Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages.
SDG3 focuses on raising global health and wellbeing standards. This includes improving maternal and infant mortality rates, lowering rates of disease and mental health problems, and reducing the number of deaths, injuries, and illnesses caused by road traffic accidents, hazardous chemicals, pollution, and poor sanitation. It also targets universal access to healthcare.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing at all ages is essential to sustainable development. In particular, poor health threatens the rights of children to education, limits people’s economic opportunities, and increases poverty within communities and countries around the world.
In addition to being a cause of poverty, health is impacted by poverty and is strongly connected to other aspects of sustainable development, including water and sanitation, gender equality, climate change, and peace and stability. Meanwhile, better health and wellbeing brings significant economic benefits and is therefore integral to ending poverty and reducing inequalities around the world.
How the cement and concrete industry is making a positive difference
The built environment lies at the heart of SDG3 through the provision of decent housing, clean water and sanitation, affordable energy, accessible healthcare, and good transportation links – all of which are vital components to health and wellbeing. The built environment is reliant on concrete’s sustainability characteristics, including its durability, widespread availability, and cost-effectiveness, to offer key resilience to natural disasters.
The industry also helps to reduce poverty – a key cause of poor health and wellbeing – and to raise living standards through the direct and indirect economic impact of its activities on the countries, regions, and communities in which it operates.
In its own direct operations, the industry has long recognised the importance of health and safety. It is a key priority of the GCCA, with a goal of zero-harm, and GCCA members annually report key health and safety performance indicators as part of their commitment to the GCCA Sustainability Charter. To support its members, the GCCA has published a Health Management Handbook.
As a heavy user of road transportation, promoting good road safety practices is another strand of the industry’s work to ensure a safe working environment and meet SDG3:6, which calls for a halving of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents. The GCCA is an active participant in the industry’s efforts to improve road safety, publishing the GCCA Road Safety Handbook for members.
In addition to managing the risks to physical health, there is growing recognition of mental health risks – particularly among men, who are less likely to access mental healthcare – with efforts to destigmatise and encourage openness about mental health challenges through the training of mental health first aiders.