Germán Granda, General Director of Forética, states: “The Forética Health and Sustainability Action Group is consolidated as the Reference business space to monitor compliance with the Sustainable Development Goal SDG 3 (Health and Well-being) in Spain from the contribution of the private sector, a commitment of maximum relevance in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Now more than ever, knowing the ‘health footprint’ of organizations is an opportunity to continue contributing to a holistic vision of health from the angle of business sustainability. This approach has been the objective of the Action Group since its creation in 2019, accompanying companies in the strategic integration of health and well-being and reinforcing their commitment to social aspects within the ESG -environmental, social and good governance approach. ”.
In relation to the focus on mental health, according to the latest OECD report on this subject, cases of depression in Spain reach 18.7%, above countries such as Italy (17.3%), Japan (17, 3%) or the Czech Republic (11.8%). In fact, the total cost of mental health problems in Spain is 4.2% of GDP (approximately 45,000 million euros). In this context, according to McKinsey estimates, Investing in employee mental health has an economic return for organizations of $ 4.25 for every dollar invested.
As a result, a growing number of companies are making an increasingly determined commitment to the mental health of their employees, dedicating greater efforts. According to the ‘IBEX 35 Observatory. Health, Well-being and Sustainability in IBEX 35 companies’ prepared by Forética in 2021, 36% of IBEX 35 companies had a specific program on mental health for employees. The current context seems to indicate that the organizations will reinforce the development of strategic programs in this area.
On the other hand, the commitment to more sustainable services and products must consider the health factor. Companies are increasingly aware of this and are incorporating this approach in an increasingly integrated way. In fact, according to the first edition of the ‘IBEX 35 Observatory. Health, Well-being and Sustainability in IBEX 35 companies’ by Forética, held in 2020, 60% of IBEX 35 companies contributed to health by offering healthy products and services.
In this sense, with the aim of strengthening the commitment of companies with the health of the planet and people, Forética has joined the Planetary Health Alliance, a movement driven by 250 members, universities, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and entities from more than 50 countries committed to understanding and addressing the impact of climate change on health.
Verónica García, Manager of the Health and Sustainability Action Group, highlights: “From Forética, we analyze how companies that make a clear commitment to sustainability are expanding their commitments to the health of their stakeholders in a transversal way in the company’s activity. This new edition of the Action Group will allow us to know its contribution to the well-being and health of employees, consumers and clients from a more strategic approach that recognizes the importance of health as a factor of sustainability and business competitiveness. In this sense, the companies that are part of the Group meet the requirements of having a commitment to health and sustainability that is reflected in their policies, strategy, processes and specific actions and in their products and services, while periodically making public the results related to its performance in this area ”.
The ‘Health and Sustainability Action Group’, headed by Chiesi, Grupo ASISA, Microsoft and Quirónsalud, also has a group of participating companies: Alsea, Grupo Antolín, GSK, Ibercaja, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, Lilly, Sanitas and Santander.
The business meeting organized by Forética within the framework of the Action Group, has been inaugurated by the Ministry of Health, with the intervention of Pilar Aparicio, General Director of Public Health. The international vision has been contributed by Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director of Business in the Community, which has transferred the most prominent global trends in the field of integration of mental health in company strategy. This vision has been complemented with the business experience of Santander Bank in this area, through the BeHealthy program, with the participation of Isabel Regueras, Director of Culture and Commitment.