If you oversee a budget—whether that budget be of a single department, a small business, or an international corporation—you know that the ideal line item is one that pays for itself. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is just such a line item. Here are seven reasons why budgeting for better air quality makes ‘cents’.
According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, U.S. employers lost $575 billion due to illness or injury in 2019. Let that number really sink in for a second; over half a trillion dollars were lost due to employee health. Employees took 1.5 billion sick days the same year; presumably, many of these days were because of preventable respiratory diseases (or even allergies). Clearly, a corporate focus on indoor air quality could save your organization quite a pretty penny.
A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health “found that increased concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and lower ventilation rates (measured using carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as a proxy) were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy on a series of cognitive tests.” In other words, if the ventilation and filtration is poor in your office, your employees will be thinking less clearly and less quickly. Harvard also notes that elevated carbon dioxide and particulate matter levels are now a common indoor problem.
Why do you think your employees are so reluctant to return to the office? Admittedly, part of the matter is that sweatpants are just so darn comfortable. However, they may also feel that the office is insufficiently protected from airborne disease. According to one survey, 55% of workers said they would quit their jobs if asked to return to the office before they felt safe.
Your customers might be experiencing a similar unease, albeit to a lesser degree. While consumer confidence in brick and mortar is returning, 15% of people still say they never dine-in at a restaurant, and 28% of people could not say they felt comfortable going to a mall.
Investing in active indoor air purification is a way to reassure employees and customers that you are doing all you can to protect these shared spaces.
You’ve likely heard of an ESG (or Environmental Social Governance) rating. This rating is a measure of how likely it is that environmental, social, or governmental issues will negatively impact a company’s long-term success. It is a way to incentivize companies to go green, look out for their employees, and govern themselves responsibly in the long-term—beyond what is directly and immediately profitable.
For this reason, certain investors put their money and their trust in companies with higher ESG ratings. According to Bloomberg, ESG assets are expected to hit $53 billion by 2025.
Health, safety, customer responsibility, labor standards, and risk management are all essential components of any ESG calculation. We believe an investment in IAQ demonstrates attention and care in each of these categories.
Property management companies and property owners take note: According to Dr. Joseph Allen of the aforementioned Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “buildings that are designed and operated to a healthy building standard command effective rents 4 to 8% higher per square foot.” That’s a pretty hefty bonus! (By “healthy building standards”, Dr. Allen is referring to nine areas of focus, four of which relate directly or indirectly to air quality.)
“Our own research on the benefits of ventilation and cognitive function shows that at a cost of $40 per person per year we see benefits to the business on the order of six to seven thousand dollars per person per year [...]when businesses [adopt healthy building strategies] they can see a 10% benefit to the bottom line of the organization[...]buildings that are designed and operated to a healthy building standard command effective rents four to eight percent higher per square foot. So healthy buildings are just good business decisions.”–Dr. Joseph Allen Let's Clear the Air: An OSTP Discussion on COVID and Clean Indoor Air White House Webinar, March 29, 2022.
According to a Whitehouse blog article from March of 2022, “Federal funds and resources are available to support improvements in ventilation, filtration, and clean indoor air – the American Rescue Plan has [allocated] $122 billion for schools and $350 billion for state, local, and Tribal governments, which can support upgrades to their local businesses, nonprofits, community centers, and other commercial and public establishments.”
We are air quality experts, not Treasury Department experts. However, according to a summary of the Treasury Department’s rules regarding the allocation of COVID-19 recovery funds, funds can be acquired by applying through your state or local government. If the government is willing to pay you to put something in the budget which will benefit your company anyway, we can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to give it a try.
Perhaps you have already researched improved ventilation or filtration and found them wanting. Higher-grade filters may mean either pressure drops in your HVAC system or expensive HVAC upgrades. Improved ventilation—while often advisable—may require similarly expensive upgrades, sometimes combined with reduced energy efficiency.
That’s where ActivePure swoops in to save the budget spreadsheet. ActivePure avoids the pressure drops which often accompany high-MERV filters. As a result, the carbon footprint from using ActivePure Technology is significantly lower than that of competitor’s alternatives (which also may benefit the aforementioned ESG rating). ActivePure can also be installed independently of expensive ventilation overhauls.
Purifiers with ActivePure typically end up costing less than $2 per square foot, which is consistently lower than competitors’ alternatives. ActivePure Technology has low filter replacement costs and service costs. Also, most machines are simple enough to install without an electrician, allowing you to use in-house maintenance personnel.
Indoor air quality is an investment which will pay for itself many times over in reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. It also can make your business more attractive to investors and tenants. As a bonus, you may even be able to obtain government assistance to pay for it.
Improving your indoor air quality with ActivePure means this same investment is easy to install, has a low carbon footprint, and will cover more space at a lower cost.
Guess that budget has room for one more line item after all.]
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