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Commercial and economic systems

The choices commercial organisations make can create healthier, happier and fairer communities - or the opposite.

Two buildings are on either side of the image. On the street below we can see blurry figures going about thier shopping.

What are commercial and economic systems?

Systems, practices, and pathways through which commercial and economic actors influence health, wellbeing, and health equity. Actors in this context range from local businesses to major corporations.

Birds eye view of a city scape. We can see the harbour at the edge of the frame A curly haired woman in overalls is carrying a crate of green vegetables through a field of green crops.

How do these systems influence our health and wellbeing?

Commercial organisations make choices about the products they sell and how they operate. These choices can make our community healthier, happier and fairer - or the opposite. 

For example, where businesses provide equal access to nutritious food or healthcare, they play a crucial role in strengthening our community. But where businesses provide harmful products – like tobacco- and practise harmful business operations – such as those that cause environmental damage -  they undermine our health and contribute to health inequities.

birds eye view of the docks with shipping containers and cranes. We see a supermarket shelf filled with tinned food. A hand is coming into the right hand side of the frame holding a can as if they are inspecting it.
In the foreground we can see tow hands holding two microphones each. IN the background we can see a person wearing a blue shirt and tie.


Just 4 products cause

1 third

of preventable deaths

Alarmingly, industries that produce just four harmful products – tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food and fossil fuels – cause a third of preventable deaths globally each year.

When our laws allow commercial organisations to profit from harming people’s health, that’s what many will do. On the other hand, when our laws set higher standards for how commercial organisations operate, we encourage innovation that makes a positive difference in our lives.

Joining forces for good

We'll work with partners to seek the prioritisation of wellbeing so that economic and commercial prosperity supports, rather than hinders, 
good health.

We explain the basics of a wellbeing economy before we delve into the Australian context and the 5-stages in our wellbeing economy toolkit. As a world-first health promotion foundation, VicHealth has...

Signpost image   <h2 id="other_systems_in_our_new_10_year_strategy"   >Other systems in our new 10 year strategy</h2>

Other systems in our new 10 year strategy

VicHealth is committed to addressing the systems influencing our health and wellbeing. It's by focusing the majority of our efforts on three, we will be able to create real impact and add value to the lives of Victorians.

Illustration of a city with lots of green space and people on footpaths and bikes

Start at the beginning...

Landing page
7 min read
18 Jul 2023
Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.