Promoting the health and well-being agenda is a key driver to wider sustainability and climate actions: this was the central message of Qatar Sustainability Week’s (QSW) second Focus Day, which launched the WorldGBC's Health and Well-being Framework in Mena.
Organised by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) on November 5, the event held two panel discussions highlighting the ongoing efforts among regional stakeholders to promote the health and well-being agenda in the Mena region.
The Health and Well-being Framework is WorldGBC's global project created to support Green Building Councils (GBC) and their members worldwide, to increase the demand and supply of green buildings.
The project aims to prove the benefit of green, sustainable buildings to people’s health and well-being, to influence demand, and accelerate a sustainable built environment.
The Focus Day commenced with opening remarks from Meshal al-Shamari, director of QGBC, followed by a welcome note by Cristina Gamboa, CEO of WorldGBC.
As part of the opening session, Catriona Brady, head of Better Places for People, provided an overview of the Health and Well-being Framework, and Khaled Bushnaq, chair of the Mena Regional Network, WorldGBC, gave the 'Mena Regional Problem Statement'.
During his opening remarks, al-Shamari said: “Our aim at QGBC is to help everyone work towards building a sustainable future; in this context, we are helping every institution to contribute to a sustainable environment, a healthy lifestyle, and a wise and resource-oriented management, aiming to achieve an enhanced economic productivity. These aims are not isolated but rather support each other in an integrated model, where human health, safety, and happiness work as key components of the sustainable built environment."
Al-Shamari added: “We are witnessing an increased interest in integrating well-being considerations into buildings, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, and thus the importance of the well-being agenda in Qatar is increasing. This agenda is relatively new in comparison to other sustainability topics, so international and regional collaborations are needed to accelerate the application in our buildings and cities. This Focus Day is a starting point for discussion on that front. I would like to thank the WorldGBC and the advisory committee for their efforts in developing the Health Annual Well-being Framework: Together let’s build a sustainable future."
Gamboa said: “Grounded in the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, our bold, new framework redefines the scope of health and well-being in the built environment. In the past, we only considered the health and well-being of the occupiers - or ‘end users’ - of buildings. But this is only part of the picture. We must consider the impacts across the entire value chain.
“Today, our network of Green Building Councils, businesses and collaborators come together to drive this change. Truly sustainable buildings work for everyone, everywhere.”
The panel discussions following the opening sessions featured local and international experts in green building, health and well-being frameworks and sustainability. The first session discussed 'Regional Collaboration' while the second session’s panel was titled 'Regional Examples and Potentials'. Both panel discussions were followed by a Q&A session.
QGBC is a member of Qatar Foundation. For more information about the activities taking place during QSW 2020, one can visit www.qatarsustainabilityweek.com.