The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has awarded Cadillac Fairview’s Toronto-Dominion Centre the WELL Health-Safety Rating for all six of its towers, making it one of the largest office complexes in Canada to earn the designation.
Announced in June 2021, the designation complements TD Centre’s sustainability program and commitment to helping improve tenants’ businesses. Cadillac Fairview (CF) hopes to cultivate a workplace community that supports the safety of its tenants and plans to achieve this by investing in infrastructure and facilities, enhancing amenities and implementing new initiatives.
“Over the course of 2020 and 2021 we re-examined our role as an engaged office and mall operator, global investor, supportive employer and most importantly a community member and leader,” said John Sullivan, CF’s president and CEO, in a release regarding the company’s corporate responsibility.
“With our purpose more relevant than ever, we have implemented a forward-looking strategy to drive our priorities as a responsible organization and reaffirm our belief that human connection is core to societal well-being.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management is an evidence-based, third-party-verified rating for both new and existing buildings and facilities focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans. The program empowers business owners and operators to prioritize the health and safety of their building occupants, visitors, stakeholders and the community at large.
How TD Centre reached WELL rating standards
To achieve the health-safety rating, a building must meet operational strategies and protocols that emphasize the health and well-being of its occupants. TD Centre achieved this by implementing the following features and initiatives:
– improved cleaning and sanitation procedures, incorporating safe and effective cleaning products that surpass industry standards;
– introduced strategies to reduce contact with surfaces, such as touchless personal protective equipment (PPE) disposal bins and other hands-free technologies;
– promoted the flu vaccine through a prevention campaign and held appointments for building occupants;
– implemented emergency preparedness programs and health services resources;
– assessed and maintained air treatment systems and water quality management;
– increased stakeholder and building occupant engagement and communication.
TD Centre also engaged a consulting team experienced in wellness and sustainability certifications. The company outlined the steps it took to achieve the rating in its Well Feature Guide.
“Occupant health and well-being have always been central to CF’s corporate responsibility commitment, our Green at Work program, as well as the TD Centre’s Occupant Engagement Program’s focus on wellness,” said Sal Iacono, executive vice president, operations, CF, in a release.
“And now, the Health-Safety Rating will complement the efforts we’ve made to keep our employees safe during this lockdown environment, in addition to reinforcing a sense of confidence and reassurance for building occupants as they return to the workplace.”
Increased worker confidence when returning to workplace
The designation draws from the insights of more than 600 experts worldwide. These individuals form the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19 and consist of public health and government officials, virologists, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals.
The Health-Safety Rating is designed not only to improve workers’ confidence when returning to an adapted work environment post-pandemic, but also to help increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and reduce turnover.
“Caring for our communities has always been a key priority in how we conduct business, and it has only been further amplified throughout the pandemic,” said Landry Biles, general manager, TD Centre, in a release. “In alignment with our purpose of Transforming Communities for a Vibrant Tomorrow, achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating across all six of our towers further exemplifies our commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of everyone who works at TD Centre and comes through our buildings.”
Owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, CF is one of North America’s leading real estate companies in the retail, office, residential and industrial sectors. The company manages more than $36 billion in assets across the Americas and United Kingdom and has plans to expand to Europe and Asia.
CF’s portfolio currently includes 69 properties, including the TD Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Tour Deloitte, CF Carrefour Laval, CF Chinook Centre and CF Pacific Centre.