Long-term Investors for People's Health
Good health: A vital asset
Good health is the bedrock for a thriving society. Our health is determined by the conditions in which we are born, work, live and age. The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored pre-existing societal challenges such as inequalities and high levels of chronic ill-health. It led to a labour market exodus across the OECD and highlighted the vital role good health plays in driving economic prosperity.
Of the roughly half a million Britons aged 15-64 still missing from the workforce since the pandemic begun, two in three cite long-term illness as their reason for not holding or seeking a job. In the US, poor health costs businesses an average of $3,900 per employee per year through absences and lost productivity. Poor diets are a key driver of ill-health, linked to 1 in 5 deaths globally, other factors like smoking, alcohol consumption and air quality are all important risk factors, too.
Poor health is exposing investors and many of the businesses they’re invested in to elevated and preventable financial risk. That’s why we’re establishing the Long-term Investors in People’s Health (LIPH) initiative. A global initiative that will support investors to give greater priority to health within their work.
The LIPH initiative helps investors to:
Gain a competitive advantage by being a leader and making an early commitment to prioritise health – a social engagement theme gaining fast momentum.
Join collaborative engagement initiatives to drive accelerated company progress and disclosure on key health issues.
Learn from one another and get early insight and support to mitigate health-related risks within your portfolios - including best practice guidance, company benchmarks, and briefings.
With our support, help influence policymakers and data providers to improve the health data landscape.
Learn more about becoming an investor signatory
Find out more about the benefits of joining the LIPH initiative and how to get in touch with us.
LIPH has developed this framework for health
The quality of work, working conditions and benefits provided by employers are a key determinant of health. Important factors include paying a Living Wage, offering secure contracts, provision of adequate and equitable parental leave, offering sick pay packages that support people to recover and stay well, and in some countries, health insurance. Well-designed jobs that give workers control and autonomy are also important for health.
As much as a third of all deaths worldwide are attributable to overconsumption of certain products – including alcohol, tobacco and food and drinks products. Health is heavily influenced by the actions of companies in these industries. With nearly one in five children now starting school either overweight or obese, the sales of high fat, high sugar products are in the spotlight.
Beyond their direct employees and customers, companies can influence the health of wider communities through polluting effects, or through their supply chains. The global cost of health damage because of poor air quality is estimated to equate to 6.1 per cent of global GDP.
The LIPH initiative will grow investor engagement in health as an overarching theme and connect into existing investor initiatives focussing on specific health topics. We encourage investors, as well as other civil society groups working on health to get in touch about partnering with us. Contact us below to find out more.
Our corporate engagement
We will bring investors together on a range of key health topics focused on the three health pillars laid out above. This already includes our Healthy Markets initiative focussed on nutrition and Good Work coalition focussed on paying a Living Wage. Over the next two years we aim to build additional corporate engagement initiatives within the LIPH programme such as on workplace health and air quality.
Our expert Steering Committee
We’re working with experts from public health, academia, government and the private sector to set a vision for an investment system that values health. We aim to become a recognised voice on stewardship and health
Steering Committee members
Kieron Boyle is Chair of the Steering Committee. He is Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation, one of the world’s oldest health endowments. He is a leading voice on urban health. He previously led the UK government’s work on impact investment. Kieron is on the Boards of the Design Council and Big Society Capital.
Alvise Munari is the Global Head of Client Coverage at MSCI and a member of MSCI’s Executive Committee. He oversees MSCI’s client business globally across all products and services. Before joining MSCI, he spent 20 years in the banking industry most recently at Morgan Stanley.
Catherine Howarth joined ShareAction as Chief Executive in 2008. ShareAction coordinates civil society activism to promote responsible investment across Europe. She is a member of HM Treasury’s asset management taskforce. She is a board member of the Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian, serving on the Scott Trust’s investment committee. Catherine was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014.
Dr Jennifer Dixon is chief executive of The Health Foundation, an independently endowed foundation which seeks to improve health and health care for the people of the UK. With a background in medicine and research, Jennifer is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded a CBE for services to public health in 2013, and a Doctor of Science from Bristol University in 2016.
Professor Sir Michael Marmot is Director of the Institute of Health Equity (UCL Department of Epidemiology & Public Health). He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world. Professor Marmot is the Advisor to the WHO Director-General, on social determinants of health. He conducted the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ in February 2010. This was followed by Health Equity in England: Marmot Review 10 Years On and Build Back Fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot Review.
Other members of the Committee will be announced soon.