ATLANTA, GA – China is grappling with a serious air pollution crisis that not only poses a threat to public health, but also could very well be an impediment to China's economic growth. However, the corporate real estate community in China is working diligently to address the issue, according to a new research paper, China: Air Pollution Debate Moves Indoors.
A 2015 survey organized jointly by Honeywell International Inc. and the China Indoor Air Quality Industry Association found that 60 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with indoor air quality, and half also reported health issues among colleagues, friends and family that have been caused by breathing polluted indoor air.
The survey – respondents included more than 2,000 people from 10 cities in China – also found that 35 percent believe that companies should be responsible for monitoring and improving the quality of indoor air in the workplace.
"Building owners and corporations are beginning to take action to improve indoor air quality in offices and other commercial buildings in China," said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President at CoreNet Global.
Corporate real estate teams are finding that addressing indoor air quality often involves three key components:
Honeywell announced in May 2016 that it had purchased a 10-story office building in Shanghai's Zhangjiang High-Tech Park that will house its Asia Pacific regional headquarters and R&D facilities. The renovated facility features its own Honeywell products in a state-of-the-art air cleaning system that includes three different levels: air purification at the entry and recycling processes, and another air filtration process for collaboration or gathering areas.
In another example, Unilever recently renovated its North Asia headquarters, which houses 1,200 workers. As part of the renovation, Unilever put measures in place to ensure good air quality that would be useful both in the short-term – removing dust and potential air contaminants from the renovation – as well as improving indoor air quality on a long-term basis.
It is going to take decades to clean up the outdoor pollution in China, but businesses and property owners can do something about the indoor air quality today. And the challenge creates an opening to create improved conditions globally.
"There is an opportunity here that if China can establish a precedent on how to address its pollution problem then they may be able to export those technologies to other countries such as India and Iran as the recognition picks up there," said Steven McCord, head of research, North China for JLL.
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the world's leading professional association for corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace executives, service providers and economic developers. CoreNet Global's 10,000 members, who include 70% of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally. For more information, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.