The recipe to becoming a sustainable business

Longer, healthier, happier lives
12 July 2017

Lucia Carrio, Environmental and Social Responsibility Manager, helped deliver Bupa’s carbon reduction by 25% in 2016 from 2009. Here’s her story.

Over the last 4 years, I’ve been involved in helping Bupa become a more sustainable business. The drive for my work is knowing that I am making a positive impact on peoples’ health by reducing Bupa’s carbon footprint, consuming less fossil fuels as a business and improving the air we breathe. 

The benefits of reducing carbon are difficult to tangibly see, therefore can be perceived as a challenge in the business community. But as a healthcare company, we know that air pollution, which is mainly caused by burning fossil fuels, is an environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, as a society we can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.

I was extremely pleased when we recently won the 2020 Champion Awards from Global Green and Healthy Hospitals in recognition of the work we’ve put into reducing our carbon footprint over the last few years. The journey to this achievement hasn’t been easy, but worth it! It makes the recognition even more special. We can now say that almost all of our care homes in Australia are fitted with solar panels and 99% of our energy in Spain is coming from renewable sources. We produce our own energy on many of our sites; a unique position as a global health and care company.

But what’s the recipe to our success I hear you say? It’s down to two key ingredients. The first is the culture of sustainability embedded in the organisation, where everyone is genuinely committed in limiting our impact on the environment to benefit peoples’ health. This is uncommon for a company of our size and is an important aspect as to why people love working at Bupa.

The second is the collaborative nature at Bupa – from finance, to the property and engineering team, corporate affairs and the Executive Team; everyone is pushing in the same direction. I found working with this group has been enlightening. This highly passionate group of individuals are doing their bit and more, and have showed me the many different aspects as to why the environment is important to the business. 

It’s an exciting time to be at Bupa in delivering the next phase of our sustainability strategy. The plan for the coming years is to broaden our global environmental investment programme and continue our focus on promoting the use of renewable energy.

In 2016 Bupa reduced our absolute global carbon emissions by a further 1% to 149.7 KTCO23 (representing almost 25% reduction against our 2009 baseline) through energy efficiency and renewable projects across our business and the purchase of electricity from certified renewable sources. 

Longer, healthier, happier lives
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