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Leadership for positive impact


Valuing Public Perceptions of Biophilia Impact on Human Well-Being: 2 Sustainable Building Case Studies from Greece and India
S. M. Jackson, L. Singh, T. Doshi (2021)

This study focusses on valuing the ‘green technologies’ of designing and building with nature to encourage a wider dimension to the current ratings and evaluations of effectiveness of ‘green buildings’, by including the perceived impact on human well-being. The authors believe that for buildings to offer a ‘sustainable’ way of living, they must also include the technologies and intelligence to provide what all of life needs to thrive beyond just surviving. This study aims to give a wider understanding of ‘green buildings’ beyond reporting on energy, water and waste, to show a more sophisticated, wider evaluation of sustainable buildings by including the value of subjective perception of individuals’ experience, and, to contribute to changing existing paradigms about how ‘green buildings’ are valued. Other studies conclude that leading bodies for ‘green building’ certification have failed to provide a holistic measure of sustainable buildings. Current environmental measures of ‘green buildings’ conflict with the values of human health and there are conflicting ‘logics’ and technologies with little consensus on what defines a sustainable building. The perceived ‘value’ of the health and well-being benefits of a ‘green building’ appear to be disregarded as a measure of effectiveness; this chapter challenges that view. Findings from questionnaires and testimonials from the public using two green buildings in different countries suggest that people do believe that they experience physical and emotional health benefits from spending time in green buildings. Specifically, it related to their perception of the reduction of stress and anxiety. This suggests that valuing the ‘unmeasurable’ perceived benefits of sustainable buildings on health and well-being, equally alongside quantitative audits and environmental measures, could bring combined societal and environmental benefits. More research and evaluation with larger samples, more complex data collection, over longer time periods in different countries is necessary to build on the initial findings of this novel study. Further research could make an important contribution to greater understanding about the positive impacts of biophilia design for healthcare institutions, education buildings, community spaces, workplaces and homes.

You can obtain a soft copy of our research (Chapter 16) or the whole book which includes other excellent studies on Green Urbanisation via the publisher Springer.


Lessons from Sustainable Entrepreneurship towards Social Innovation in Healthcare: How green buildings can promote health and wellbeing
S. M. Jackson, J.K. Maleganos, K Alamantariotou (2017)

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest a connection between the competitiveness of an organization and the health of the communities in which it operates. These communities consist of ‘stakeholder groups’ (Freeman, 1984), both inside and outside the organization, with the term ‘stakeholder’ being broadly defined as anyone who affects or is affected by an organization (Clarkson, 1995; Freeman, 1984; Mitchell et al., 1997). Where the organization is seen to be operating in the positive interest of local society and the natural environment, studies have shown that creative and innovative solutions to everyday ‘internal’ organizational challenges can often come from external ‘secondary stakeholder groups’ and people in the local community (Beleno and Andres, 2014; Howaldt et al., 2014). Green building design is becoming a popular area of sustainability innovation for minimizing impacts on the natural environment and improving human health through improved working conditions indoors. Environmental health studies suggest that people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and therefore the ‘health’ of the indoor environment has a direct impact on human health and holistic wellbeing (Allen et al., 2015). However, most studies rely on people’s perceptions of comfort and aesthetics of ‘green buildings’ and there is conflicting debate about the real impact of ‘green building’ on improved human health (Paul and Taylor, 2007). The issue of ‘innovation’ towards sustainable development of improved performance and enhanced quality of service in healthcare is an ongoing international challenge (EURAM, 2012). Some studies have developed ‘health performance indicators’ which suggest the benefits of green building hospitals include faster patient recovery, improved staff performance and reduced infection rates (Allen et al., 2015). With this in mind, this chapter addresses the following questions, through a literature review and a single case study approach. • What can the healthcare sector learn from sustainable entrepreneurship and social innovation? • Can ecological buildings and ‘sustainable spaces’ positively impact on the performance and quality of services provided by healthcare organizations, for the benefit of stakeholder groups, including clients, patients and employees? The conclusion of the study is that health performance indicators do suggest that patients recover faster in hospitals with eco-design and connectivity with nature (Allen et al., 2015) and both patient recovery and staff morale and performance are improved by the adoption of biophilic design to connect people to nature and bring buildings to life (Kellert et al., 2008). More broadly there is evidence of a sense of improved health and wellbeing in communities that are connected with nature (Tracada and Caperna, 2012).

You can obtain a copy via the publisher Routledge.


About ESA
S. M. Jackson (2012)

A summary of this article about ESA was published in the Apokoronas Environment Handbook 2017.

Sense and Sustainability
S. M. Jackson (2012)

In ‘Cranfield Take on Corporate Sustainability’, Greefleaf.

This paper is based on academic research, however it is written in a practitioner, management style. This chapter explains the importance of ensuring congruent stories in companies to encourage managers’ sensemaking to be aligned with the organisation’s corporate sustainability aspirations. This is illustrated through real business case examples and suggestions for practical action.

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How Managers Make Sense of CSR: The impact of Eastern Philosophy in Japanese Owned Transnational Corporations
S. M. Jackson (2012)

In G. P. Prastacos, F. Wang and K. E. Soderquist (Eds.), ‘Leadership & Management in a Changing World: Lessons from Ancient East and West Philosophy’, Springer- Verlag.

This paper was presented at a conference in Athens in June 2011 ‘Leadership & Management in a Changing World: Lessons from Ancient East and West Philosophy’. The conference was an inaugural collaboration between Athens and Beijing Universities. This paper discusses an empirical research study conducted at two transnational Japanese consumer electronic product manufacturers to explore whether the underpinning corporate Japanese philosophy has an impact on how the operational mangers made sense of the organisational CSR aspirations.

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Making Sense of Sustainability from a Business Manager’s Perspective
S. M. Jackson (2010)

Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility- Occasional Paper.

This paper is a summary of research conducted between 2007 and 2009 about how managers’ sensemaking process can lead to enacting or not enacting their organisation’s CSR or sustainability initiatives.

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Apokoronas Environment Handbook

A concise compilation of very useful information on environmental related topics including recycling and waste, pollution, water conservation, energy management, access to the country and illegal building. Apokoronas Environment Handbook.

The official website of the Apokoronas Environmental Group which is committed to finding practical solutions to the challenges in the Apokoronas region.

Host your event at ESA     

Powered only by Cretan sunshine, ESA is a beautiful building rooted in the earth amongst ancient rocks and olive trees, surrounded by nature. Its construction is a leading example of sustainability in practice. ESA is an experiential and creative place where people feel enlivened, uplifted and creative. Great living and great learning happen at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading sustainable enterprise

Our passion is contributing towards co-created sustainable enterprise for positive impact on communities and the natural environment on a global scale. Leadership and entrepreneur issues of adaptation, resilience, authenticity, sustainable-self, values connected sense-making and the continued emancipation of women (WISE) to take up more leadership roles in the world are at the core of the ESA sustainability experience.

Make sense of sustainability

Crete is the sustainable destination of the past and of the future.

Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisations on earth, nestled between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Crete is rich with mythology, gastronomy, music, art and agriculture. You can have your own authentic experience of a sustainable lifestyle and feel first-hand the strong connection between nature and community.