Business leaders feel a strong sense of responsibility to address the rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and see potential for the private sector to make an important difference in incidence rates, according to a report jointly released today by FTI Consulting and GBCHealth. The report,“Confronting a Global Epidemic: Corporate Perceptions and Trends in NCD Initiatives,” reveals the latest findings from FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, and GBCHealth, which represents over 200 private sector companies engaged in global health.
NCDs: A Growing Global Epidemic
NCDs, defined as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, currently account for over 63 percent of deaths in the world. Though historically associated with the economic development and wealth most often found in high-income countries, NCDs today are a great burden in low- and middle-income countries as well. These diseases also have a staggering socioeconomic impact due to high treatment costs and lost productivity.
To better understand corporate perceptions and trends on NCDs, the Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting and GBCHealth spearheaded research to study the implications of NCDs in the business world. Through surveys and in-depth interviews of GBCHealth members, the organizations investigated business activity on NCDs in two major areas: workplace programs and outward-facing corporate citizenship initiatives.
Accelerating Corporate Impact on NCDs in the Workplace
Many business leaders see NCD engagement as a natural progression in the overarching goal of taking a more comprehensive approach to the health and well-being of employees. Several key findings underscore the evolution of corporate engagement on NCDs and workplace wellness:
Forty percent of respondents expect their organizations to increase investment in NCD programs in the near future; key motivations included workforce health, productivity and corporate responsibility.
For issues such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, comprehensive wellness and physical inactivity, corporate respondents rated Business as more able to make an impact than Government.
Similarly, Business was said to have greater responsibility to make improvements in these areas than Government.
“With deep experience advising corporations on employee engagement disease awareness and social responsibility, FTI Consulting embarked on this research to explore how business leaders are viewing the intersection of these issues,” said Ed Harnaga, Senior Managing Director of the Healthcare and Life Sciences team in the Strategic Communications practice at FTI Consulting. “This report lays out recommendations on how corporations can holistically address the health and wellness of their employees and communities.”
Added Michael Schreiber, Managing Director at GBCHealth: “To achieve their global health goals, businesses often partner with non-corporate stakeholders, who contribute their knowledge, expertise and other assets toward supporting private sector engagement on health. GBCHealth works with over 200 member companies to contribute our overall knowledge and understanding of the global health landscape to help facilitate effective business action on health.”
The study’s findings illustrate the need to establish the business case for engagement on NCDs, build upon the successes of communicable disease initiatives and share best practices. Respondents reported that once a business case was made, companies tended to provide funding. However, respondents believe that more could be done in the broader NCD landscape to provide compelling evidence on the value of these programs and convince decision makers in corporations to invest in such initiatives.
About the “Confronting a Global Epidemic: Corporate Perceptions and Trends in NCD Initiatives” Report
Quantitative data were collected via an online survey administered among GBCHealth member organizations and contacts during May of 2011. The data were collected, coded and analyzed using proprietary, in-house software. A total of 61 respondents participated in the survey, representing 18 countries, five continents and 16 industry groups.
In-depth interviews were conducted by telephone in August and September of 2011 among executives with involvement in NCD programs or initiatives in their respective companies.
About the Strategic Communications Practice of FTI Consulting
The Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting is one of the world’s most highly regarded communications consultancies. With more than 20 years of experience advising management teams in critical situations, the Strategic Communications practice supports clients in protecting and enhancing their reputation in the capital markets, society and the political environment. Services of the Strategic Communications practice are financial communications, corporate communications and public affairs, with specialty offerings that include strategy consulting, research, creative engagement, crisis and issues management, and change communications. The Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting is an established market leader in M&A communications and has been for many years.
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. (fticonsulting.com) is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011.
GBCHealth (gbchealth.org) represents over 200 private sector companies leading the business fight for improved global health. Through work that includes developing comprehensive workplace policies; supporting community programs; leveraging core competencies; facilitating leadership and advocacy by business leaders; and brokering public-private partnerships, GBCHealth helps members achieve their global health goals. GBCHealth also manages the private sector delegation to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, serving as an entry point for corporate collaboration and engagement with the fund and its recipients worldwide. GBCHealth has offices in New York, Johannesburg, Beijing, Nairobi and Moscow.