Hitting the road for a sustainable journey


By Daniel Purchase, Senior International Partnerships Manager at Bupa.

Living a sustainable lifestyle at home is something that is extremely important to me. Whether its composting, recycling or just having shorter showers; I feel as though these actions have become second nature to me over the years as I’ve strived to make a small difference in my own little patch of the planet earth.

What I traditionally spent less time doing is thinking about sustainability as part of my professional life which always seemed siloed off from my home life.  

The turning point

As a result of the COVID pandemic, the silo walls that separated my home and work life seemed to crumble down as I spent more time working from home. With living space becoming my office (or vice versa) I kept thinking about the interconnectivity of all things.

  • How a disease in one part of the world can spread and transform the world as we know.
  •  How a piece of plastic dropped in a waterway near my home can choke a turtle a continent away in a few months’ time.
  • How my health is connected to other people’s health and indeed the health of the planet.

Reflecting on these connections, I was excited to learn Bupa was launching the eco-Disruptive program in Australia as part of its own plans to become a Net Zero business by 2040. The program, which runs across all of Bupa’s global markets, gives people the opportunity to work with start-ups to develop innovative solutions that will improve people's health and the health of the planet. Translation: An opportunity to make sustainability a core part of my everyday partnerships-focused job.  

This was exactly the type of opportunity and connection I was looking for!

What have I been up to?

Having registered for the program, I joined an amazing team of like-minded people who work across a range of roles across Bupa and thought about what sort of impact we could make.

While the problems facing our planet are wide-ranging, we settled on aiming to reduce CO2 emissions noting that globally, poor air quality is estimated to cause some 7 million deaths each year[1].

This led us to making contact with GOFAR, an Australian-based startup who have created an adapter that plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port and sends data to the GOFAR app on your phone. The GOFAR app essentially acts as a window into your car’s efficiency, performance and health. GOFAR is more than an app. They have also created a device that sits on your dash, lighting up to give you immediate feedback on how efficiently you are driving.

Daniel Purchase, Senior International Partnerships Manager at Bupa

We feel that information is key when it comes to sustainability. It tells us what’s going wrong, what we’re doing well and what we can do to improve. We hope to work with GOFAR to arm people within Bupa, the broader healthcare industry and general public with the necessary data to help improve driver behaviour towards efficiency and safety, reducing air pollution and road accidents.

Daniel Purchase, Senior International Partnerships Manager at Bupa

Just one step on a long journey

We are in the early stages of working out what we can develop with GOFAR but I love the idea of helping join the dots between what can seem as trivial choices they make on the road and the long-term health of the planet.

Can’t wait to share where we land with you in the coming weeks!

[1] https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/air-pollution-kills-evidence-global-analysis-exposure-and-poverty