Corporate Determinants of Health

By John Millar

The notion of the corporate determinants of health is gaining traction. Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO recently stated that ‘the formulation of health policies must be protected from distortion by commercial or vested interests’; ‘Big Food, Big Soda and Big Alcohol fear regulation and protect themselves by using …tactics (such as)…front groups, lobbies, promises of self-regulation, lawsuits, industry-funded research that confuses evidence and keeps the public in doubt..(also)…gifts, grants, and contributions to worthy causes that cast these industries as respectable corporate citizens…(and) …place the responsibility for harm to health on individuals, and portray government actions as interference in personal liberties and free choice.’

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

PHABC is proceeding to recognize ‘healthy corporations’ that meet the following (triple bottom line):  a useful, healthy, ethical product at fair market value; living wage for all employees and outsourced staff; progressive benefits that include  pensions, vacation, parental and other leaves, and day care; workplace wellness; progressive management – control, ownership, profit sharing, unions; corporate social responsibility; and, green policies.

logoIn the United States the idea of B Corporations is spreading with the recent announcement of B Corporation legislation in Delaware. This is legislation that allows businesses to legally incorporate to pursue the triple bottom line (PPP: Profits, People. Planet) – more: http://www.bcorporation.net/

We all have a role to play in building a healthier society. It is time the corporate sector accepted their role as a key contributor to population health.

Dr John_DSC0831– John Millar is a Clinical Professor Emeritus , University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health, and Vice President of the PHABC.

Further Reading

Address to the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion  | Dr. Margaret Chan | June 10 2013

A New Kind of Corporation to Harness the Power of Private Enterprise for Public Benefit | Gov. Jack Markell (Delaware) | Huffington Post – Business Canada | July 22 2013

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s