GPGB making workplaces less toxic



Greetings like-minded nature advocates,

Our Projects

Our Supporters fund everything we do.

This month, thanks to our Supporters, GPGB expanded the community of decision-makers we are influencing beyond building specifiers to include human resource professionals.

We’re thrilled to share the news that The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has conferred to GPGB the status of Recertification Education Provider and approved The Economics of Biophilic Design for one hour of Professional Development Credit.

As biophilic design advocates, you know about the impact access to nature has on workplace absenteeism, presenteeism, retention, and recruitment. Now Supporters can share this information with SHRM human resource professionals. SHRM has active chapters nationwide that meet regularly to provide their members with continuing education.

SHRM Continuing Education Course Description

This program provides HR professionals with economic and evidence-based talking points they can use to participate knowledgeably in conversations about managing the many negative consequences of increasing worker stress levels by increasing their access to nature. Participants will learn to identify workspace features that improve worker’s experiences and improve the organization’s economic bottom line. With this knowledge, in an organization with high rates of absenteeism, presenteeism, or staff turnover, a HR manager with agency would redesign or recommend the redesign of the staff working spaces to use biophilic design features, which work with human biology to reduce stress due to overstimulation or boredom.

Want to become a GPGB Registered Trainer and present this course to SHRM members? Learn more here.

Resources for You

Jim Mumford, GPGB board member, and his colleagues in the Silverado Roundtable just published The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace. It summarizes key findings from recent surveys, contains new infographics, and includes reference citations. It is filled with ideas to jumpstart thoughtful conversations with building specifiers and HR professionals. You can find it here on

Society of American Florist’s The Great Big Plant Event: To quote from the event press release, “This houseplant craze is a chance for our industry to shine. The potential ROI for your business is huge since plants are every day, versatile purchases. We see The Great Big Plant Event as part of SAF’s mission to bring the best and brightest industry minds together to talk more about the opportunities in this space and the challenges, to make connections and share best practices. The programming we’ve developed is practical, applicable and it’s fun to watch!”

Launching in March, the event is a series of on-demand webinars, 23 demonstration videos, and live meet-up events. For interiorscapers who have floral programs, or are thinking about launching them, this information might be of value and inspiration to your teams. Learn more here.

Inspiration for You

GPGB board member, Sonja Bochart, IIDA, recently inspired and informed TEDx attendees with her story of how she became involved with creating buildings that nurture human wellbeing and the impact those buildings have on creating healthier communities. Her engaging presentation is called How Buildings Can Make Us Better and you can view it here on

Food for Thought: Can You Provide these University Students with Information?

The University of Wyoming announced a living wall design competition.

Does the interior landscape industry have the opportunity to support and collaborate with these university students and their professors as they design walls that reduce energy use while maintaining thermal comfort? With industry feedback and information, progress on breakthrough research will accelerate. For example, most successful interior living walls require supplemental light. The energy consumed and heat generated by these lights need to be factored into calculations of energy use and thermal comfort. By including supplemental light, the research is one step closer to being meaningful to real-world installations and buildings.

Industry groups and higher education have long recognized the value of collaboration. Back in 2014, this premise created a university cooperative extension service. Can the interior landscape industry collaborate with living wall researchers? Do we have the opportunity to install data loggers on wall projects and collect field research data for them, and by extension, our industry?

To learn more about the competition, read the press release below and contact Dr. Wang,

Thanks to GPGB Supporters, the mission to communicate nature’s benefits is being accomplished. And thanks to everyone who helps spread the astonishing news about the AWE*some benefits of access to nature.

If you are not a Supporter, if it is possible after first taking care of your dependents, and if the spirit moves you, please consider joining GPGB’s mission to increase everyone’s access to nature in the built environment.

#StayPlanted and Be well,

Mary Golden
Advocacy Incubator


Greenery Systems for Indoor Environment Design Competition Open to UW Students.

February 17, 2021

University of Wyoming students have the opportunity to provide potential solutions to integrating greenery systems with indoor environments in buildings to mitigate climate change.

The competition is open to all UW students to highlight their best creativity and design ideas based on cutting-edge knowledge and technologies for indoor greenery systems and indoor environments. Registration is now open through midnight Friday, April 16.

According to the competition, various efforts have been made to reduce building energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. Greenery infrastructure enhancements have been recognized as one of the climate change adaptation measures. Limited studies have been conducted on indoor greenery systems, such as indoor living walls, on energy use and thermal comfort, although people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors.

The challenge for teams of two to three students is to effectively integrate greenery systems — such as living walls, green walls and vertical indoor gardens — with indoor environments in buildings.

“What are the creative ways that you can think of based on cutting-edge technologies; how to reach optimum resource efficiency; and how do indoor greenery systems affect interior space, occupants and sustainability?” asks Liping Wang, a UW Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering associate professor. “We want to advance energy efficiency and sustainability education, and promote multidisciplinary collaborations through this competition. Students from different majors are encouraged to form teams.”

The rules/guidelines for the competition can be found at

Prizes will be given to the top three projects, which include portable hard drives, books, and calculators.

Top winners of the design competition may have the opportunity to be mentored by Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering faculty members and participate in selected parts of the research project on building integrated indoor greenery systems that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. One to two undergraduates will be selected for the fall semester.

For more information, email Wang at