At the BMW Group, green means healthy. Integrated approach to health and nutrition in the working environment.
21. February 2020
ca. 4 minutes
Long-term health – who doesn’t want that?
It is certainly a very important topic for us as an employer. Health is our most valuable asset as human beings. We regard it as the basis for individual performance and personal enjoyment of life. That is why we have firmly established health-related topics in our corporate strategy as an element of social sustainability. Our vision is “best in health”, where two aspects always go hand in hand: circumstances and behaviour. Circumstances means organising the working environment in the best way possible for employee health, while behaviour is mainly about individual responsibility. We aim to convince people that it is worth living a healthy life.
Clear health goals.
Since 2013, all health and occupational safety topics at the company have been clustered in the “Working Environment and Health” department. Seven areas of preventative health are covered by the “Health Initiative”: exercise, occupational safety, ergonomics, nutrition, mental health, addiction prevention and occupational medicine. An integrated approach means that insights gained can be implemented right away in concrete measures. The initiative also helps make us a more attractive employer and keeps personnel costs competitive. There are clear targets for this contribution and we have developed our own Health Behaviour Index (HBI) to measure changes in behaviour and the impact of health measures.
Voluntary health checks for targeted prevention.
Extensive medical examinations are one of our main levers for optimising health and the working environment. These check-ups have been conducted by the BMW Group for the past five years in conjunction with company doctors, both in Germany and overseas. The employee is also questioned about their working environment. Whole organisational units are surveyed, with participation naturally on a voluntary basis. More than 35,000 examinations have been conducted since 2014. The good news is that, despite the rising age of the workforce, there has been a decrease in employees’ so-called “Framington score”, which assesses their risk of cardiovascular disease for the next 10 years. The long-term blood sugar analysis has improved.
50% of employees now eat healthier.
Nutrition is another good place to start. In Germany and Austria, we handle our own company catering, serving more than 42,000 meals per day. Dishes at our company restaurants are labelled like traffic lights, using the colours green, yellow and orange to indicate the meal’s calorific and nutritional value. The percentage of key ingredients and method of preparation are also taken into account. Traffic-light labelling is designed to raise awareness of healthy eating. The results so far have been very impressive: Compared with 2013, over 50% of diners now choose a “healthier” green meal, instead of a yellow or an orange one: That’s around 11,000 employees every day.
One green for maximum recognition.
In this way, we are putting our philosophy on a plate – rather than focusing on the sometimes quite complex connections and context. The Health Initiative brackets all measures and activities relating to the health and performance of our employees together. To help with this, we developed our own colour – a particularly striking green. It may sound simple, but this attracts attention and creates recognition throughout the BMW world. The employees have responded very favourably: You could say they have given it the green light.
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