In every community across America, businesses large and small have the unique ability to shape discussions around public wellness and influence workplace health programs.
It is not just the health care companies that are responsible for seeking initiatives that improve employee and community wellness; on the contrary, many businesses recognize that it is in their hands and in their best interest to pursue a leadership role in bolstering the health of their customers, their communities and our current and future workforce.
In this spirit, the U.S. Chamber Foundation hosted the first Health Means Business National Summit and Healthy10 Awards in Washington, D.C., bringing together business leaders, local and regional chambers of commerce, thought leaders and entrepreneurs to promote the Health Means Business campaign.
Two of the inspirational speakers at the event, Paul Scialla of Delos and Daniel Lubetzky of KIND, represent companies that are taking innovative steps to explore the critical link between businesses’ bottom lines and health care outcomes, the collective impact that can be achieved when focusing on the health of communities, and the ways businesses can become more competitive and help shape a healthier and more prosperous future, even outside the walls of their own workplaces.
Paul Scialla, Delos Founder and CEO
Paul Scialla is the mastermind behind Delos, a company focused on human sustainability that is aiming to transform our homes, offices, schools and other indoor environments by placing health and wellness at the center of design and construction decisions.
Scialla compared Delos to LEED in that Delos is also changing the way Americans think about how buildings are planned and constructed. Scialla explained that “90 percent of our lives are spent indoors, so any room that you are in has a dramatic and immediate effect on your health, body and mind, which affects your sleep and productivity.”
Delos brings architects, scientists, doctors and wellness thought leaders together to introduce wellness standards, programs and solutions into the working environment. It is the company’s goal to identify how businesses through architecture and design decisions can best address the wellness problems that many Americans face which is poor health conditions and productivity in the workplace.
By exploring the intersection between people and the built environment, Delos “creates spaces that actively contribute to human health, performance and well-being by marrying the best innovations in technology, health, science, design and enterprise,” the company says.
Scialla noted that “Chronically, there has been a lack of engagement – in fact, only one-seventh of company employees in large corporations take advantage of the corporate wellness programs that employers offer, which can add up to $700 a person per year.”
He continued to say that, “Architecture affects your lifestyle, from the lights in your office to the cafeteria; your sleep and health are affected every day based on the four walls you are enclosed in.” Using the most up to date data and research of environmental health impacts on peoples, Scialla’s goal is that Delos will continue to improve human sustainability through its work.
Daniel Lubetzky, KIND Founder and CEO
Daniel Lubetzky believes that businesses can be more than a platform for making money – indeed, they can be a platform for changing the world. Under his leadership, KIND has become the fastest-growing U.S. snack company, and through the KIND Movement, the company has inspired more than one million kind acts since the company’s inception in 2004. Lubetzky shared at the Summit that KIND is all about using nutritional ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce.
“Our products also have to be delicious, or the consumer will not buy our snacks,” said Lubetzky, “and we must think about our relationship with the costumer and the community as a long term relationship. We are in a social contract with our customers.”
It is his goal to share with the public about the negative effects of sugar on the body and the impact sugar and poor diets will have on future generations. “We have to find a way for society to address this issue sooner,” Lubetzky stated.
It’s with this mindset that Lubetzky announced at the summit that he has pledged $25 million to fund a new public health advocacy group, Feed the Truth. Lubetzky hopes that with this new organization and through KIND, businesses can use science to advocate for the public good, helping ensure that science and nutrition are used to advance public policy around health and wellness.
“If we think about improving the physical nature of human beings as a long term goal, we must increase the credibility of the food industry,” Lubetzky said.