique program that provides owners and managers with a consistent framework for assessing the environmental performance and management of existing buildings of all types and sizes. According to New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, more than 90% of the one million buildings that exist in NYC today will still exist in 2050, making existing building stock the greatest opportunity to impact employee health and building sustainability.
BOMA Canada will discuss their motivations for selecting Fitwel in a panel presentation moderated by Fitwel Champion Menkes Development Ltd. entitled Transforming Buildings in Canada with Fitwel, at Steelcase Toronto’s WorkLife Center on Monday, June 19th.
BOMA Canada joins global architecture firm Perkins+Will, award-winning, fully-integrated real estate company Menkes Developments Ltd, and global engineering firm Integral Group Inc. to implement Fitwel’s design and operational strategies across Canada. These strategies represent the most advanced scientific understanding of designing environments to have the greatest positive impact on health. Fitwel is proud to partner in Canada with such a high-impact organization, on a strategic partnership that will prove all workplaces can impact health, regardless of budget, size, year built, or postal code.
About BOMA Canada
The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) is a professional organization that represents the ever evolving Canadian commercial real estate industry. With a national membership in excess of 3,000 people, it currently has 3 flagship platforms: BOMA BEST, Canada’s leading environmental assessment and certification program for commercial real estate; a national awards program and BOMEX – an annual conference that brings together the brightest and most connected of Canada’s commercial real estate industry.
Named one of Fast Company’s 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good, Fitwel is the premier system for optimizing building design and operations to improve health and productivity outcomes. 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’s together with the General Services Administration. The Center for Active Design (CfAD), an international non-profit, is the independent operator and third-party certifier of Fitwel. CfAD was awarded the exclusive operating license in 2016 with the mandate to expand Fitwel globally to the private sector. Learn more at fitwel.org and follow Fitwel on twitter: @fitwel.
About the Center for Active Design
The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is the leading international non-profit organization that uses design to foster healthy and engaged communities. CfAD takes a multi-disciplinary approach to translating research into practical design solutions. CfAD guides the creation and implementation of initiatives that respond to unique community priorities and result in measurable outcomes. For more information about CfAD, please visit www.centerforactivedesign.org and follow CfAD on Twitter @active_design.
The FITWEL service marks (word and logos) are owned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the United States. Participation by The Center for Active Design and/or any other organization does not imply endorsement by HHS.
 Public Health Agency of Canada (April 2017). “How Health Are Canadians?” https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/how-healthy-canadians.html