Advocating For Healthy Workplaces

Categories: ISSA, Regulatory

By John Nothdurft | July 22, 2022 << Back to Articles Advocating For Healthy Workplaces

Since ISSA launched its Healthy and Safe Workplace Tax Credit advocacy campaign two years ago, the association has seen incredible advocacy engagement from the cleaning community. To date, 836 cleaning industry advocates have sent more than 5,000 messages to nearly every member of Congress, urging them to support this legislation. Their voices made clear to Congress the significant role the cleaning industry plays in advancing and maintaining healthy workplaces.

Following are some of the successes that would not have been possible without the advocacy engagement of ISSA members:

  • A version of the Healthy Workplace Tax credit was included in multiple drafts of COVID-19 relief bills in Congress.
  • Members of Congress now know how important the cleaning industry is to their communities and public health.
  • Industry leaders met with more than 65 congressional offices about healthy workplace tax credits at the 2021 and 2022 ISSA Clean Advocacy Summits.
  • View ISSA’s 2021-2022 Advocacy Fund Impact Report to learn about some of the other ways ISSA successfully influenced and impacted legislation and regulations affecting the full spectrum of the cleaning industry.

ISSA has a “seat at the table” and is actively engaged with policymakers on this and other critical issues, such as labor shortages, ingredient disclosure, supply chain challenges, tariff relief, and many others. As we continue to advocate for the cleaning industry, we’ll undoubtedly need the voice of ISSA members. We will continue to keep our members apprised of government affairs related to this coalition and other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry.

Coalition launched on Capitol Hill

On May 25, 2022, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA announced the launch of a formal Healthy Workplaces Coalition. This is a new coalition of nearly 40 national organizations, industry leaders, and trade associations collaborating to support and advance federal policy aimed at helping businesses and organizations better afford and implement health and safety improvements in workplaces and across the built environment—to benefit the health and well-being of employees, customers, and the public.

Members of this new advocacy coalition launched on Capitol Hill will work together to not only support federal policy promoting healthy workplaces, but also raise awareness using a collective voice to help the public, policymakers, and businesses understand the imperative of workplace health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

In addition to IWBI and ISSA, the coalition’s leadership team includes the following steering committee members:

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
  • Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA)
  • Green Seal
  • International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
  • The Real Estate Roundtable (RER)
  • S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

“While COVID-19 increased the public’s attention to the importance of cleaning, air filtration, and hand hygiene, there is now an increased focus and commitment by businesses and buildings to invest in healthy spaces,” says ISSA’s executive director John Barrett. “As more workers head back to physical workplaces, the demand and expectation for clean, healthy, and safe environments will continue to increase. This coalition will help to educate policymakers about the need to support policies to help employers make these essential investments in healthy workplaces.”

Businesses need education and financial assistance to accelerate and deploy proven workplace solutions and strategies to address health threats, such as COVID-19, as well as broader health and safety-related issues of the future. While several relevant policy proposals have emerged, further action is needed to incentivize businesses.

ISSA members who have already joined the Healthy Workplaces Coalition include Arxada, Fellowes Brands, Honeywell, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Poppy, PortionPac Chemical Corporation, Pritchard Industries Inc., SC Johnson Professional, Spartan Chemical Co., and WAXIE Sanitary Supply.

The coalition welcomes interested participants and anticipates that membership will expand over the next several months. Contact ISSA director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft for more information at [email protected].

Why ISSA members are excited about the coalition

“Fellowes is excited to bring 100 years of experience in supporting optimal work environments to this new Healthy Workplaces Coalition,” says Arti W. Lyde, global general manager of air treatment at Fellowes Brands. “We look forward to reinforcing to building management teams the benefits of improved indoor air quality (IAQ) beyond COVID-19 virus reduction and its impact on the public’s personal well-being, operational efficiency, and sustainability.”

“Workers are much more cognizant of the spaces they spend time in than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they want viable evidence that the buildings they use every day for work, school, or care are healthier and use technology that helps to foster their well-being,” says Manish Sharma, vice president and general manager of sustainable buildings at Honeywell. “We look forward to working with the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to further educate, advocate, and support the adoption of federal policy that fosters healthier, more sustainable buildings.”

“Together with other industry leaders, Kimberly-Clark Professional is proud to participate in the Healthy Workplaces Coalition to help advance the health and safety of workplace environments,” says Andy Clement, chief customer officer at Kimberly-Clark Professional. “The coalition’s focus on advocating for healthier and safer buildings for employees, customers, and other building occupants aligns perfectly with our mission to partner with businesses to create exceptional workplaces, helping to make them healthier, safer, and more productive.”

“Poppy is incredibly proud to be part of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition and to contribute the ability to directly detect airborne pathogens and measure the impact of health and safety improvements made in workplaces. This coalition represents the collaborative advocacy required to measure what matters and ensure verifiable safe indoor air for everyone,” says Sam Molyneux, Co-CEO of Poppy.

“We are excited to be a part of this diverse group who have come together to share knowledge and expertise in all facets of the built environment,” said Caryn Stets, chief strategy officer at PortionPac Chemical Corporation. “As a company with 58 years of cleaning education and sustainability experience, we look forward to working to advance policy and awareness for the health and well-being of all building occupants.”

This advocacy project is growing and making an impact. For questions about the Healthy Workplaces Coalition and how to become involved in ISSA advocacy, please contact John Nothdurft.

About the Author.

John Nothdurft is the Director of Government Affairs for ISSA. He can be reached at [email protected].