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Mindful : February 2019
welcoming experience. Interestingly, the signage, the literature, and the prominently displayed certification awards in the new bank serve as cata- lysts for the staff to engage customers about this undertaking to create a healthier environment—in the process raising awareness about how the com- munity may benefit and, if history is any guide, possibly spurring others to follow suit. Jacquelynn Henke, Vice President of Sustainability & Innovation for TD Bank, says that that’s precisely what happened when one of TD’s locations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, became the nation’s first net-zero energ y bank—i.e ., the building ’s 400 solar panels generated more kilo- watt-hours over a year than it used, allowing the company to feed this surplus energ y into the local power grid. “ Within two or three years, probably four blocks away, another bank opened a net-zero energ y store,” Henke says. “So sometimes all it takes is being first in that com- munity, or very close to the first, to help set that leadership path and get others thinking about it and raising the awareness.” At the moment, TD Bank has just one other store—in Princeton, New Jersey—that also earned its WELL stripes, meaning that some 1,300 of its locations across the eastern United States haven’t scored the certification plaque, and in many cases likely never will. But Henke says the bank is tak- ing lessons learned from the Bethesda and Princeton stores and applying them elsewhere, so the WELL pro- gram benefits will nevertheless be spread far and wide as the building- renovations cycle unfolds over the coming years. The drinking water is purified, the air is free of noxious building materials...the tall windows and circadian lighting systems help boost concentration. The WELL program’s Rachel Gutter says that’s precisely the sort of ripple effect that this certification process can create throughout an entire work- force. “ You can’t offer paternity leave and better travel to your employees one building at a time,” she says. “ From an equity standpoint, you have to offer them to all your employees. So while an organization might pilot WELL in one building, if they choose to adhere to those commitments over the long haul, they’re going to have to roll them out on an organization-wide scale.” “ We’re not in the business of selling registrations and certifications,” she adds. “ We’re in the business of trans- forming the market. The beautiful thing is that when you do transform the market, everybody comes along.” There’s No Time Like the Present Before moving to its current head- quarters, ASID partnered with Cornell University and two research firms in hopes of gauging how those WELL-certified digs would affect, among other things, the health, performance, and job satisfaction of its employees. Not surprisingly, the pre- and post-occupancy surveys revealed that the staff appreciated everything from the better air quality and acoustics of the new office (sound levels were cut in half ) to the physical comfort of the ergonomically engi- neered workstations and the emphasis on access to nature. Moreover, the unassigned seating and open-office layout sparked more interactions and collaboration, while one-quarter of PHOTOGRAPHBYVICTORTORRES/STOCKSY 72 mindful February 2019 well-being