Every year on 7th April, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates its anniversary by organising World Health Days. The WHO works in over 150 countries to achieve their goal of building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.

This year’s ‘World Health Day’ topic is ‘Universal health coverage, everyone, everywhere’, because everyone everywhere has a right to benefit from health services they need without falling into poverty when using them.

We spoke to Isabelle Grosmaitre, Danone and Alex Hurd, Walmart, Health & Wellness Co-Chairs leading CGF’s efforts to empower healthier practices for consumers, about their work at the CGF and ‘Collaboration for Healthier Lives’ (CHL), an initiative that resonates the World Health Day.

  • Can you tell us a bit more about the CHL initiative? Collaboration for Healthier Lives is a unique platform for the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers to work together to empower people to live healthier lives. We incubate novel approaches for individuals and families to drive healthier practices. We are bringing capabilities together in-store, and we are experimenting with the digital dimension to nudge healthier behaviours. We act in local markets across the globe and in close partnership with local stakeholders, including public health authorities and non-profit organisations.

  • How is this year’s ‘World Health Day’ topic in line with CHL? We believe that the store environment can create a transformational impact in the health and wellbeing of people, globally. CHL initiatives are active in Colombia, Holland, Japan and the United States and more are planned to be rolled-out this year in Costa Rica, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom. So, like this year’s World Health Day, we are trying to reach ‘everyone, everywhere’ with our initiatives.

  • What does CHL aim to achieve? The goal for Collaboration for Healthier Lives is to demonstrate that retailers and manufacturers can play a pivotal role in helping individuals and families maintain and improve their health and wellbeing. We are building private public partnerships to demonstrate the positive impact the retail and manufacturing industry can have in the communities we serve. We want to build scalable models together towards structural change in health and wellness systems around the globe.

  • How do you measure the impact of this initiative? We are looking at how Collaboration for Healthier lives can empower individuals to make healthier choices and adopt healthier behaviours. We are making substantial progress in the model with key partners, stakeholders, and academics, learning from local initiatives that have started and we should be in a position to share the global framework in the coming months. We will share learnings from local initiatives in a global framework to be able to accelerate actions and bold outcomes.

  • What does success mean? We are looking at an iterative process of experimenting and learning so we don’t foresee any major breakthroughs immediately. What we are building is a grassroots movement offering a different approach for community stakeholders to work together to identify solutions that are scalable. This will take time. Ultimately, we will have succeeded in a few years from now, through the findings and evidence we generate with our partners, retailers and manufacturers, who are crucial stakeholders for creating access to sustainable, scalable health and wellbeing solutions.

  • Can you tell us a bit more about your role of Co-Chair and what it means to you personally? It has been a distinguished honour and privilege to be the Co-Chairs of the Health & Wellness Steering Committee, with such a group of executive leaders and passionate professionals in Health & Wellness. We have a unique opportunity to join forces, to be leaders of a wider change, the industry being a force for good for healthier lives. The aim of the Health & Wellness Pillar is to make a significant impact in the communities we serve around the world. Together, we will empower people to drive positive, sustainable change in adopting healthier behaviours.

  • Where next in Health & Wellness? We are making great progress in setting up this pioneer business movement for healthier lives–. Plans are also underway to add additional initiatives in countries in South America, Western Europe and Africa later this year.  Our common goal is to share our 5-year plan for the upcoming Board of Directors meeting in Singapore in June. A key milestone will be at the CGF Global Summit in Singapore where we will invite others to join this collective movement for positive change.

There is a clear opportunity for business to really contribute to public health and a culture of prevention, and members of the CGF acknowledge this fact as part of a shared responsibility. The WHO have come up with a list of actions you can take to support World Health Day and kickstart conversations around the topic.

CGF Health & Wellness Co-Chairs
This post was written by our Health & Wellness team, with the support of:

Isabelle Grosmaitre, Alimentation Initiative Catalyst, Danone
Alex Hurd, Senior Director Health & Wellness, Walmart