Geneva 24 June – A new report by the Health and Sustainability Action Group, presented at the third Business Forum: Health and Sustainable Development (SDG 3) emphasizes the importance of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing across all business operations. Led by Forética, the Action Group is made up of 17 companies, including Chiesi, ASISA Group, Microsoft and Quirónsalud.
Investing in health should be a business priority, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Research published in Lancet, carried out in 204 countries, estimates that the pandemic has caused 53 million cases of depression and that it is now the world's leading cause of disability. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), for every dollar invested in the treatment of common mental disorders, there is a return of USD $4 in improved health and productivity.
Germán Granda, Director General of Forética, said, "The current outlook highlights the importance of health and wellbeing issues, with a focus on mental health, as fundamental pillars for the happiness, prosperity and productivity of individuals, families and communities around the world. They are the foundations on which sustainable economies are built. Accordingly, health and wellbeing are key elements in the business transformation proposed by the Vision 2050 roadmap, recently presented by Forética in the framework of the Business Council for Sustainable Development. Health is one of the nine routes of the Vision 2050, establishing itself as a fundamental tool of business sustainability. Therefore, businesses must work to improve their impact on the health and wellbeing of their stakeholders, increase ambition in their objectives and accelerate action to achieve the best results and broaden their partnerships".
The new report highlights five key trends in health and sustainability - with data that reinforces their importance, progress that has been made, and levers and initiatives that companies and organizations need to advance further: mental health (often called the 'silent pandemic'), social health (promoting diversity, equality and inclusion), environmental health (environment and healthy living spaces within planetary boundaries), occupational health (the holistic and integrated wellbeing of the workforce) and collaborative health (the governance of wellbeing through public-private and multi-sector partnerships).
The corporate health footprint
"From the Action Group, we address how important it is for companies to implement programs that ensure the highest standards of employee health, safety and wellbeing - including mental health - across operations and global value chains, while expanding access to basic preventive services in the workplace. As key players in the economy, companies need to develop good corporate governance by implementing programs that ensure the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing for employees (scope 1), promote healthy lifestyles among their clients and consumers through their product and service offerings (scope 2); and safeguard health and wellbeing in their operations and supply chains and wider community (scope 3)", highlighted María Ordovás, Manager of Forética's Health and Sustainability Action Group.
The third Business Forum on Health and Sustainable Development (SDG 3) was broadcast live from the Servimedia television set, with the participation of Uta Jungermann, Senior Manager, Member Support & Global Network of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), who addressed the importance of the role of companies in protecting the health and wellbeing of employees.
You can download the report "Health and Wellbeing 2030: Exploring the scope of the corporate health footprint" here.