Is it real?


By Roger Sharp, Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer, Asia Pacific.

Growing up in New Zealand in the early 1980s I recall coming across a TV show called ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not.’ Jack Palance was the host and the premise of the show was to examine old mysteries such as Bigfoot, UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle etc… and whether or not they were real? At the time, I remember watching in amazement at the shows’ testimonies which demonstrated how people initially believed many fantastical things on face value purely because of word-of-mouth.

Today we are far better informed but also more sceptical as a society. We question what is in the newspaper, we question the gameday decisions of our sports teams’ coach (at least I do), we even question the health benefits of the food we eat.

As someone who has worked in the corporate world for almost two decades, I have also witnessed the tendency for people to question the sincerity of business actions and how much corporations are willing to act upon their purpose or to live up to their values.

Too often the public sees the media statement, they see the logos, they see the committees and the speeches, when what they really want to know “is it genuine” or “is it real?” Understandably people want evidence and action because more than anything else, they want to know if they can trust you.

This is why it is vital that purpose-led businesses are able to prove their commitments are real. That they are doing what they say and taking action accordingly.

This is why I am proud of Bupa’s ambition to become a Net Zero business by 2040 by joining the UN Race to Zero campaign and setting science-based targets which are aligned to keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C. This is a vital act of authentication of Bupa’s purpose to help people live longer healthier lives and making a better world.

At Bupa, we know that to have healthy people we need to have a healthy planet and our Net Zero ambition includes the following concrete commitments, which sets the company on the pathway to being a Net Zero business.

  • By 2030: We have committed to reducing our Greenhouse Gas emissions by 46.2%
  • By 2034: We have committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions that we are indirectly responsible for, up and down the value chain by 63%

These commitments will require transformational change across every part of our business as we come together as an organisation to make our Net Zero ambition a reality.

I know this will be a long and demanding journey, but I am passionate about the challenge that lies ahead and delighted that Bupa is joining other businesses in putting sustainability and carbon reduction at the heart of its future. Believe it or not? Believe it.