World Environment Day (5 June) was coined by the United Nations back in 1974. Each year, over 100 countries pledge their responsibility to protect our environment. The theme for 2019 is ‘air pollution’. World Environment Day is therefore an opportunity to share the progress Bupa has made in reducing its carbon footprint and improving energy efficiency across the business.
At Bupa, we recognise that you can’t have healthy people without a healthy planet. We also know our customers and our people expect us to operate and grow sustainably. We are committed to taking care of the environments and communities in which we live and work, so Environment is one of the five pillars of Bupa’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) agenda. Reducing our carbon output has been engrained throughout our CRS strategy for over 10 years now, through which we have celebrated a number of positive milestones.
Through collective efforts across the Group, we’ve reduced absolute carbon emissions year-on-year: a reduction of 37% against our 2009 baseline. Additionally, over 65% of the energy we use around the world comes from renewable sources, either self-generated or purchased from certified renewable sources.
Energy efficiency is a priority in all our markets. In Australia, the UK and Spain, our buildings are energy efficient; our corporate offices are rated four stars or higher based on the national Australian built environment rating system, Bupa Place (Manchester) and Angel Court (London), and our headquarters in Spain are rated BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) excellent. Our business in Chile was also the first healthcare company to receive the ERNC (Alternative Renewable Energy Sources) certificate from Enel.
We are always looking for creative ways to offset our carbon footprint further. In Spain, we invested in a reforestation project in the Sierra de Gredos, Madrid. Two of our hospitals committed to replant 2,701 trees, representing the number of births in the hospitals.
Furthermore, Bupa UK is proud to be one of the first signatories of the new Waste to Wealth Commitment. Since signing in November 2018, we aim to double the UK’s resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste by 2030. One initiative helping us achieve this target is ensuring all electricity for our care homes, clinics, the Cromwell hospital and our offices comes from renewable sources.
Across Bupa, we are committed to improving our carbon output and we will continue to invest in renewable energy. I’m very proud of Bupa’s progress, which has been made possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of our people globally. Looking forward, our desire to keep hitting these sustainable milestones has never been more determined.