Why should businesses be concerned about air pollution?
Reducing air pollution is good for businesses because, ultimately, it is good for people’s health and the environment.
The World Health Organization and the Health Effects Institute are unequivocal in stating that harmful air pollution, even at low concentrations, kills.
Companies that consider how their business is contributing to adverse air pollution will be asserting their corporate responsibility to respect the right to a clean and healthy environment.
By pursuing a clean air agenda, companies can deliver on several sustainability, stakeholder engagement, and HR objectives. As employers, companies, large and small, have a duty of care to the health and safety of their employees while at work. This includes the air their workers’ breathe, especially, indoor air. This is a material issue for business and is set to become a more significant boardroom issue in years to come. The coronavirus outbreaks during 2020 in manufacturing factories in the UK and abroad, illustrates the lack of consideration held by some employers of their responsibility to ensure indoor air pollution affecting their workers is adequately addressed.
However, while businesses may view addressing air pollution as part of their risk management approach to business, there are numerous opportunities to be gained by addressing air quality within the workplace and wider operations.
In tackling air pollution, synergies with corporate efforts to address climate change and attempts to meet net zero will be born, as well as generating cost savings, and providing another lens to pursue innovative new ways of working, which will be cleaner and greener. Such progressive actions will all chime with potential new recruits, customers and investors, demonstrating that such companies are progressive, future-thinking, and part of the solution to the global air pollution crisis.
Acting on air pollution will have tangible positive benefits to people’s health and the environment immediately, so proactive corporate action is needed now to ensure the air we breathe is cleaner and better for us and future generations.
How can your business can take action on air pollution?
At Global Action Plan, we work with companies committed to thinking and taking action on air pollution.
Business for Clean Air is a principles-based initiative open to any company of any size, committed to taking action to address air pollution.
Clean Van Commitment
In 2018, Global Action Plan created and launched the Clean Van Commitment in partnership with ENGIE (now EQUANS) with further support from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The Clean Van Commitment aims to send a strong market signal to accelerate the transition of van fleets to zero tailpipe emissions. Members commit to switch their city centre fleet by 2028. At the point that the CVC was transitioned to the Energy Saving Trust, the CVC had over 50 signatories who had committed to switch corporate fleets to zero tailpipe emission vans by 2028. The CVC is now managed by Energy Saving Trust. For information on how to join, or to read more about the Clean Van Commitment visit Energy Saving Trust website.