In light of the recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution declaring "access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal human right" on 28 July 2022, the CAO initiative seeks to put into practice those actions that need to be taken to ensure that workplaces everywhere ensure access to clean, healthy and sustainable environments through the improvement of indoor air quality (IAQ).
On July 28, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution declaring "access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal human right." In parallel, the 2021 publication of updated World Health Organization (WHO) Global Air Quality Guidelines concluded that "...the burden of disease attributable to air pollution is now estimated to be on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking, and air pollution is now recognised as the single biggest environmental threat to human health." The CAO initiative shares the vision of realising universal access to clean, healthy and sustainable environments and is taking its first steps to bring this to life by first tackling indoor air quality (IAQ) at workplaces. The initiative has a long-term vision of forging a global movement to ensure access to clean indoor air everywhere.
Nearly every facet of operating a company has a person in charge – from the HR director who drives the talent strategy to the CEO who provides the overall direction of business operations. Yet, despite the direct impact of air on people's health, wellbeing and productivity, IAQ continues to be treated as an afterthought.
A 2022 survey carried out by Camfil, initiator of the CAO initiative and leading manufacturer of clean air technologies, confirms this showing that 6 in 10 either do not know who is in charge of IAQ at their workplace or their organisation does not have anyone accountable over this invisible issue. Camfil is leading the way having appointed the world's first global CAO to ensure all Camfil locations worldwide have clean indoor air.
"With Chief Airgonomics Officers, we will create healthier and happier workplaces by ensuring accountability is taken by qualified individuals with the authority to make real change happen. That's why I am thrilled that Camfil has its own CAO to ensure that clean indoor air gets the attention it deserves everywhere we operate and also to demonstrate leadership when it comes to creating healthy work environments.
I strongly encourage every organisation to pay attention to the indoor air quality in their premises. By participating in the CAO initiative, your organisation can ensure that the quality of your indoor air is never overlooked again – for the health and wellbeing of your people." Mark Simmons, CEO of Camfil.
With heightened sensitivities around air since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the continuous degradation of air quality caused by pollution, there has never been a more urgent time to address IAQ. By appointing a CAO at the workplace, a concrete solution to tackle an invisible problem, employees will be rest assured that their health and wellbeing is being prioritised and knowing who exactly they can talk to when questions or concerns on indoor air arise. A CAO's mandate goes even further as they will be responsible for improving IAQ in the most sustainable way.
To ensure that CEOs, HR, facilities and operations managers know more about indoor air quality and measures how to improve it, information and support in different forms in this initiative will be provided. A comprehensive training programme will be provided so that CAOs are qualified to take action. This comprehensive CAO Training Programme will comprise of three levels of certification and are targeted at specifically individuals seeking to become their organisation's certified CAO.
To find out more about indoor air quality and start your clean indoor air journey, visit the Chief Airgonomics Officer website.
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About Camfil – initiator of Chief Airgonomics Officer initiative:
As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions headquartered in Sweden, Camfil provides commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and indoor air quality control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimise energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. Visit Camfil at www.camfil.com for more information.