Wellness and Sustainability in the Workplace

One in three American workers is a Millennial, the descriptor for anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, making Millennials the largest portion of the workforce today1. It follows that attracting and retaining Millennial talent is the top task of HR professionals. So, what are these potential employees looking for? Wellness and sustainability. In fact, 63% of Millennials say it’s important that their values are reflected in their employers, specifically citing wellness programs and sustainability efforts among those values2. This statistic is confirmed in a survey of HR and finance executives, 83% of whom say employee wellness and productivity is their top concern2. Here’s how some companies are integrating wellness and sustainability into their corporate culture.



Zappos, the online retailer, created a pretty standard wellness program for their employees with perks that include gym memberships, marathon reimbursement, and meditation rooms. In addition to this traditional setup, they’ve created something called Wellness Adventures. This takes employees out of the office for about an hour or so to take part in less structured, more fun wellness activities like golf lessons and laser tag. Zappos even coordinated a 3-on-3 basketball game to kick off March Madness. Zappos believes that these less structured, less mandatory wellness efforts are more beneficial to employees because the individuals are making the choice, it’s not being forced upon them.3

Kaiser Permanente

Health care company Kaiser Permanente is not only focused on the health of its clients, but its employees as well. They provide healthy recipes and encourage employees to participate in group fitness challenges. KP also has in-house farmer’s markets in 50 of its facilities across the countries so employees have access to fresh, local produce.3

Red Ventures

Red Ventures, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based marketing company, takes a slightly different approach to wellness. While they offer health and fitness perks like an in-house basketball court, fitness center, and yoga studio, they also give their employees an opportunity for a fun break. Between the bowling alley, putting green, and arcade, there’s space for everyone to have a little fun at work. RV also has frequent happy hours at their rooftop garden and hosts an annual friends and family night, which transforms their headquarters into a carnival. This relaxed atmosphere allows employees to socialize and have some fun in the office environment, which is an important part of overall wellness and wellbeing.3


California-based crowdsourcing company Crowdflower has filled their office with plants, reaping the air purifying and oxygenating effects the plants provide.4

Green walls are a great way to add to the wellness of any workplace by adding quite a few plants without taking up much floor space. Besides the known effect that plants have on happiness, plants also actively purify the air. Harmful VOCs are removed and ozone, the main component of smog, is neutralized. “Plant-filled rooms contain up to 60 percent fewer airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without plants, studies show.”5 These molds and bacteria, which can contribute to allergy symptoms and the spread of illness.


Kaiser Permanente

In addition to their thorough wellness program, Kaiser Permanente also gives employees opportunities to help create a more sustainable world. The company offers bike-to-work reimbursement and commuter spending program to encourage environmentally friendly commuting.


Method is San Fransisco-based company that makes a wide range of home cleaning products. They are committed to not only making their products eco-friendly, but their offices and production as well. Their building is LEED certified and they constantly work on creating the greenest packaging possible for their products.4


Education company Chegg is focused on sustainability efforts both inside and outside of their Silicon Valley offices. Their eco-friendly décor uses recycled, reclaimed, and repurposed materials, including a set of bleachers donated by a high school. Outside the office, they encourage employees to volunteer regularly. The company itself funded reforestation projects every quarter and are responsible for the planting of 5 million trees worldwide.4

Filling an office space with plants is one way to visually express a company’s commitment to sustainability by sending a green message. Sagegreenlife green walls are the best way to do this for a few reasons. First, they are visually impactful. There’s no missing a large vertical garden. Second, they are a more sustainable choice than traditional potted plants. The integrated irrigation system and BiotileTM-based structures use less water and make maintenance a breeze. The vertical design takes up less valuable floor space, making it easier to bring in even more plants. When compared to other vertical gardens, Sagegreenlife walls cause less plant loss and therefore require less plant replacement, saving you money over time.


These wellness and sustainability efforts serve a greater purpose: to make employees happy and comfortable at work in order to increase productivity. Increasing employee productivity, both by increasing output and decreasing absenteeism, is an efficient way to decrease overall spend. Bill Fisher, AIA, LEED AP, a senior project manager at Liberty Property Trust, says, “What we’ve been focusing on in the first 15 years of LEED is energy savings — getting savings of 25 to 30 percent on that $2.50 per square foot. And that’s great. But if you can produce even a 1 to 2 percent savings on the $300 per square foot of the employee expenses, that’s the holy grail.”6

Click here to read about why Sagegreenlife living walls are the best on the market. For more information about why a Sagegreenlife green wall is right for your next project, call our sales manager Zach Smith at 312-234-9655, or click here to send him an email.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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