This is why we have committed to our goals of keeping people well and supporting a healthy planet.
By 2015, we will have:
- enabled 60 million people to make positive changes to be healthier and happier and to help protect the environment.
- reduced our carbon footprint by 20%.
These aims are integral to our business approach and have been incorporated into our Bupa 2020 vision for how we can use our special status to focus our energy and resources for the benefit of current and future customers and society. As such, our goals are now part of how we measure our success as an organisation and how we reward performance.
Our goals are ambitious and will require us to engage in new approaches and partnerships to go far beyond our current work and customers. We have launched a number of initiatives and partnerships around the world, many of which are already having a positive impact on peoples’ health and the environment.
Keeping people well
One area in which there is a clear relationship between health and the environment is lifestyles in cities. The majority of the world’s population now live in cities and this trend towards urbanisation will continue in the coming decades. Air pollution, sedentary lifestyles and poor diet are all health problems associated with urbanisation. However, with effective planning and policies, cities can be designed to improve people’s health, from encouraging cycling to supporting local food systems.
Cities should be at the forefront of encouraging healthy, sustainable lifestyle and, with increasing interest from politicians and the public, this is the time to act.
We are working with the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health on a healthy cities project, globally highlighting the win-win approach of tackling health and climate change together and gathering case studies of practical action that works.
Our research shows that walking is one of the best ways of keeping people healthy and supporting a healthy planet. One in ten people admit to using cars for short journeys, rather than walking. As such we are encouraging all Bupa employees to walk more and to get their communities walking. We have developed a number of smartphone apps which help people to make decisions to improve their health and the environment. An example of this is Life E-volution, an app developed by Bupa Latin America to help users calculate and understand more about their carbon footprint and the impact it has on their health and the health of the planet.
A major focus for our goals has been tackling the major causes of preventable disease worldwide. Diabetes is one of the most urgent and serious global challenges facing health and development. In 2012 more than 371 million people had diabetes and by 2030 the global figure will rise to 552 million – or one in ten adults.
The greatest burden is increasingly falling on low- and middle-income countries, where the disease is hitting people at a younger age. Bupa has a research partnership with the International Diabetes Federation. Our first research report explored the connections between type-2 diabetes and climate change; our second report will be a global diabetes report to track progress and drive action on the UN Political Declaration, global non-communicable disease (NCD) targets and policy response to diabetes and NCDs.
Supporting a healthy planet
"We have launched a number of initiatives and partnerships around the world, many of which are already having a positive impact on peoples’ health and the environment."
We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our businesses around the world. Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint by 20% by 2015. During the first three years of our commitment we have achieved a 4.8% carbon reduction from our 2009 baseline and we are committed to accelerating our progress.
One of the ways we have done this is by looking at the impact of our energy use on our carbon footprint. Globally, over 85% of Bupa’s carbon emissions relate to energy use, including electricity and gas. Energy reduction and efficiency programmes have been prioritised across Bupa, particularly in our Care Homes in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Our care homes in Australia have also achieved significant reductions in carbon emissions through incentivising behaviour change and changes to buildings, including improved insulation, light timers and energy monitors. In a single month one of our care homes saved 10,000 kilowatt hours of energy while also making financial savings for the business. Overall carbon reductions in our Australian care homes are over 10% and rising.