Advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through WELL V2

At IWBI, we recognize that human health is inextricably linked to both the health of our planet and the strength of socioeconomic institutions that support everyday life. The environment can support health by providing fresh air, clean water, healthy food and green spaces for physical activity and social connection. Similarly, systems that promote equal access to education, resources, and economic opportunity can reinforce mental, emotional and social well-being. Thus, strategies that support human health must go hand-in-hand with actions that improve education, reduce inequality, catalyze economic growth, confront climate change and protect our environment.

The WELL Building Standard recognizes these connections by offering a balanced, integrated framework of strategies that, while supporting the health of individuals within buildings, also seek to enable the wider community and surrounding environment to thrive. WELL features that promote clean air and water, daylight and safe materials are side-by-side with those that require organizational transparency, civic engagement, and equal access to health services and education. But to truly establish a world in which people and planet can thrive, we need to join hands with global, cross-sector partners committed to similar goals. That’s why we’re thrilled to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set forward by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted by UN Member States in 2015. The SDGs set 169 specific, measurable targets across a wide range of interdependent social, economic and environmental issues ranging from reducing poverty to tackling climate change. Together, the SDGs form a call to action for countries and institutions around the world to partner toward building an equitable society and flourishing planet.

By mapping WELL v2 features to the 17 SDGs, we sought to highlight the multi-faceted impact of WELL in a global context while identifying further opportunities to evolve WELL into an even more comprehensive framework. The results of our mapping exercise, shared below, reveal that WELL spaces are not just healthy spaces - they are also inclusive, resilient, sustainable, inspirational spaces with impacts reaching far beyond the scale of a single building. Above all, WELL’s alignment with the SDGs reinforces the powerful opportunity we all have as global caretakers to catalyze our built spaces as mechanisms to deliver health and wellness benefits to the individuals within them, the wider community, and our surrounding environment.

N13 Local Food Environment

W01 Fundamental Water Quality
W02 Water Contaminants
W03 Legionella Control
W04 Enhanced Water Quality
W05 Water Quality Consistency
W06 Drinking Water Promotion
W08 Handwashing

N01 Fruits and Vegetables
N03 Refined Ingredients
N04 Food Advertising
N05 Artificial Ingredients
N06 Portion SIzes
N07 Nutrition Education
N08 Mindful Eating
N10 Food Preparation
N12 Food Production
N13 Local Food Environment

L01 Light Exposure and Education
L02 Visual Lighting Design
L03 Circadian Lighting Design
L04 Glare Control
L05 Enhanced Daylight Access
L07 Electric Light Quality
L08 Occupant Control of Lighting Environments

V01 Active Buildings and Communities
V03 Movement Network and Circulation
V04 Active Commuter and Occupant Support
V05 Site Planning and Selection
V06 Physical Activity Opportunities
V07 Active Furnishings
V08 Physical Activity Spaces and Equipment
V11 Physical Activity Promotion

T07 Humidity Control

S01 Sound Mapping
S02 Maximum Noise Levels

X01 Fundamental Material Precautions
X02 Hazardous Material Abatement
X03 Outdoor Structures
X04 Waste Management
X05 In-Place Management
X06 Site Remediation
X07 Pesticide Use
X08 Hazardous Material Reduction
X09 Cleaning Products and Protocol
X10 Volatile Compound Reduction
X11 Long-Term Emission Control
X12 Short-Term Emission Control
X13 Enhanced Material Precaution
X14 Material Transparency

M01 Mental Health Promotion
M02 Access to Nature
M04 Mental Health Education
M05 Stress Support
M06 Restorative Opportunities
M07 Restorative Spaces
M08 Restorative Programming
M09 Enhanced Access to Nature
M11 Sleep Support
M12 Business Travel
M13 Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
M14 Substance Use Education and Services
M15 Opioid Emergency Response Plan

C01 Health and Wellness Awareness
C02 Integrative Design
C04 Enhanced Occupant Survey
C05 Health Services and Benefits
C06 Health Promotion
C07 Community Immunity
C08 New Parent Support
C09 New Mother Support
C10 Family Support
C14 Bathroom Accommodations
C15 Emergency Preparedness
C16 Community Access and Engagement

I05 Green Building Rating Systems