Health is a major pillar of corporate sustainability

Health is a major pillar of corporate sustainability

Health Impact Assessments help assure there is no negative business impact on community health and help identify and document positive health and safety impact opportunities.

Particularly in new and emerging markets, health programs can improve productivity, build goodwill, and enhance business performance. These programs highlight the good work organizations are doing to support their CSR agenda as well as their Duty of Care obligations (taking care of their community from within).

Recommended Action

  • Organizations should identify and develop targeted health programs in partnership with their local community.

Polling Results

  • 24-percent perform a Health Impact Assessment on the possible health effects projects may have on the local community.

Additional Resources

  • International Finance Corporation , World Bank Group: Introduction to Health Impact Assessment
    This site provides good practice guidance and methodologies to protect and mitigate the potential community health impact as a result of project development. This guidance supports a Social and Environmental Sustainability agenda.
  • A Guide to Health Assessment  in the Oil and Gas Industry
    This Guide defines and outlines the purpose and value of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) within the oil and gas industry. It aims to describe the overall HIA process as it is currently understood and practiced.
  • WHO Europe Website: Health Impact Assessment
    Health impact assessments (HIA) provide decision-makers with sound information about the health implications of policies, programs and projects, ranging, for example, from construction of a waste incinerator to the redesign of an urban neighborhood. WHO/Europe provides support to Member States on HIA by developing methodologies and tools, carrying out assessments and reviews, and advising on policy options.
  • Society of Practioners of Health Impact Assessment Website
    This site includes a growing global network of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) practitioners that includes members from 14 countries including 6 Canadian provinces and 37 US states. Members are interested in seeing HIA grow and contribute to the reduction of health inequities and improved opportunities for healthy living for everyone.
  • Health Impact Assessment Blog
    News and information on Health Impact Assessment (HIA). An activity of the International Association for Impact Assessment’s Health Section.
  • Public Health England Website: HIA
    This is an executive agency of the Department of Health, England. The HIA Gateway provides access to resources and information on Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for those new to HIA, practitioners of HIA and those wishing to commission HIAs or some other Impact Assessment process (i.e. Integrated Impact Assessment, Mental Well-being Impact Assessment and health-related Strategic Environmental Assessment).
  • IPEICA: guide to Health Impact Assessments
    This Pocket Guide is a ‘quick-reference’ supplement to the IPIECA/OGP publication entitled A Guide to Health Impact Assessments. It provides a summary checklist of activities to consider when conducting health impact assessments in the oil and gas industry. 

Council Commentary

While only a quarter of companies perform formal Health Impact Assessments today, it is strongly recommended that they assess their footprints within communities and ensure, at a minimum, their organization is not having a deleterious effect. Such negative impacts may be initially difficult to see. Over-burdening the local healthcare system with imported personnel and spreading communicable diseases within the community are common problems. Many of the positive impact opportunities are listed above in the actual efforts of best in class organizations. Such positive efforts are obvious “good news” stories which are important messages to be delivered under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.