One Earth, One Hour, One Health


By Roger Sharp, Bupa ANZ Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer.

COVID-19 has truly brought home the concept of One Health: that human health is inextricably linked to planet health.

As one people we benefit from the natural wonders and produce of our planet while simultaneously being susceptible to pandemics, food shortages and global warming when we don’t fiercely protect it.

Polar Ice Caps in Greenland are melting due to increasing sea temperatures; Australia is experiencing longer bushfire seasons, animals in the Asia-Pacific region are developing novel diseases as a result of mass storage; and pollution levels in some Indian cities are affecting peoples’ ability to spend time outside.

We are seeing a mass realisation that these momentous challenges to life on earth are not isolated catastrophes but in fact localised manifestations of a global issue that threatens our very existence.

As a health and care company, we know that in order to have healthy people, we need a healthy planet. This is why we are stepping up our efforts on sustainability and we know that small actions taken collectively across the world will make a big difference.

We have recently installed 36,000 energy-efficient LED lights in our aged care homes, prevented the creation of 1 million plastic cards annually by introducing digital health insurance membership cards and shifted to  100% recyclable bags in our optical stores.

We are also working on some more significant initiatives, involving our staff, customers and communities which will be implemented over the coming months.

As a public demonstration of our commitment to climate action globally, we will join hundreds of millions of people in supporting The World Wide Fund for Nature’s Earth Hour initiative on Saturday 27 March.

Along with homes and businesses around the world, we will turn off the lights in our corporate offices along with the prominent Bupa Cube in the lobby of our Melbourne headquarters.

It’s just an hour and it may be just a symbol, but we intend play to our part in raising awareness of climate change and taking meaningful action to better care for our people and planet into the future.

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