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Health and Environment

Good health is dependent on a healthy planet. We firmly believe that tackling climate change could be one of the biggest health opportunities of the 21st century.

Solar power

As a global health and care company, we know that by tackling climate change we can mitigate our impact on the environment and help improve the health of the world. Climate change and health are interconnected: air pollution is now the main cause of lung conditions, such as asthma, and a risk factor for poor heart health and cancer. At least seven million premature deaths annually – one in eight – are attributed to air pollution, as estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In 2010, Bupa set a target to reduce our absolute carbon footprint by 20% by 2015. Between 2009 and 2015, we beat our carbon reduction target of 20% and reduced our carbon emissions by 23%, as verified by the Carbon Trust.1

To accelerate our ability to reduce our carbon footprint, we created the Energy Saver Fund (ESF) through which we invested £50m between 2014 and 2015 into over 950 low-carbon and renewable energy projects in seven countries. Funding from the ESF was spent on installing solar photovoltaic panels, LED lighting and co-generation. We became the first healthcare company in the private sector to be awarded global Carbon Trust Standard certification for our work on measuring, managing and reducing our carbon footprint. 

Reducing our carbon emissions is good for our health, our environment but also good for our business. We beat our 2015 carbon reduction target while growing our business – tripling our customers, increasing revenue by more than 40% and with over 30,000 more people now working at Bupa around the world. We knew to grow our business we must do it sustainably. The investments made are expected to pay back to the business over time through lower energy costs.  

Over the next five years we will be broadening our environmental programme by investing £50m into waste and water management projects, continuing our carbon reduction and doubling our use of renewable energy.

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In 2015, our absolute carbon emissions of 152 ktCO2 was 23% lower (by 40ktCO2e) than 2009, exceeding our target of 20%. This was verified by the Carbon Trust against the measurements of the Carbon Trust Standard and the market-based methodology of GHG Protocol Scope 2 guidance. 

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