Chairman’s Blog, May/June 2020


For those unfamiliar with the pandemic acronym soup, WFH is short for “Work from Home” and RTW is short for “Return to Work”.  While we cannot downplay the significance of international protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, billions around the globe remain impacted by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 24-hour news cycle continues to be dominated by these two major headlines…

In the span since our last newsletter, we witnessed a ray of hope as the infection rates appeared to decline.  However, in a disastrous display of ignorance and absence of leadership, many areas abandoned all safety precautions and pressed forward with an ill-advised “reopening” of the economy.  As of this writing, the spike in new reported COVID cases has eclipsed prior daily records.  In the midst of these revelations, many communities and businesses continue to move forward with plans to return to the workplace.

As an artifact of these tragic times, the world and the media seem to have lost sight of the looming climate crisis.  Hopefully, this is a temporary short-term memory loss, but we don’t know how much time we have to lose – presuming we have not already gone beyond the tipping point.  

Buried in the news cycles we have seen evidence of improved air quality, improved water quality and reduced CO2 levels as a result of the widespread “stay at home” directives.  Perhaps the scientific community will be able to capitalize on these observable events to project what might be possible if we can overcome our fossil fuel addiction and commit to a material change in behavior.  I won’t hold my breath (no pun intended) …

In this newsletter we will highlight inspiring efforts around the globe, celebrate success stories, and feature technology pioneers.  There are far too many efforts and successes to list, which is an apt reminder that the key to solving the climate crisis does not lie in a single major breakthrough, but in the thousands of incremental innovations in progress everywhere.

As a reminder from our last newsletter for FM’s looking for COVID resources, IFMA has amassed a collection of related materials in their Coronavirus Preparedness Resource Center.  The IFMA Foundation released an authoritative Pandemic Manual.  And Lear Corporation produced a Safe Work Playbook: 2nd Edition.  All are freely available for download.

As always, we hope you find the newsletter enlightening…
Dean Stanberry