By Tabitha Jayne
The world of sustainability is confusing. With the drive towards net-zero targets increasing and the pressure of COP26 happening in Scotland this year, it’s easy to think that business is expected to make a quantum leap.
In reality, it’s a journey that we are already on. Many businesses are already on their wellbeing journey. They just don’t know it yet because the language used creates barriers instead of connection.
WEAll Scotland has partnered with Scottish Enterprise (via the Co-operative Development Scotland service) and Remarkable to explore how businesses in Scotland are active in creating a wellbeing economy and how they can do more to contribute to fairer, more inclusive working practices in Scotland.
There are also twenty-one supporting partners helping us by sharing the survey with their networks:
- Business in the Community
- Community Enterprise in Scotland
- Development Trusts Association Scotland
- Foundation Scotland
- Institute of Directors
- Linwood Community Trust
- Mindset Experts
- Natural Change
- Net Zero Community
- North Ayrshire Council
- Remade Network
- RSA – Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce
- Scotland CAN B
- Scottish Council for Development & Industry
- Scottish Football Club
- Scottish Institute of Business Leaders
- Scottish Business Network
- Social Investment Scotland
- VisitScotland Business Events
This is a powerful example of collaboration for a wellbeing economy.
But why do we need a wellbeing economy?
A couple of weeks ago, my mum told me how a friend of the family had killed himself. As a farmer, he turned to renting out caravans to support himself because he couldn’t survive from what he made from the land. With Covid-19 regulations, he had no source of additional income.
Farmers have a high suicide rate, but we don’t talk about it. They are victims of an economic system designed to exploit people and nature.
Last year, my sister-in-law’s nephew found his friend dead from a drug overdose. He is 17 and has already lost two more friends to suicide. They too are victims of an economic system that doesn’t work.
When I was seven, I nearly died from an asthma attack caused by air pollution. I am a survivor of an economic system that doesn’t work. If you’re reading this, so are you.
It’s time for the economic system to change. A wellbeing economy is a way of preventing needless deaths. It puts people and nature at the heart of our economic system because we are the economy.
Business has an essential role to play in this transition. Yet too often the actions of big business pollute how we view the way business is done.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, I deeply care about those who work for me and for the community I live in. That’s where the journey of a wellbeing business starts.
And that’s why I’m working on behalf of WEAll Scotland to create a survey on business and the wellbeing economy.
If you’re a business (of any kind and structure), we’d love for you to take part.