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The great indoors: DESSO launches year of air campaign promoting health and wellbeing

13 May 2013

To support the aims of the EU's Year of Air, DESSO, a leading European carpet and sports pitches manufacturer  is launching its own campaign, 'The Great Indoors' to raise awareness of the continued dangers of bad indoor air quality and to demonstrate what business and innovation can do to combat the problem.

This summer, Desso will have a stand at the 2013 edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, taking place from 4 to 7 June at the Egg Conference Centre in Brussels. With thousands of participants Desso will be able to contribute to the debate on improving health and wellbeing through better Indoor Air Quality.

At a recent EEB Conference (European Environmental Bureau), Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment said that the EU's latest analysis estimated 420,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the EU in 20101).

“We spend 90% of our time indoors on average and so the issue of indoor air quality is crucial to us. That is why Desso’s vision is to ‘Make the Floor work for our health and wellbeing’. We must do everything we can as providers to the built environment to make sure people’s lives are enhanced.”

Alexander Collot d’Escury, CEO DESSO

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 2 million people die every year from breathing in tiny particles present in indoor and outdoor air pollution2).

Better indoor air also boosts worker productivity. A Californian study by William Fisk from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory3)  demonstrated that the economic impacts of increased productivity from improved IAQ, can improve office worker productivity by 0.5 to 5 per cent, with estimated savings of $20 to $200 billion.

The European Environment Agency estimates that bad air quality costs €630 billion for health care and €169 billion for lost productivity every year4).

“We have been told that organisations can substantially reduce the incidence of workplace sickness by improving indoor air quality. In large companies this can lead to significant cost savings and big improvements in productivity. The aim of our Great Indoors campaign is to focus people’s minds on the importance of improving the conditions of the places where we all spend so much of our time. This year our focus is on the critical issue of indoor air quality. We hope to stimulate debate and spark off new ideas in the business and design community about how to make products and buildings that maximise people’s health and wellbeing.”

Alexander Collot d’Escury, CEO DESSO

1) Potoçnik, Janez, (Speech) Air quality: Meeting the challenge of protecting our health and environment, EEB Clean Air Conference, Brussels, January 2013. Available online at:
2) WHO, Tackling the global clean air challenge, 26 September 2011, News Release. 
3) William J. Fisk and Arthur H. Rosenfeld of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley in California, US
4) 'Most EU city dwellers suffer bad air days',, 24 Sept, 2012.

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