How is Public Health Part of Corporate Sustainability?
Today, after months of lockdown, the population of New South Wales will finally start to see some freedoms.
Millions of people across metropolitan areas will flock to gyms, hairdressers, cafés - and yes, even Kmart.
It is now in the hands of public safety officers (especially police), businesses and individuals to keep the community safe as much as possible.
But what responsibility do businesses have?
Goal 3 of the Global Goals focuses on Good Health and Wellbeing. This goal aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages. When it comes to social sustainability, protecting public health is crucial. A healthy population is one that thrives within a community and prospers within an economy. Economic growth then leads to the ability to provide more services back into the community.
A business' commitment to the well-being not only of their employees but of the members of the community in which they conduct business needs to be considered when developing a sustainability plan.
A COVID-19 safe plan is not just a government requirement - it is a moral obligation to the community and a core aspect of a business' sustainable development strategy. Making a decision to require all staff and customers being vaccinated within a workplace may seem controversial based on the discussions on social media, but it is necessary to make a strong commitment to public health. It not only protects your staff but your customers too.
In reality, it will only be a very small percentage of the population to remain unvaccinated. In a city like Canberra, Australia's capital, almost 99% of people over the age of 12 will be vaccinated by the end of the year, if not more. Business' moral obligation lies with protecting the 99% of the population, not servicing the 1% who continue to put lives in danger. (This, of course, does not include those who cannot be vaccinated for a genuine medical reason).
While a legally compliant COVID-19 plan is essential for businesses, companies operating in a way in which their operations focus on sustainability should consider expanding on this plan to incorporate aspects of sustainable development, including the 17 Global Goals. With Canberra's lockdown projected to be lifted by the end of this week, and Melbourne looking to come out of lockdown over the coming weeks, COVID-19 safety plans that go above and beyond the legal requirements will be more important than ever.
These plans can be showcased on your business premises, your website, your social media channels and in your communications with customer and stakeholders. Not only does this give your community peace of mind that you are being vigilant and taking this public health crisis seriously, it demonstrates your commitment to sustainable development beyond lip service.
If you are ready to make your COVID-19 safety plan truly stand out and serve as a document to reflect your company values and keep your staff and customers safe, contact us today.