80 ways to a more sustainable future

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More than 80 practices that promote environmental sustainability, health, and contribute to health equity in the EU have been brought together in INHERIT’s promising practices database. It shows sustainable ways to action in the way we live (green space and housing), move (transport), and consume (food) which encourage behaviour and lifestyle change. These examples will help those interested in such initiatives to explore and build on existing work. The database has been developed by PROLEPSIS, partner of INHERIT (2016-2019), an EU-funded initiative developing scenarios and stimulating effective interventions for a more sustainable future.

We hope that what we now refer to as ‘promising’ practice in the database will in the not too distant future be considered ‘common’ practice, as we move closer towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. INHERIT’s aim is to normalise the use of active modes of transport for short trips, and democratise the availability of good quality green space and healthy food, produced in ways that don’t harm the environment and our health.

-Caroline Costongs, EuroHealthNet Director & INHERIT Coordinator.

The database was launched on the last day of the United Nations high-level political forum on sustainable development in New York (10-19 July), where delegates reviewed progress that has been made by Sustainable Development Goal signatories in relation to specific goals in the Convention, including Goal 3, Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Contributing to the achievement of these goals, the European Parliament recently adopted a report calling for the European Commission to be more ambitious in implementing the SDGs, and for the exchange of best practice and innovative ideas. In addition, the 6th WHO Europe Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, where INHERIT was presented, recently culminated with the signing of the Ostrava Declaration, committing signatories to action in seven key areas to improve the environment and thereby health.

The INHERIT promising practice database supports these international initiatives to promote sustainable development by providing concrete examples of intersectoral actions which enable citizens to live and behave in more sustainable ways. The promising practices reflect a growing understanding that environmental sustainability, health, and equity are interlinked and that action in one of these areas benefits the others, though it is important to recognise and maximise these mutual benefits.

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For more information visit: www.inherit.eu

The INHERIT (INter-sectoral Health and Environment Research for InnovaTion) initiative is stimulating effective policies, practices and innovations that address key environmental stressors of health and the underlying causes of health inequity.

This Horizon 2020 research project aims to encourage us to modify our current lifestyles and behaviours, characterized by a ‘take, make, consume, dispose’ models of growth, to formulate scenarios for a more sustainable future, and to design, implement and test inter-sectoral initiatives to achieve the desired change.

For background information and evidence underpinning the promising practices, please see the INHERIT baseline report: ‘Exploring triple-win solutions for living, moving and consuming that encourage behavioural change, protect the environment, promote health and health equity.’

On 26th September a workshop to identify what policy measures are needed to achieve healthy and sustainable lifestyles in Europe in 2040 will be held in Brussels. To register interest in taking part contact Ingrid Stegeman, Programme Manager: i.stegeman@eurohealthnet.eu

The INHERIT promising practice database was developed by the Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health (PROLEPSIS), Greece, on behalf of INHERIT