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Putting Health at the Center of Climate Change

Businesses need to take actions that improve human health and well-being

The kick-off article to this series shared a startling statistic: Forty percent of the world’s population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and most of the people in this group live in the countries least responsible for causing it. What’s also startling is that climate change is one of this group’s least immediate concerns. These communities lack access to healthcare, struggle with food insecurity and water scarcity and, generally, have difficulty meeting basic needs.

While climate change is certainly one root cause of these problems, simultaneously addressing climate change and inequity, or climate justice, requires that we examine human well-being, not just environmental progress. How can people withstand the impacts of climate change or help solve the problems they face if they aren’t healthy enough to thrive day to day?

Businesses—in their myriad roles as employers, suppliers, and investors—need to lean into end-to-end sustainability by taking actions that improve not only the environment but also livelihoods, particularly among vulnerable communities in their value chains. And while all companies can evolve their approach to put equal or more weight on building healthy communities, companies that provide essentials like health care services and food supplies have a particular opportunity to develop goals and plans that take overall well-being into account, and that support the environment and society in parallel.

Please select this link to read the complete article from SSIR.

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