Nachrichten October 31, 2022

Shearman & Sterling Becomes The First Global Law Firm To Commit To Well At Scale Prioritizing Health And Well-Being Across Its Entire Real Estate Portfolio

Participation signals industry-leading commitment to healthier, safer and more productive workspaces

Shearman & Sterling is pleased to announce the firms engagement with the WELL Building Standard (WELL) at an enterprise scale as part of its global efforts to enhance health and well-being throughout its entire office portfolio. With this initiative, Shearman & Sterling becomes the first global law firm to participate in WELL at scale, committing all of its 25 global offices to pursuing WELL Certification or WELL ratings.

WELL, offered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), is the world’s premier framework for advancing health and well-being across buildings, organizations and communities. By applying WELL at scale, organizations can measure and improve their health performance across multiple locations or across an entire enterprise. Using WELLs robust set of features and proven process, Shearman and Sterling can better map, measure and quantify its health and well-being efforts. With data obtained from WELL programs, organizations can measure their well-being impact on people, while also comparing their progress internally and against industry peers. Applying WELL at scale creates a unified vision for well-being for multiple locations and allows project teams to have an efficient and impactful organizational approach to health, while ensuring consistency, inclusiveness and standardization.

Enhancing employee well-being by creating healthier workplaces underscores Shearman & Sterling’s vision to advance its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practice. The firm’s workplace WELL strategies follow the 10 impact areas under the WELL framework: Air, Water, Thermal Comfort, Light, Movement, Nourishment, Sound, Materials, Mind, and Community. As the only global law firm with the enterprise-level WELL commitment to date, Shearman & Sterling looks to exceed expectations for a typical corporate office environment by enhancing the overall health and well-being for employees by leveraging WELL’s evidence-based strategies for positive well-being outcomes.

“Participation in WELL at scale showcases our commitment towards keeping our people’s health and wellness as our top priority,” said David Beveridge, Senior Partner at Shearman & Sterling. “It’s both an honor and a responsibility to be the first global law firm to commit to enterprise-wide WELL strategies.”

“As organizations around the world seek more meaningful ways to enhance and benchmark their ESG performances, participation in WELL at the entire enterprise level creates an effective pathway to scale health outcomes in a streamlined manner,” said Jessica Cooper, chief product officer at IWBI. “We are delighted Shearman & Sterling can now lead by example to implement evidence-based WELL strategies and scale well-being impact for all of its global employees and customers.”

Developed by IWBI over 10 years and backed by the latest scientific research, WELL outlines key building-level interventions and organizational strategies across 10 impact areas focusing on health and well-being. The WELL ecosystem, which comprises WELL Certification, the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, the WELL Performance Rating and certification under the WELL Community Standard, has been adopted by leading global organizations seeking to prioritize human health and well-being in more than 120 countries.

By participating in WELL at scale, Shearman & Sterling joins global brands leading the charge to prioritize health and well-being and scale impact across an entire organization. Shearman & Sterling’s New York office is pursuing WELL Certification at the Gold level and is expected to achieve this recognition in early 2023.

Arsha Cazazian-Clement, Director of Global Real Estate at Shearman & Sterling, said: Our enterprise-wide adoption of WELL underscores the firm's values and bolsters our strategy for growth moving forward. This initiative reflects our absolute commitment to supporting our people's well-being as well as accelerating the transition to sustainable workplaces.

As part of its effort to engage with WELL at scale, Shearman & Sterling will feature a holistic approach to health and well-being by pursuing the full WELL Certification in at least seven locations over the next few years while pursuing other WELL ratings throughout the office portfolio. The global WELL strategies will include:

  • A lighting control system capable of boosting light during morning hours and tapering off later in the day to align with the natural circadian rhythm of the body
  • Displacement ventilation – a ventilation strategy where outdoor air is introduced at a low-level and contaminants and stale air is pushed upward out of the breathing zone as air is heated.
  • Drinking water filtration strategy to mitigate organic and inorganic contaminants, agricultural contaminants, and harmful water additives
  • Visual ergonomics (adjustable computer screen heights) and desk height flexibility and seat height flexibility
  • Acoustic comfort planning (designated loud and quiet zones and mitigating noisy equipment in the space) and sound masking
  • Incorporating biophilia (nature patterns), including the wood grain workstations, and plants displayed throughout office
  • Nutritional education message in the cafeteria to encourage employees to make healthy food choices. Menu cards highlight the nutritional information, including information on calories and added sugars.
  • A focus on well-being with dedicated lactation rooms to support new mothers, availability of nap rooms and on-site nurse practitioner
  • Artwork throughout the office space from global emerging artists

In addition to advancing well-being initiatives through enterprise-wide participation in WELL, Shearman & Sterling is also an IWBI keystone member company, joining a network of leading organizations working together to advance the movement for better buildings, organizations and communities globally.

Shearman & Sterling will undergo an independent review process and receive a WELL Score based on achievements across the entire firm. The WELL Score is a dynamic dashboard that showcases Shearman & Sterling’s progress on its WELL journey and how it scales health and well-being benefits over time.