#SustyTalk: Bupa’s Nigel Sullivan on creating healthier, sustainable cities

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The #SustyTalk series is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainability leaders across the world, even if they only have 20 minutes to tune in.

It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the leaders who are continuing to drive sustainable business and climate action.

This new episode sees edie’s content editor Sarah George in conversation with Nigel Sullivan, chief people and sustainability officer at multinational health firm Bupa.

Sullivan gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how Bupa operates its Healthy Cities campaign, which expanded significantly last year and is growing again for 2024. The campaign incentivises people to lead more active lifestyles by rewarding them with investment in environmental restoration projects in their local areas.

The programme has been implemented successfully already across parts of Europe and Latin America and will now be expanded further, including in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Sullivan attributes the success of the scheme to the competitive nature of the challenges, plus investment in “really tangible” projects which meet the specific, context-based needs of local communities. These have included community orchards, wildflower meadows, urban forests and green spaces adjacent to schools. Partners have included Groundwork and Trees for Cities.

He says: “It’s a bit cliche, but I really like that hyper-local way of doing things. It’s very motivational… and it’s real.”

He also shares his learnings on identifying the right projects for the right places, forming strong partnerships for urban greening, and tapping into behaviour change at scale.

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 now booked until the middle of July 2024.

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