Health is an issue that has economic, environmental and social impact when it is not addressed properly. An example of this are the current “lifestyle diseases” such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune disease, obesity as well as behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder and depression. These problems have long-term social, environmental as well as economic causes, such as environmental pollution or poor nutrition and exercise. The bottom line question that results asks what is sustainable from an economic, environmental, societal and healthcare point of view related to both individuals and businesses.
Health as such is a bottom line business issue and as important as economic viability and sustainability, environmental impact and protection, and social responsibility. With health, individuals have more vitality, feel more fulfilled and are more productive. With health, businesses have an economic advantage in the productivity and motivation of their employees. Businesses also have a competitive advantage that arises from increased employee productivity and also from appealing to customers from a quadruple bottom line business ethic. Without health, financial costs spiral due to increased health insurance costs and as opportunities, such as employee productivity, are lost.
My business goal is make health be seen as a lifestyle issue for individuals that affects their financial bottom line. I also aim to promote health as business issue and further promote it in a quadruple bottom line approach to business practice. The emphasis of this approach is that it is incorporated into business practice as well as peoples’ individual habits. For example, environmental impact for a business could be the carbon footprint or pollution caused by the company on the natural environment. This same environmental impact is mirrored in an individual in terms their daily habits (such as smoking or poor dietary habits) that have an impact on the physiological environment of their bodies.
In all, the individual person as well as corporate entity, society and natural environment are all reflected in each other and are furthermore interdependent. This mirrors the Chinese Medical viewpoint that what is manifested in the inner universe (i.e. inside the body or mind) is a reflection of and intimately related to the outer universe (i.e. cosmos, natural world or social environment). This also relates to the functional medical viewpoint whereby health reflects the influence of factors that act on genetic factors to enhance or diminish disease. These factors include social interaction, emotional and work related stress, environmental pollution, and nutrient quality and absorption. When all these factors are integrated in addressing health, individuals prosper.
Overall, businesses can play a pivotal role in addressing these factors and making health a core concern. And so can individuals in their personal lives. In doing so businesses and their stakeholders can enjoy the rewards of making health a bottom line business and personal practice. My goal therefore is to create a company and work ethic that both reflects this quadruple bottom line approach and furthermore promotes it.