Health

Health and well-being at work increase their role in the sustainability strategies of public companies

  • The Sustainability and CSR Action Group in Public Companies -led by Forética and made up of more than 30 public entities, led by the Official Credit Institute and Informa D&B- contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and presents plans and innovative initiatives in terms of health, well-being and digital disconnection of employees
  • As stated in the recent study published within the framework of the Action Group, which analyzes the commitment of public companies to the new sustainability regulatory frameworks of the European Union, the social aspects, among which are those linked to occupational health and safety are receiving increased attention from regulators and investors
  • Health and wellness is also one of the nine business transformation routes included in the ‘Vision 2050’ roadmap recently presented within the framework of the Spanish Business Council for Sustainable Development

The Sustainability and CSR Action Group in Public Companies -led by Forética and made up of more than 30 public entities, headed by the Official Credit Institute and Informa D&B-, addresses the social contribution of public companies to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, in terms of employee health, wellness and digital disconnection.

As stated in the recent study published by Forética within the framework of the Action Group, under the title ‘Sustainability in public companies from the triple ESG perspective. Commitment to the new sustainability regulatory frameworks of the European Union’, social aspects, among which are those linked to health and safety at work, are acquiring greater prominence in the sustainability agendas of companies as a result, among others factors, greater attention from interest groups -especially regulators and investors- and the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, which has accelerated many of the global challenges.

Ana Gómez, Manager of the Sustainability and CSR Action Group in Public Companies, highlights: “Health is one of the main axes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, not only because it has its own objective (SDG 3 on Health and Well-being), but also because health is one of the most reliable indicators of development and sustainability in society. According to the United Nations, healthy and happy people are the basis of healthy economies, and therefore it is essential to give priority to this issue and conceive its importance in a transversal way. Given the great power of action and the strong impact that organizations have on people, they must work to articulate inclusive, respectful and ambitious measures that promote health and well-being, one of the nine business transformation paths included in the roadmap ‘Vision 2050’ recently presented within the framework of the Spanish Business Council for Sustainable Development”.

During the last two years there has been an increase in cases of anxiety, depression, loneliness or stress globally, and according to a recent study published in The Lancet, it is estimated that the pandemic has caused an additional 53 million cases of depression and It is already the leading cause of disability in the world. The relationship between investment in health and well-being and productivity in organizations has been demonstrated: according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), for every dollar invested in the expanded treatment of common mental disorders, there is a return of 4 dollars in productivity improvement.

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The action of public companies in matters of health and well-being

In the words of María Ordovás, Head of the Sustainability and CSR Action Group in Public Companies: “New information and communication technologies have given rise to new forms of work organization, a marked and accelerated trend with the need to adapt and digitize companies as a result of COVID-19 in recent years. The accelerated digitization, the lack of digital disconnection, the greater isolation of workers as a result of teleworking or the new trend towards ‘always on’, are having a negative impact on the mental health of employees. In this line, we are increasingly confronted with challenges in relation to the delimitation between work and rest time and digital disconnection, which can become a psychosocial risk harmful to the health of a worker. Companies have the obligation to ensure its limitation and correct management.

The business meeting organized by Forética within the framework of the Action Group on this issue has had the participation of Jerónimo Maqueda, Director of the Department of Health Promotion and Occupational Epidemiology of the National Institute for Safety and Health at Workwho has delved into the work of the Spanish Network of Healthy Companies and the importance of the adoption by organizations of an advanced model of health at work.

In addition, three public companies that are part of the Action Group have shared their innovative plans and initiatives regarding employee health and well-being: Report D&Bwith the intervention of Patricia Manzano, HR Assistant; ENAIRE, with the participation of Maite Montoto, Head of the Social Action Department, and Carmen Carretero, Head of the Occupational Risk Prevention Department; Y Navantywith Manuel Delgado, Responsible for the Navantia Healthy Company Project ‘Embárcate en Salud’.

The Sustainability and CSR Action Group in Public Companies, led by Forética and headed by the Official Credit Institute and Informa D&B, is made up of more than 30 member public entities: Adif, Aena, Aquavall, CESCE, Public Business Corporation of Aragon, Emasesa, ENAIRE, Enresa, ENUSA, Extremadura Avante, Grupo Tragsa, ICEX, INECO, Metro de Madrid, Navantia, Paradores, Renfe, RTVE, SENASA and Valenciaport. The following entities participate in the Group as observer members: COFIDES, Navarra Public Business Corporation (CPEN), Giahsa, the Civil Guard, ISDEFE, the General Directorate of the Police, Red State Mercantile Property Management Property (SEGIPSA).

The Action Group began this fifth edition in 2022 by analyzing the action of public companies in the transition towards net zero emissions. In previous editions, the Group has addressed key issues in the field of sustainability, such as the commitment of public companies to the new sustainability regulatory frameworks of the European Union, the contribution to the 2030 Agenda (with a focus on initiatives linked to transparency, economy circular and corporate volunteering), non-financial risk management or responsible public procurement, among others.

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