Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Woonerf Achieves WELL Equity Rating and Promotes Diversity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-being


Frederick Law Olmsted, an American landscape architect and social activist, made significant contributions to society. He is renowned for his role in designing Central Park in New York City and for his support of the Northern cause during the U.S. Civil War. Olmsted was driven by a profound aspiration to enhance our world.
Olmsted's profound impact and unwavering determination have influenced numerous individuals, including Hiroki Hiramatsu.
Given Olmsted's immense influence on Hiramatsu's career, it is unsurprising that he embarked on the translation of a popular biography of Olmsted into Japanese. The book titled "A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century" by Witold Rybczynski left a lasting impression on Hiramatsu, shaping his perspective on transforming urban environments.
Hiramatsu, as the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Woonerf, has incorporated Olmsted's principles into the core of the firm's philosophy. Woonerf focuses on creating improved spaces and places, drawing inspiration from Olmsted's ideas. The firm provides green building consulting services and promotes sustainable urban landscape principles, assisting clients in enhancing environmental performance, well-being, and public perception of environmental, social, and corporate governance initiatives. Additionally, these efforts yield economic benefits.
Woonerf holds the distinction of being the world's first organization to attain the WELL Equity Rating for its office. This framework enables organizations to take concrete steps toward achieving their goals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility while simultaneously enhancing company culture, employee health, and well-being.
“Disability and inequality are hard to see,” said Hiramatsu, sharing that it can be difficult to determine how to take action on solving such issues–but it is critical to do so.
Woonerf has taken proactive steps to achieve the WELL Equity Rating, leading to significant changes in their survey practices and recruitment strategies. They have implemented various actions to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including establishing support systems, creating restorative spaces, and providing assistance to victims of domestic violence. To ensure ongoing progress, a customized annual survey has been developed. The company has also improved workplace conditions by offering thermal and lighting control and acoustic work zone control, promoting comfort and choice for all employees.
Nobuaki Koyama, the CFO of Woonerf, emphasized the importance of equity in attracting and retaining talent. The company's career page highlights its values, explicitly mentioning the benefits that align with the WELL framework. Additionally, employee statistics are shared, such as the high rate of eligible employees taking parental leave (100%) and the percentage of employees who enjoy hiking (36%).
Rachel Hodgdon, the President and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), commended Woonerf's commitment to DEI and praised the transformative impact of the WELL Equity Rating, as it provides organizations with a clear roadmap for actualizing their promises.
Woonerf not only fulfills their commitments but also strives for continuous improvement. In line with pursuing the WELL feature EB11, which focuses on supporting victims of domestic violence, the company conducted a survey among its staff to gain insights into their experiences. Koyama highlighted the company's desire to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their struggles or concerns, emphasizing that openness and support are fundamental aspects of the company's culture.
"We don't consider the results of that survey as the final goal. Our aim is for employees to feel safe and happy. If anyone encounters any difficulties, we are ready to listen and support them."