Written by Nadine Esposito.
From an ethical perspective, the desire to sustain and preserve what holds value and significance is not limited to our environment but also extends to our personal well-being. The commitment to protect our planet parallels the effort to enhance and extend human life.
While Sustainability and Longevity might seem like separate concepts, they actually merge seamlessly, reinforcing themselves.
The U.N. SDG’s: Longevity rooted in a sustainable world
The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive roadmap for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.
From eliminating poverty to ensuring clean water and sanitation, these goals outline a path to a more sustainable future, way beyond a narrow focus on climate:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequality
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
- Partnerships to achieve the Goal
The interconnection among these sustainability goals is evident. While each is important on its own, together they form a larger narrative.
Longevity aligns with several SDGs
The most obvious “#3 Good Health and Well-being” emphasizes the need for a sustainable and healthy environment to achieve both longer lifespans and in particular longer health spans.
Access to “#6 Clean Water and Sanitation” plays a critical role in disease prevention essential for good health, while the goals of “#7 Affordable and Clean Energy” and “#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities” highlight amongst other topics the importance of clean air and reduction of pollution which is essential for overall health.
Furthermore, “#4 Quality Education” is crucial in the context of longevity. Proper education also includes health literacy, which in turn motivates and enables individuals to adopt more health conscious, preventative lifestyles. Understanding the human body, the aging process, and the factors that influence health allows individuals to make informed choices to optimize their health span and reduce future healthcare costs which can be a significant burden if financial means are limited.
Education serves as a powerful tool to combat ageism, one of the most common forms of discrimination, fostering respect and understanding for the aging process as a shared journey for all.
Aging is a universally shared experience (until we find methods to reverse the aging process). From the day we’re born, we all age. This makes aging a topic that should resonate with everyone, emphasizing the inclusive nature of the process. Therefore, the goal of “Reduced Inequality” speaks volumes about the importance of inclusivity and fairness as the global population continues to age.
A life worth extending… only on a thriving planet
When we speak of health span, we refer to the period of life lived in good health, free from the constraints of chronic age related diseases. Enhancing the quality of life is as important as its duration. This principle of preserving optimal health complements our efforts to care for the environment, highlighting the significance of both nature and human existence.
If advancements in science allow us to live up to 120 years or more, and If we indeed aspire to longer and healthier lives (physically and mentally), it’s crucial that those lives are spent in a clean and sustainable environment.
The choices we make today for a greener planet are therefore essential as they will shape the world of our extended future.
Financing a sustainable and long-lasting future
Shifting the lens towards longevity, the changing demographics, characterized by an older global population, influence investment behaviors and preferences i.e. the investment horizon is a predictor for risk tolerance whereas the former is dependant on a person’s health status.
With older generations having changing needs and desires, businesses need to adapt to remain relevant and profitable i.e. sustain in business. This demographic shift serves as a key consideration for investors, showcasing the close relationship between sustainability and longevity.
Sustainable finance integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into business and investment decisions, directing funds toward long-lasting, sustainable companies and projects.
Economic challenges and proactive solutions
A rising aging population brings economic challenges, from potential stagnation in economic growth to workforce shortages and others. As more people retire, pension systems face mounting pressures. At the same time, the healthcare sector faces rising costs due to the increased needs of an aging population.
These challenges highlight the need for innovative solutions. Just as a mind shift towards proactive measures is vital in caring for the environment, a preventative approach is essential:
- in healthcare to emphasize preserving health and preventing diseases compared to curing.
- in finance to alleviate the strains on pension systems and promote sustainable economic stability amidst an aging population.
In conclusion we can argue that the seamless blend of sustainability and longevity defines our shared vision for the future. They stress the importance of long-term planning. They encourage us to think, plan, and act for the well-being of both our planet and its inhabitants.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of the Swiss Finance + Technology Association.
Nadine Esposito is heading the internal operational Risk Management team for the Risk Advisory practice at Deloitte Switzerland. Her interests in nutrition and exercise, paired with her education in sustainable finance, have directed her attention towards the subject of longevity and healthy ageing. Fascinated by the intricate balance of risks and opportunities presented by an ageing population, especially in the financial space, Nadine seeks to explore how we can age better, both healthily and sustainably (including financially resilient). She is an active member of the Swiss Finance + Technology Association (SFTA) and serves as the SFTA Head FinTech for Longevity.