Helen Roxburgh, How Clean Indoor Air Is Becoming China’s Latest Luxury Must-Have – The Guardian March 27th 2018
All the air that enters the Cordis Hongqiao is passed through two levels of filtration and continuously cleaned, while double-glazed windows remain closed to seal the fresh air inside. Pollution monitors are fitted in all 396 guest rooms and TV screens display PM2.5 levels. Air quality inside the rooms is typically around 10 times better than that outside.
“Indoor pollution is a very serious problem and health threat, not just in China but worldwide,” says Sieren Ernst, founder of environmental consultancy Ethics & Environment. “Most people spend 90% of their time indoors, and the exposures that we are getting from that time remain largely unexamined.”
Through the WI Lens
This article not only spotlights a seized opportunity but also, the ascension and importance of wellbeing basics at every juncture of living. In the headline example, the address of in-door air quality is not only a socially valuable concept pillar but also, a (potentially) lucrative one. The piece headlines the newly opened hotel property in Shanghai, (the Cordis Hongqiao- part of the Langham Group): their in-door air is ten times cleaner than the air outside. This highlighted kudos makes it a worthy market differentiator, so long as the expected increase in room prices deliver. How long will they stay distinguished from their competition? For the time it takes them to copy! In polluted cities, the customer selection of venue (from hotels to coffee shops) will start to be influenced by which has the best quality air. To what extent we don’t yet know. A pertinent point to watch is how quickly this market differentiator becomes baseline necessity.
NB The proliferation of growth in the air purification sector ( in 2013 the market was worth 6.9 RMB, expected to have more than doubled to 16.5 RMB by end of 2018) also creates the opportunity for exploitation and equally virulent growth of disingenuous products that may purport to cleanse the air or make one healthier but with no delivery. As with some other wellbeing related products – not all are created equal and some cannot be trusted.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.