The healthy building movement is gaining rapid momentum across the globe thanks to many committed and passionate advocates who work hard everyday. We interviewed WELL veteran, Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic, CEO of A SustainAble Production to find out why she’s been with WELL from the beginning and how her involvement as a WELL AP and WELL Faculty has been a powerful catalyst for her career and lifestyle.
1. How did you get involved in the WELL building movement? What personal/professional significance does it have for you?
I was fortunate enough to work on many of the first pilot projects before WELL v1.0 was released. I was a WELL v1.0 Peer Reviewer, one of the first Provisional WELL APs. Since the beginning WELL has immense personal and professional significance to me. It’s been amazing to combine my passion for human health and well-being with my profession and watch my business flourish. I continue to be inspired by the fact that there is a certification to provide healthier places for people. I foresee my career focusing a great deal on this issue for years to come.
2. From a health and wellness perspective, what are some of the most inspiring or exciting trends you’re seeing in the corporate wellness/buildings industry?
It’s been really exciting to see how quickly companies with corporate wellness programs are moving to adopt the WELL Building Standard. The companies I work with are completely changing the way they design, maintain and operate their spaces. They are creating open spaces with natural daylight and views, green walls and gardens, beautiful artwork, intentional staircases, mother’s rooms, relaxation rooms, standing desks, healthy snack options and so much more. Simply, they are focusing on people.
3. What does the future of WELL and the healthy buildings movement look like, from your perspective?
Health and wellness is a personal issue. It affects all of us. People today are so much more aware today of how toxic our buildings can be. Fifty percent of companies already have health and wellness programs and over the next few years, that number is estimated to grow to ninety-nine percent. As a WELL AP, WELL Faculty and CEO of a sustainability consulting business, I see the WELL Building Standard as one of the tools that will help drive adoption of corporate wellness. Much like LEED, I even foresee WELL becoming integrated into our building codes. Who doesn’t want to live, work, learn and play in a healthy space?
4. How do you incorporate wellness into your life and routine? What does wellness mean to you?
What I love about WELL is that it holistically addresses health and wellness. I take the similar approach in my own personal quest for a healthy lifestyle. My kids and I carry a canteen of alkaline filtered water everywhere we go so that we have access to safe water all the time. I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty five years, eat mostly organic food and have raised my two kids as vegetarians. We grow fruits and veggies in garden towers in our backyard. I even led the effort to plant raised garden beds at my kids school because I want them to have access to a natural learning environment. My office and my house are full of windows so that my family and I can access natural daylight, views and fresh air.
I love to swim, do yoga, hike, and box. There is a boxing bag and equipment in our pool house so that I can take a break from daily life and work, to get exercise. I rarely sit at a desk while working and tend to move around to the space I feel most productive in. For me, wellness is about maintaining a lifestyle that keeps my mind, body and spirit aligned and inspired so that I can be the best version of myself.
5. How does the WELL AP support your career goals, and your work as a leader in the healthy buildings movement?
I love being a WELL AP and WELL Faculty. I get to travel around the country speaking about health and wellness and teaching people about the WELL Building Standard. I truly get to do what I love, and love what I do. WELL has revitalized my company in a way I could have never expected. We are growing and working with large national and global portfolios. Getting involved with WELL and the healthy buildings movement has given me the opportunity to do work that aligns with everything I believe in. I am honored to be a part of movement that makes the world a healthier place for people.