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Breathing Success: The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk

Updated: May 2

We all know breathing clean air is important for people’s and planet’s health. But beside the “ethical” reasons, what are the implications for your business? Is there a concrete return on the top and bottom line? The answer is yes, clean air is fundamental for managing risks related to your business. In this article we’ll analyse which, and how they are strictly related to air quality.

The Impact of Clean Air on the office

Risk of Absences

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: risk of absences

Investing in clean air isn't merely an altruistic endeavour; it's a strategic move to safeguard both employee well-being and production continuity. 

Research consistently shows that poor air quality contributes to health issues such as respiratory ailments and allergies, leading to increased absenteeism among employees. 

By proactively addressing air quality concerns through measures such as ventilation systems and air purification technologies, businesses can reduce absenteeism rates and ensure uninterrupted operations.

Regulatory Compliance Risk

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: Regulatory

Failure to meet regulatory standards can result in costly sanctions, legal disputes, and reputational damage. By investing in air quality improvement initiatives, companies can mitigate the risk of non-compliance and demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility. Conducting regular assessments, implementing corrective actions, and staying abreast of evolving regulations are essential steps in managing this risk effectively.

Productivity Risk

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: Productivity risk

A healthy work environment isn't just a nice-to-have; it directly impacts productivity and employee performance. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to poor air quality can impair cognitive function, leading to decreased concentration, fatigue, and reduced productivity levels. By prioritising air quality improvement measures, such as proper ventilation, filtration systems, and indoor pollutant control, businesses can create an optimal work environment conducive to employee well-being and peak performance.

Reputation Risk

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: reputation risk

Demonstrating a commitment to clean air through tangible investments not only enhances brand perception but also mitigates reputation risk. Transparent reporting on air quality initiatives, engagement with stakeholders, and adherence to sustainability standards are essential elements of building and maintaining a positive corporate reputation.

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: Clean air provides a positive ROI

Let’s get straight to the point. Many businesses are hesitant to invest in air purification services due to perceived cost, but, in fact, clean air is proven to have a positive ROI (Return On Investment). A study conducted by Harvard professors demonstrated that for every dollar spent on improving air quality, businesses can see a return of $6-$14 in higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, and decreased healthcare costs. Clean air can also lead to a reduction in errors and accidents, which can save businesses from expensive insurance claims.

The “other” ROI: avoid the Risks of Inaction

The Impact of Clean Air on Business Risk: we’ve just seen that investing in clean air does have a positive ROI. But there’s more.

There’s another ROI you should quantify: the Risk of Inaction. 

How much would it cost to your company NOT investing in clean air?

Let’s start with some stats

Now, the more intuitive part, as we’ve probably all experienced it. In an average-sized meeting room without adequate ventilation, three people can cause CO2 to reach a level that affects their cognitive function in just 45 minutes. So you might already be experiencing some cognitive losses that lead to economic losses in your company.

We often see the competitive landscape as a chess match. Just sticking to the subject of chess, a new study by researchers at MIT found that even a modest increase in air pollution resulted in a 2.1% increase in the probability that players made mistakes and a 10.8% increase in the magnitude of the mistakes made.

Let’s now consider some facts

  • If your people get sick, your operations will stop

  • Your employees could be currently working with decreased productivity

  • If they feel they work in an unhealthy workplace, absenteeism would increase

  • Pure air quality affects people's mood: low employee morale results in lower engagement and performances

  • Clean air, when deaths from pollution are increasing, could be the new, modern welfare and result in better talent attraction and retention (especially when it comes to younger generations)

It’s clear that your biggest enemy is not the cost of air purification, but the cost you’d incur if you don’t do anything about indoor air pollution.

As environmental awareness continues to grow, integrating Clean Air into risk management strategies will become increasingly critical for businesses across industries. In the pursuit of profitability, clean air isn't just good for people and the planet—it's good for business too.

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