The INHERIT consortium work is based on the following guiding principles:

  • The quality of our health and the quality of the environment in which we live are closely interlinked. Environmental sustainability is a prerequisite to good health;
  • Our lifestyles and behaviours (influenced by a complex mix of public and private sector actions) impact our health and the environment. Positive change can come from initiatives and innovations that encourage or enable us to live and behave in ways that protect the environment and improve our health;
  • People with low socio-economic status are worst hit by the effects of environmental damage, face the highest burden of disease, and often face circumstances that make it difficult to adapt their behaviours. It is important to focus on solutions that work for these groups;
  • Finding solutions to complex societal problems like environmental damage, growing levels of chronic diseases and health inequalities calls for more and better collaboration between sectors like health, the environment, industry and economic actors;
  • Good ideas are out there, and there is a strong desire and drive amongst many citizens and key actors for a more sustainable future. Our challenge is to identify the best of these ideas and to help mainstream them;
  • Businesses and the private sector are part of the solution and must be involved in protecting and promoting health and achieving environmental sustainability;

To move towards a healthier, more equitable and environmentally sustainable future, INHERIT aims to:

  • Make more explicit the links between the environment, health, wellbeing, health equity, and our lifestyles and behaviours;
  • Contribute to raising awareness amongst policy makers and the general public about our (un)sustainable lifestyles and behaviours and how they impact the environment, health and health equity;
  • Identify solutions -policies, interventions and innovations- that help make healthy and environmentally sustainable behaviours the easy and attractive ‘default’ option for all, through a range of different sources (literature review, visioning exercise, citizens’ fora);
  • Build the evidence-base regarding cost-effective, good practice models that can be replicated in different contexts;
  • Build capacity and encourage leadership from the health sector to work inter-sectorally with the environment and other sectors;
  • Use the evidence base to advocate, and mobilise key actors to implement the identified solutions, to help achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.