With #WorldHealthDay today, let’s recognize that for us to be healthy people, we need a healthy planet.
For too long, we’ve put health and the environment in different boxes. The work of our one world is to bridge the two, to understand that, in fact, they belong in the same box. The truth is, human health and the health of our environment are inextricably linked, and as we improve one, we will improve the other as well.
In the midst of a pandemic, a polluted planet, and increasing incidence of diseases like cancer, asthma and heart disease, we’re in transformative times. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.
So as we mark World Health Day 2022 with the theme “Our planet, our health”, let’s create a future system that supports both healthy people and a healthy planet. This means taking steps to act now and reshape our economy to be more restorative, low-carbon, circular and inclusive.
Our collective resilience is fully connected to the health of our planet. Imagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all, where economies are focused on planetary and human health and well-being, and where healthy, people-centred cities, villages and communities create conditions for people to lead better lives. The health of the climate, and that of our populations, requires global collaboration, increased finance and the equitable sharing of solutions.
More than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes.
At ISO, our goal is to create a positive environmental, social and economic impact through standards to enable our world to become more sustainable. With 75 years of experience, we focus on those areas in which we can most effectively contribute solutions for healthy populations, climate action and socially responsible value chains.
With a growing portfolio of standards that keep people healthy and safe and support global action on climate change, ISO plays a tremendous role in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to ensure a more sustainable tomorrow. Trusted by government, industry and consumers, these standards are the foundation of a healthier, more sustainable society.
Let’s take World Health Day 2022 as both a reminder and inspiration of what’s at stake and how important it is that we join forces to create a more just, healthy and prosperous life for all people, respecting the boundaries of our one planet. The actions we take in the coming decade will be crucial – and standards can play a pivotal role in catalysing the step-change that’s needed to put us on track to a healthier world.
By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis