Our first-half 2017 sustainability blog articles delve into megatrends — long-term and global shifts affecting businesses, society and government — and what they mean for our company, our customers and our communities. In our last two pieces, we discussed the concept of megatrends overall, and then explored Sustainability & Climate Change. In this article, we look more closely into health & well-being.
The Southwire family of employees has always been our greatest asset, and keeping our employees and their families safe and healthy is foundational to our lasting success. Our strategic approach to Employee Wellness aligns with what sustainability trend experts and frameworks like TrendOne, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) see as emerging global health and wellness concerns.
What Health Issues are Trending?
The different experts and frameworks approach megatrends from a unique perspective. TrendOne looks primarily at innovation and developments for businesses, while the WEF predicts global risks and the UN SDGs propose specific targets to address the most pressing development challenges. When considering these varying perspectives, we focused on the areas where they overlapped most — topics that significantly impact all stakeholders.
Priorities like expanding coverage to comprehensive and affordable health care — including preventive care and other essential services — reflect the need to better manage growing health challenges, like rising rates of chronic and infectious disease, that may ultimately drive social or political instability.
What is Southwire Doing?
Southwire is addressing many of the core issues identified by global trendwatchers. Of course, the most fundamental component to keeping our employees healthy is keeping them safe. Southwire strives to achieve best in class safety performance and integrates our safety goals and metrics into the highest level of our strategic sustainability goals. We define success by achieving a tenfold increase in the number of injury-free event reports, a 75 percent decrease in our total recordable injury rate and OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) or equivalent certification at all sites, by 2021.
Our health-focused, on-site programs include initiatives to help Southwire employees reach their weight loss and tobacco use goals, two contributing factors to rising chronic illness worldwide. We provide convenient and comprehensive medical care and nutritional guidance on-site, as well as access to exercise facilities either on-site or in the community through stipends. One-third of our workforce utilizes exercise opportunities through our programs.
Total Rewards, our broader wellness initiative to help employees and their families make the right choices for their unique situations, integrates preventive and comprehensive healthcare into other options for emotional and financial well-being.