Written by Anna Russell, Corporate Responsibility and Internal Communications Director at Bupa UK
At Bupa UK, we know that healthy people need a healthy planet, so we’re committed to minimising our impact on the environment and actively promoting green practices in all areas of our business.
Last year, Bupa UK signed up to the Business in the Community’s initiative Waste to Wealth Commitment, which aims to eliminate avoidable waste by 2030. We have many initiatives that are already in place to help us reach this target, including increasing our recycling rates, introducing keep cups and removing plastic cups in our offices to reduce disposable cup usage.
Across our Bupa UK sites, the electricity for our dental practices, care homes, clinics, offices and the Cromwell hospital is from renewable sources. We’ve also installed solar panels in a number of care homes. The offices at Bupa Place in Salford Quays, Kirkstall Forge in Leeds and Angel Court in London have all been awarded a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of ‘Excellent’ for each building’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance - putting us in the top 10% of UK office buildings.
Additionally, our people are offered the opportunity to get a personal journey plan, helping them to understand their sustainable travel options. We’ve also invested in changing facilities in each of our buildings, so colleagues have the option of cycling to work.
In Leeds, we recently moved to a new office and one in three of our employees based there are part of the Bupa UK scheme ‘Liftshare’, meaning we’re on track to save 16 tonnes of CO2 and more than 83k miles off the road. We’ve had great take-up in the Salford Quays office too, enrolling 363 lift sharers, and so reduced CO2 by c771 tonnes - saving a total of 3,927,649 miles.
I know of many great examples where colleagues have chosen to travel green to work: Paul Lacock has been known to commute to Willow House, Staines, by canoe and Carla Wheeldon and her mum, Vicky Bowlder, have changed their shifts, so they can car-share to Bupa Place.
Will Byrne, based in Salford Quays, walks four miles to get to work every day. He initially started doing this to raise money for charity, but now has joined the ‘Desk to 5k challenge’, created by DiverCity (our diversity and inclusion network). The challenge aims to get everyone up and moving on their lunch break. Will said: “I’ve made some great friends from other departments I would never have known if I had not started walking to work every day – it’s a win for me and a win for the environment.”
It’s great to work for a company where corporate responsibility and sustainability is a fundamental part of our strategic framework and we’re committed to doing more to work in a sustainable way.