Climate change is already affecting Victoria with more heatwaves and less rainfall overall, as well as more severe bushfires and longer fire seasons.
The Achievement Program, delivered by Cancer Council Victoria, is helping its members adapt to climate change and take actions that co-benefit health and wellbeing through its Climate and Health pathway.
A total of 21 Victorian early childhood services, schools and workplaces have already completed the pathway. The pathway is available to all Achievement Program members.
Cancer Council Victoria’s Head of the Achievement Program Tope Adepoyibi said the new pathway was initially devised to help make the link between the climate and health actions that Achievement Program members were often already doing, and to encourage members to make positive changes.
“As a large prevention program reaching early childhood services, schools and workplaces across Victoria, we seized the opportunity to support our members to adapt to climate change and take climate actions that co-benefit the health and wellbeing of their students and/or employees”
The pathway is aligned with the climate and health focus area of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019-23 and supports settings to undertake six actions:
- Increase active travel
- Eat more plants
- Reduce waste
- Use less energy
- Connect with nature
- Get climate-read
Ms Adepoyibi said the Achievement Program was proud to be embedding climate action. “Our motto became ‘if we want to be healthy, we need to keep the planet healthy too’,” she said.
“Our current activities are focused on spreading the word about the Climate and Health pathway as the profile of climate change as an urgent societal issue continues to increase.
“We would love to see all our Achievement Program members take part, and be acknowledged for the great work they’re doing to address climate change and health and wellbeing.”
Comments from Achievement Program organisations that have completed the Climate and Health pathway:
“We have solar panels but hadn’t undertaken many other sustainability activities or thought about the relevance of incorporating climate action into a wellbeing program. However, after reading the Achievement Program’s new Climate and Health resources, we see how climate change is already impacting the health of Victorian workers and understand the need to incorporate climate actions as part of a holistic approach to wellbeing.”
“Our kindergarten is excited to build upon kids’ love of learning in their outdoor environment and embed intentional teaching about the Achievement Program’s climate actions and how they relate to health, as well as collaborate with the local community.”
“After learning about the link between climate and health, and seeing all of the Achievement Program resources and suggested activities within the Climate and Health toolkit, we intend to look at reducing our energy use, implement meat-free Mondays, serve more fruit and vegetables for morning tea, promote local markets and encourage families to walk and ride to kinder.”
You can learn more about the Climate and Health pathway here. You can sign up to the pathway as an existing Achievement Program member here or start taking climate action by joining the free Achievement Program here.