#SustyTalk: Bupa’s Glyn Richards on how the healthcare sector can lead on climate action

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#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainable business leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on through the current Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the inspirational business leaders who are continuing to drive sustainability and climate action.

Now, #SustyTalk is evolving from a video format to an audio-only format. This episode sees edie’s senior reporter Sarah George in discussion with healthcare giant Bupa’s group director of sustainability Glyn Richards. This episode was recorded in late November, with Glyn fresh from his trip to Sharm El Sheikh as part of the sector’s work to engage with attendees at COP27.

Glyn is on hand to recap on Bupa’s own plans to reach net-zero across its value chain by 2040. The target was set in late 2021, through the business’s membership of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, and was built upon this year with the approval of interim emissions targets in line with 1.5C by the Science-Based Targets initiative. Bupa is one of 64 healthcare organisations participating in the Race to Zero.

He also emphsises that reducing the environmental impact of the healthcare sector, particularly its climate impact, is only one part of the role the sector can play in creating a sustainable future. There is also a role for delivering regenerative impact and engaging with policymakers.

The sector has become increasingly vocal in recent months about the impact of climate change and nature loss on human health, advocating for joined-up policymaking that covers all of these topics. COP27 saw events hosted by bodies including the Climate and Health Coalition, Health Care Without Harm and the new Alliance on Transformative Action Climate and Health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) serves as the secretariat for this latter initiative.

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk interviews.

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email [email protected]. Please bear in mind that our interview calendar is typically booked several weeks in advance. We are now fully booked until the new year 2023.

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