Creating healthier and greener workplaces for our people

Published by Paul Zollinger-Read
Chief Medical Officer

27 April 2018 . International

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, we spend over 37 hours per week on average in the workplace. With this in mind, workspaces are becoming increasingly important tools to support people's physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Employees working outside

As an international healthcare company, this is high on our list of priorities in our businesses around the world. And the great news is that this has now been recognised with the accreditation of 3 Stars from Fitwel, the world’s leading award for using building design to support the health, wellbeing and productivity of the people working inside it. The accreditation takes into account features such as location, access, freedom of outdoor spaces, and water supply of Bupa’s new office in the City of London.

We designed our new space from the ground up, with our purpose of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives front of mind. With health and wellbeing at the heart of our thinking, our new space includes: ergonomic workstations; natural light and green spaces both indoors and outdoors; flexible working spaces with sit-to-stand desks; healthy and affordable food choices; and dedicated spaces for activities such as yoga and meditation as part of our Smile programme.

In order to create a truly healthy workplace, we also needed to consider the environmental impact of our offices. Fitwel recognised our use of sustainable resources in the building, such as recycling materials where possible, and using materials that don’t give off noxious gases. We are really pleased to receive this recognition, and we’re proud to be joining the seven other Fitwel-accredited buildings located in London.

As I mentioned, creating the right work environment for our people is something we’re being proactive on within our businesses around the world – not just within our headquarters.

Our new office, Bupa Place, in Salford Quays, Manchester, and our headquarters in Spain, are both certified by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment for buildings. BREEAM assesses environmental, social and economic sustainability performance, and accredits sites which help to protect natural resources while enhancing the wellbeing of the people who work within them.

In Australia, our corporate offices are rated 4 stars or higher on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 6-star scale, ensuring we create supportive environments for the health and wellbeing of our people. NABERS is the national rating system that measures environmental performance, taking into account energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality.

Bupa Global, our international private medical insurance business, runs several sites on 100% renewable energy – relying on sources like solar and wind energy to power their offices. From Brighton to Copenhagen, Bupa Global is making a conscious effort to reducing Bupa’s overall carbon footprint.

It’s no secret that the health of a business links strongly with the health of its people. Our people play a crucial role in Bupa’s performance for our customers, and as a business, we can have a profound impact on their health.

Focusing on workplaces, where our business and our people come together, is a win-win. Looking to the future, we will continue to think about health and wellbeing in the widest sense, and use our workplaces to empower our people to live longer, healthier, happier lives, and closely manage our environmental impact at the same time.

Paul Zollinger-Read

Chief Medical Officer

More about this author