Chronic diseases are projected to cause a global economic loss of $47 trillion between 2011-2030, but can be countered by sustainability initiatives while also addressing environmental issues, according to a new report by diabetes care supplier Novo Nordisk and sustainability think tank Sustainia.
The report, Co-creating Health, evaluates cases and pilot projects from nearly all continents to present a new approach in the fight against chronic diseases based on sustainability innovations. Compiling best practices from around the world, the report provides tested sustainability tools such as city planning for walkability, steps to customising workplace health initiatives for employees, and greater community and outdoor classroom design.
Accounting for more than 63 percent of all global deaths, chronic diseases have become an alarming issue that the healthcare sector cannot handle alone — the current health threats have become a matter for both the public and private sector.
“The healthy choice is the sustainable choice. Initiatives for healthier food, less sedentary lifestyles and alternative means of transportation are very often the sustainable choices, too,” says Lise Kingo, EVP at Novo Nordisk. “In that sense, tackling the health threats will equip schools and workplaces with stronger sustainability profiles, which we know is a growing demand among stakeholders.”
Speaking of treating chronic illnesses, last month Novo Nordisk opened two new clinics in Ghana as part of its Base of the Pyramid program, which creates partnerships to build access to diabetes care for people with low incomes. The two diabetes clinics serve very different areas of Accra, Ghana’s capital — one suburban and relatively prosperous, and the other populated by people with lower incomes. The clinics are designed to be one-stop, offering screening, access, and a stable and affordable supply of insulin to an area with more than half a million people.
On June 14, Sustainia will announce the winners to its third annual Sustainia100, which raises awareness about the man-made effects on the environment by finding 100 man-made solutions. With this solution-based approach, the Sustainia100 delivers a comprehensive call for action to a broad audience of politicians and corporations as well as civil society.