INHERIT | Inter-sectoral Health and Environment Research for Innovation

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 17 October 2018



From 01/01/2016 to 31/12/2019

Identifying ways of living, moving and consuming that protect the environment and promote health and health equity

INHERIT is about stimulating effective policies, practices and innovations that address key environmental stressors of health and the underlying causes of health inequity.

This Horizon 2020 research project aims to encourage us to modify our current lifestyles, characterized by a ‘take, make, consume, dispose’ models of growth, to formulate scenarios for a more sustainable future, and to design, implement and test inter-sectoral initiatives to achieve the desired change.

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.







The INHERIT database

The purpose of the INHERIT database is to provide an online resource of promising practices that encourage people to adopt behaviours that contribute to environmental sustainability, to better health and to reducing health inequalities. These practices address the INHERIT areas of:

  • Living (green space, housing)
  • Moving (active transport)
  • Consuming (food)

The INHERIT database is not an exhaustive resource of practices but aims to provide an idea of measures that can be taken that simultaneously protect the environment, improve health and help reduce health inequalities. The aim is to inspire further uptake and implementation of the kinds of practices included.

The practices were selected by the INHERIT consortium members, based on jointly agreed criteria, and are considered promising (and not “good”, or “best”) as they show potential (or “promise”) for developing into a “good” practice.

Future 2040 Scenarios
Based on research about demographics, health, social inequalities and the environment,
INHERIT presents four positive scenarios of what Europe could look like in 2040. Learn more about how we developed the future 2040 scenarios by reading our “Reaching the Triple-Win” report and discover the sustainable lifestyles of Adam, Tereza, Milan and Isabella:
  • Scenario 1: Meet Adam – My life between realities - Interconnectivity is the trend that frames this scenario in which everything is digital, connected and personalised. Big data and private companies provide services with protection frameworks offered by the EU. This has led to a transparent and innovative European Union, with a broad range of new personalised services improving people’s lives.
  • Scenario 2: Meet Isabella – Less is more to me - Characterised by a centralised system, national governments and European institutions play a strong role in the management of services and products, providing public healthcare and education with support from the private sector. Society has developed towards less material ownership and a tendency towards greater sufficiency.

  • Scenario 3: Meet Milan – One for all, all for one - Localism is the distinguishing feature of this scenario and it is reflected in community interactions, local diets, as well as work and leisure activities and living conditions. Technological innovation facilitates local development, whilst policy makers provide rules and regulations to ensure healthy and sustainable living environments.
  • Scenario 4: Meet Tereza – Our circular community - Companies, governments and citizens work together to create a closed-loop economy with business models in place that emphasise services over product ownership. Citizens are highly connected and dependent on technology for making most of their decisions, but societies are more aware of the importance of commonly-owned and created goods and advocate for more efficient services and products.
  • EuroHealthNet, Brussels, Belgium
  • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Netherlands
  • University College London (UCL) Health Equity Institute, London, United Kingdom
  • Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health (Prolepsis), Marousi, Greece
  • University of Exeter Medical School, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, Cornwall, United Kingdom
  • Riga City Council, Department of Welfare (RIGA), Riga, Latvia
  • Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Wuppertal, Germany
  • Swedish Public Health Agency (FoHM), Solna, Sweden
  • National Institute of Public Health (IJZRM), Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Basque Research Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Leioa, Spain
  • Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal
  • Univerzita Karlova v Praze (CUNI), Environment, Prague, Czech Republic
  • University of Alcala (UAH), Madrid, Spain
  • Revolve Media (REVOLVE), Brussels, Belgium
  • Philips Electronics Nederland (PHILIPS), Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Flemish Institute for Healthy Living, Brussels, Belgium
  • Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), Cologne, Germany
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

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