Bupa invests £2m in urban nature restoration projects
International healthcare company Bupa has committed £2m for projects targeting the restoration and regeneration of natural environments in urban areas, in a bid to improve public health.
The investment aims to support global nature regeneration projects including new forests in Australia, Mexico, and Brazil; green community grants in the UK; waste clearance in Hong Kong; ecosystem restoration in Spain; the rehabilitation of wildfire-affected areas in Chile; plastic removal from the Nile in Egypt; and planting trees in Poland.
This announcement follows the completion of the 2023 Healthy Cities programme, engaging close to 55,000 individuals globally.
Bupa’s chief sustainability and people officer Nigel Sullivan said: “Our Healthy Cities programme is an important part of achieving this, enabling us to engage thousands of people in the cities Bupa operates in and encouraging them to get involved in an initiative that can benefit both their health and the health of the planet.
“Now it’s our turn to deliver on our promise to reward their efforts with investment in restoring natural ecosystems, which could indirectly support the health of many more people across the world.
“We’re also getting ready to build on the success from this year through Healthy Cities 2024 so that we can empower even more people to take an active role in their health and wellbeing.”
The Healthy Cities program empowers participants to adopt healthy habits in their daily lives while preserving urban green spaces. Participants, including Bupa employees, businesses, and communities spanning 24 countries, unlock Bupa’s financial support by completing a step challenge set via the Healthy Cities app.
This challenge requires individuals to take a minimum of 6,000 steps a day for a month, aligning with physical activity recommendations from the World Health Organisation.
Having initially launched in Spain in 2015, the programme’s success led to its expansion to Poland, Mexico, and Chile before reaching all of Bupa’s markets, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Egypt, Dubai and Hong Kong in 2023.
The World Economic Forum advocates for greener cities, citing benefits such as shade, radiation deflection, and temperature cooling provided by trees. Increased access to nature promotes physical activity, contributing to a healthier lifestyle. Outdoor exercise links to improved cardiovascular health and mood enhancement.
Bupa collaborates with local governments, NGOs, and environmental experts to ensure positive contributions to local ecosystems and resident well-being.
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