Organisations are beginning to realise that long term profitability stems from healthy communities. Research continues to confirm the health benefits of nature and organisations are beginning to realise how important the environment business really is to the organisation and its stakeholders.
This is because organisations will always be entwined with and not separate from the communities in which they operate. Their employees, clients and consumers and broader stakeholder group will always be a focus of the organisation and therefore their health and wellbeing will be also.
The organisation, which exists because humans rely upon it to solve social problems, is continuing to turn to nature to solve problems, because it is beginning to realise how useful nature is at solving problems. Humans are genetically wired to need nature and biophilia research continues to examine the instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems.
Here is some of the research and some of the ways in which organisations have already benefited from helping the environment:
Caring for communities
- Building nature gardens – Playgrounds made from natural materials have been shown to increase children’s mental and physical health.
- Caring for the sick – One ten year study found patients that have a view of trees out of their window healed faster than those that facing a brick wall.
- UK charity Mind found that depression was reduced in 71 per cent of people who spent time walking in woodlands as opposed to a shopping centre.
Strengthening the workforce
- Reducing stress – Stressed workers can reduce mental and physical strain by up to 60% by staring at greenery for 15 minutes, says an expert.
- Increasing productivity – Even a plant in the office has been shown to improve labour productivity. It has been estimated that the healthiest Australian employees are three times more productive at work than their colleagues.
- Increasing creativity – It has been shown that even staring at a green object improves creativity.
- Organisations are solving the urban heat island effect and reducing input costs by increasing tree canopy and greening walls and rooves. The benefits can be found here.