Clean Air Day took place 25th June, and many of our colleagues across our offices celebrated by travelling to work through sustainable methods, including cycling, walking, running, and commuting via bus.
The efforts to travel cleanly coincided with the great initiative our colleagues are showing across the globe as part of our Active campaign this summer, an exercise-focussed employee engagement challenge that encourages employees to push their physical limits.
Clean Air Day is co-ordinated by environmental charity Global Action Plan and seeks to raise awareness of air quality issues and promote ways for people to lessen their exposure to, and production of, pollutants.
Traffic emissions (mainly nitrogen dioxide and Particulate Matter like PM10 and PM2.5) are the main culprits for poor air quality in the UK, often associated with poor human health in areas where concentrations of these pollutants are high. The effects of long-term human exposure to poor air quality in the UK have been linked to up to 40,000 cases of premature death and poor respiratory and cardiovascular health. Ongoing research continues to analyse whether poor air quality plays a role in developing dementia and bladder cancer.
Areas of poor air quality in the UK are declared as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) by Defra. There are many ways that we can lessen our generation of pollutants, and minimise our exposure to air pollutants:
- Use an alternate method of transport than your car (e.g. cycle, walk, bus, train).
- When walking or cycling, using side streets instead of main roads can reduce exposure to air pollution by 20 percent.
- Switch your car engine off when stationary.
- Regularly service your car to ensure it is running efficiently.
- Have personal deliveries made to convenient pick-up locations rather than office buildings. This saves couriers making extra journeys, and therefore less pollutants on the roads network.