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Kyle Bolden of EY with Rachel Hodgdon of IWBI – Putting “H” Health & Humanity into ESG

Kyle Bolden of EY with Rachel Hodgdon of IWBI – Putting “H” Health & Humanity into ESG

Kyle Bolden and Rachel Hodgdon live from the Nasdaq Marketsite ESG Event Putting “H” Health and Humanity into ESG.

Hosted by Humanity 2.0 & International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)

In this captivating segment Kyle and Rachel break down key topics including:

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion In ESG
  • Where ESG is going?
  • Ways in which the built environment can really shape health outcomes significantly
  • Upgrades made in the EY Workspace


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Kyle Bolden is the Market Segment and ESG leader at EY Real Estate Hospitality and Construction Practice in the East Region and Rachel Hodgdon is the President and CEO at IWBI

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI (00:00):

Hi, I’m Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute. And I’m so excited to be talking with Kyle Bolden. Kyle is the market segment and ESG leader for EY real estate hospitality and construction practice in the east region. Kyle, I heard you in a presentation a couple of months ago, predict that the greatest area of growth in ESG frameworks and, and metrics and measures was going to be related to DEI diversity, equity and inclusion. And to be completely honest, I can’t tell you how many times I have quoted you. I haven’t stopped thinking about that. So I’d really like to know, you know, what do you see in your crystal ball? Like what is that gonna look like and why are you making that prediction?

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (00:50):

Sure. Rachel, thank you for the question. So, uh, I believe the risk of not embracing diversity, equity and inclusion, uh, is vertical. And what I mean by that is it can result in losses in economic terms, uh, losses from a human capital standpoint, and then also from a customer retention standpoint, um, it’s really important that organizations create a culture where people feel like they actually have a sense of belonging, and we all know how it is when you feel like you belong some place you really lean in, you really bring your best self to work, uh, and so to me, it really all ties together with, ensuring that people feel like they can go to work, they can go anywhere else and just again, be themselves. Um, I see it in my, I see it myself in terms of my, uh, my jobs that I work on and the people who, who are around me, they want to be around a place where it just feels good. You know, you want to get up in the morning and, and go someplace where again, you can be, you can bring your whole self to work. Um, and it really does center around being able to feel like you belong, whether you are, um, a working mother or if you’re a person of color or you’re a member of the L G B T community. You wanna just feel like you can really be, be your whole self.

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI (02:05):

I can totally relate to that. What are the kind of external factors that prompted you to make the prediction? Because EY is, um, really sitting at the forefront of a lot of these conversations and yet, um, I think that where ESG is going in terms of like actual scoring and methodologies can be a little bit of a black box. So what are you seeing?

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (02:28):

Yeah, Well, in an organization, as large as our firm, people are our number one asset. Uh, we’ve got roughly about 80,000 people here in the United States alone and really starts from the beginning in terms of, uh, recruitment. So right there on the college campus, our average employee age is approximately 26 years old. And so it starts with recruiting and it, we have to be intentional as well. Uh, and that intentionality also centers around when folks are actually with us, they feel like they can receive mentorship, coaching, sponsorship, all of that training and embracing, um, you know, embracing them when, when they’re with us really translates into retention as well. And we all know that when you have a lot of turnover, it creates erodes the culture. Um, it also creates, um, you know, stress in terms of really everyone else looking around them and saying, I see a whole bunch of people leaving.

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (03:20):

What does that mean for me in my career? And it impacts the bottom line negatively as well. Uh, the other thing that we think about as well is around how we engage with our suppliers. So our supply chain, it’s a big component of our, when we think about our stakeholders. And so people want to be at an organization where they feel like, um, not only can not talk to talk, but you walk the walk as well. So we think about it as we hire our folks, but then also as we engage with, with vendors and contractors all the way up to our real estate landlords as well,

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI (03:49):

Fascinating. So according to the social determinants of health, where you sit and who you sit next to, or your physical and social environment have a greater impact on your health and wellbeing than your access to healthcare, your genetics and your lifestyle and behaviors combined. And yet, I don’t think that a lot of folks make the connection between human health and wellbeing and real estate, you know, human health, um, as, you know, being significantly in influenced by where we sit, where we sleep, where we go to school. Can you, um, make some of those cognitive leaps for us, tell us about, you know, ways in which the built environment can really shape health outcomes significantly?

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (04:34):

Well, it makes me think of a movie line where it’s, uh, something along the lines of transfer and the negative energy, right? If you’re sitting next and one who just isn’t vibing and they just, you know, they’re just not happy, you know, mentally, physically, like that just brings everything down. And so I think it’s really important that we are in a community and we feel like we can just really sort of pull those great vibes from one another. And really what that boils down to are things such as, um, the physicality, how much you’re moving movement is critically important. Um, also your intake in terms of, are you drinking a lot of water? Are you, uh, are you, are you eating well, uh, healthy snacks and things like that. And so I think anytime that, uh, you can bring all of those things into the office environment, it really does create that positivity that really uplifts people, it’s the same way as if you go to the gym, right? You want to work harder because you’re around other people who are like-minded who want to take care of their health. I think we should replicate. And I think we can replicate the same thing in the office space.

See Related Article: Mona Naqvi of S&P Global with Rachel Hodgdon of IWBI- Putting “H” Health & Humanity into ESG

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI (05:36):

And what are some of the upgrades in EYs workspaces that you’re focusing on to really optimize what all being in performance,

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (05:43):

Too many to name, but I’ll, I’ll, I’ll touch on a few, um, living walls. Um, we really, really love those. Um, we also, uh, we are using digital twin, uh, in our space, which allows for us to, to measure movement. It’s just, a virtual replica, uh, of our building so that we know what the air quality’s like. Right. Um, you know, what the temperature is, temperature is very important, uh, as well. And so, you know, monitoring the different sort of things that are taking place, uh, in our building are, are critically important. Um, we also have wellness days, um, which are, which are really, um, inspirational, uh, really gets people again, thinking about not only their health and wellbeing, but also when we, when we tie it into our, our, uh, community engagement, we also do things around, um, you know, engaging with the community and, and really, uh, focusing in, on, in their health and wellbeing as well. So we really take what we do in the office and try to replicate that externally in the market place. Mm,

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI (06:37):

Fantastic. Well, excited to see all of your predictions come, come true, and a big thanks to you and the UI team for leading the way Kyle Bolden. Thanks for being with us today. Thank you,

Kyle Bolden, Market Segment ESG Leader, EY (06:47):



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