It was a particular pleasure to hold our mid year Client Town Hall recently. It was a relaxed, informal, virtual gathering allowing us to assemble many of our clients from the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program together so we could keep them updated on our activities, projects, research and future roadmap – but more importantly, to hear from our clients themselves. It’s always productive to listen to feedback, to be interactive and to allow for the opportunity to open up new conversations.
World Map- Customers by Country
Joining us from all over the world – from Korea, areas of China, India, UK, Europe, Ireland and North America – our idea was to bring clients together, but also to exchange ideas and learn from each other. One of the most exciting projects we have been working on has been to develop co-marketing opportunities for our clients. This is proving to be a great success and we have plans to expand and introduce the concept to as many clients as possible.
Points of Discussion During the Client Town Hall
- Our guest speakers at our Town Hall, Tamina O’Brien from Rabbit Air and Elise Sabak of Sijo spoke about their experiences with the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. Rabbit Air is a longtime client and it was wonderful to hear Tamina speak of the value that the certification adds to their air cleaners; in a crowded market, she says, the consumer can buy with confidence because of the science-backed certification. Tamina describes how the resources provided by the Program help educate and inform both her company and consumers.
- As one of our newer clients, Sijo, a sustainable and health focused bedding brand, is also benefitting from certification. Their CERTIFIED bedding recently has won a number of awards, including prestigious awards from Good Housekeeping for two subsequent years in a row, and Elise attributes this at least in part to being CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®. In a world where health and wellbeing has become a priority, Elise describes how being CERTIFIED helps prove to the consumer that their demands are being listened to. She goes on to say:
“With green washing, you can say that you’re this and that. But how do you actually prove it? With this independent testing? That’s our proof.”
Sijo has just launched its brand in a very large department store group and Elise added that:
“The certification and the science behind that became such a point of differentiation, especially as retailers now are becoming more aware of sustainable spaces”
- Both clients also spoke of the ways in which the certification allows them demonstrate their ESG values. Responsible companies like Rabbit Air and Sijo want to contribute to society by participating in community projects, not simply donating, and the certification enables them to become involved in a meaningful way. Tamina makes this point clear in the discussion:
“We are in the business of making money, but we’re also in the business of making a difference. And so knowing that our products help to change people’s lives and enhance their living conditions – that’s something that we are very enthusiastic about,” says Tamina O’ Brien.
- Our mission is to help people create the healthiest possible indoor environment through science, certification and education. This involves educating consumers, manufacturers and also retailers. With that in mind we have participated in two webinars with Wayfair, a unique opportunity for us to share our extensive expertise on indoor air quality in the built environment with some top manufacturers. Incidentally, we featured in Wayfair’s CSR report this year; verified third party certified products are a great way for manufacturers and retailers to boost their ESG credentials and we are proud to be part of this positive impact on society.
- Our client services portal is constantly being updated and is a very valuable resource available for all our CERTIFIED clients. It exists specifically to support clients – giving exclusive interactive access to licensing applications, assets, videos, research, PR and marketing reports, and playbooks. The ‘Knowledge Cafe’ in particular is a function we are very pleased to offer.
- Through our the iAIR Institute, we are lobbying to address legislation and guidelines in Washington DC for healthy indoor environments and to advocate for policies to promote and enhance indoor air quality across the globe. The Institute brings attention to issues related to consumer practices, labelling and product development through partnerships and research initiatives that empower businesses, trade organizations, governments and other stakeholders with technical solutions and knowledge. In parallel, our certification partners AAFA, are also working hard in the community and with other stakeholders to help shape laws and regulations that affect people with asthma and allergies.
- Plans for our much anticipated in-person Client Council to be held in October in Washington DC were shared during the Town Hall. Our annual Client Council Meetings were always a much anticipated highlight of our our busy calendar so, post pandemic, we are very excited about hosting our first since we had to press pause. Roxane Spears, Vice President Sustainability with Tarkett, will be keynote speaker and Holly O’Driscoll, an industry expert in the field of Design Thinking, will chair, so it’s building up to be an exciting event. Our plan is to gather together as many stakeholders as possible to share insights and ideas that will underpin our future together.
- Meanwhile in Europe, we have participated in two conferences this year in Germany. Our Science Lead, Dr. Gráinne Cunniffe, presented ASL’s work on certification of soft flooring, provoking much interest and discussion. As a result of this research, Tarkett’s Powerbond® RS Hybrid resilient flooring became the first soft Surface flooring CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®, something we are very proud of.
A Very Successful Client Town Hall
The enthusiastic feedback we received after our gathering has left us inspired for our in-person Client Council on October 25th and 26th in Washington DC. To assemble like-minded, forward thinking individuals together who are all invested in our mission to create healthy indoor environments is truly energising. We are very much looking forward to meeting with as many of our clients, friends and colleagues to continue this important conversation.
certification, client town hall, AAFA, healthy home, Allergy Standards Ltd, indoor air quality, indoor environment, allergen, ESG, allergy, asthma, healthy home, Sijo, Rabbit Air, certification mark, asthma & allergy friendly®
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