This year World Environment Day is bringing more awareness about how to combat air pollution throughout the world.
One of the biggest contributors to air pollution is transport – so what can businesses do to help to reduce global warming emissions through transport?
WHAT IS WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY?
World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to help protect our environment. This year it’s being held on 5th June with the theme of ‘Air Pollution’ – a call to action to help combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.
BEAT AIR POLLUTION
Did you know that 9/10 people in the world are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed safe levels set by the World Health Organisation (Source: WHO).
Air pollution is now being recognised as the biggest environmental risk to health in the EU and has been linked to around 400,000 premature deaths.
Transport is one of the five most prevalent contributors to air pollution, and it’s something that individuals and businesses can easily help to combat by making some changes.
WHY TRANSPORT CONTRIBUTES TO AIR POLLUTION?
Did you know that one quarter of energy related CO2 emissions comes from transport?
With cars, lorries and buses all powered by fossil fuels, they emit nitrogen oxides into our air and contribute as a major source of global warming emissions all over the world.
Through clean vehicle and fuel technologies we can significantly reduce our emissions from vehicles.
The rise in electric vehicles being developed is also helping to reduce these emissions while still allowing people to travel long distances.
However, much more action needs to be taken to make the public understand the implications and change their ways
WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO TO HELP COMBAT AIR POLLUTION?
To improve our air pollution levels, we need to reduce the demand for transport and encourage the use of active travel and zero emission transport. Electric vehicle technologies have significantly improved over the years which is making them more popular among individuals and businesses.
Due to initiatives such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone, there has been a big investment in electric buses and taxis across the UK meaning public transport is becoming much healthier for the environment.
Consider alternative modes of transport:
- Bicycles or walking – great health benefits as well as environmental benefits.
- Trains – outperforming personal vehicles in terms of emissions, per person per mile they are healthier for the environment and safer than cars.
- Electric / Hybrid vehicles – more investment in battery storage is making them cheaper to run and maintain along with being able to travel longer distances.
But it’s not only your mode of transport that can help you reduce emissions, there are a number of other ways to be more eco-friendly while travelling:
- Do one large grocery shop rather than lots of small trips to reduce the number of times you drive your vehicle.
- Car share with others to work or when driving long distances. Not only will save you in fuel costs, but also release significantly less emissions into the air.
- Remove unnecessary weight from your vehicle and keep tyres properly inflated to be more fuel efficient.
WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO TO HELP REDUCE AIR POLLUTION?
There are many ways businesses can help to reduce the number of emissions going into the air:
- Installing EV chargepoints in your business can offer several benefits to your business as well as contributing to the UKs EV charging infrastructure.
- If you have a business fleet, consider swapping to electric vehicles. This has a significant amount of influence on the electric vehicle market. More than half of all new vehicles are bought by businesses, these are then sold on to the second-hand consumer market. So the more they buy, the more go into the market for individuals to buy.
- Businesses can also promote cycle to work schemes, allowing people to make the healthier choice to ride their bike to work.
- Promoting energy efficiency throughout your workplace is also a great way to get your employees on board. We have several energy efficiency tips to help your business make small changes and improve your energy efficiency.
- Many energy suppliers also offer green/renewable energy plans, helping businesses to report zero carbon emissions and support their CSR agenda.