We have previously emphasized the importance of LEED certification on this blog, as well as the ways that furniture may contribute to materials reuse. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) website recently profiled the international WELL building standard, which focuses on the wellbeing of building occupants by increasing “mindfulness.” For companies, this can mean creating spaces that are beneficial for worker morale and environmental impact.

Both standards have some similarities on the surface. As with LEED, WELL offers varying levels of certification for different projects, from silver to platinum, and the project must meet conditions. These conditions include the furniture used on a site, such as active workstations as well as relaxing spaces for employee comfort, like chairs. Toxic materials in furniture are also discouraged, as are other material safety prevention measures, like resistance to corrosion.

The LEED standard also prioritizes furniture made from specific materials, and encourages users to favor reused materials specifically when earning LEED credits. Working towards the requirements of both standards may help businesses prioritize smart furniture choices, environmental friendliness and their personnel at the same time.

The emphasis on employee mindfulness is part of the USGBC’s plans for its own workers, notes Community Advancement Specialist Cindy Zork in an article for that company’s blog.

“Due to competing deadlines and ever-pressing social, economic, and environmental issues, work is consistently listed as one of the leading causes of stress,” Zork writes. “With impressive advantages such as stress reduction, employees are increasingly encouraged to bring mindfulness practices into the workplace.”

Green office solutions are useful at tackling multiple challenges in the workplace in addition to reducing waste. If planned out in advance, the furniture items businesses acquire will meet all of the requirements it hopes to fulfill and have many net benefits.