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How Can We Reduce Air Pollution from Transport


Air pollution is a mixture of hazardous substances that contaminate the air. Common sources of air pollution include the burning of fossil fuels to create energy to power homes, businesses and transport, as well as natural occurrences such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions.  

According to the UK government, poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health and one of the biggest contributors to air pollution is transport – so what can businesses do to cut down their transport-related emissions and reduce air pollution 


Why Do We Need to Reduce Air Pollution?

Air pollution is a global issue that affects us all, whether we realise it or not. It is a common misconception that air pollution is only a problem for those living in big cities or third world countries, but a study published by Lancet Planetary Health has found that less than 1% of the planet has safe levels of air pollution. 

Of this, 26% is produced by the transport sector, primarily from vehicles that use internal combustion engines, which run by burning fossil fuels.  

This can lead to serious damage to people’s health, causing long term issues such as respiratory diseases, strokes, heart attacks and lung cancers. It is estimated that there are around five million deaths globally each year caused by air pollution 

If we do not do something to reduce air pollution, this number will only continue to rise, causing greater damage to the health of the population, as well as to animals, plants and buildings.  

But how can we reduce air pollution? Luckily there are several changes that you can make, both as a business and as an individual, to help reduce your impact and work towards a cleaner future.  

how can we reduce air pollution? cars on a busy road with smog

Monitoring Air Pollution

In order for us to reduce air pollution, we must understand how it affects us directly. The best way of doing this is by monitoring your pollution output as well as the pollution levels of the area around you.  

There are a number of tools you can use to monitor levels of air pollution in your area, and view ‘pollution forecasts’ as well as the types and sources of pollution present. Doing this can help you to ensure that you are meeting any regulations or requirements for your business type or local area.  

To find out the levels of pollution in your area, you can use a pollution map, which displays the current and forecasted levels of air pollution in your selected area, and gives it a score from low, to moderate to high, depending on the levels detected.  

You can also measure your business’s carbon footprint, taking into account not just your direct emissions, but your indirect supply chain emissions too. To find out more about measuring your business carbon footprint, check out our guide.

How Does Transport Contribute to Air Pollution?

In the modern world, being able to travel from A to B quickly and with as little hassle as possible is essential, both for businesses and individuals. But the way we choose to travel can have a significant impact on our carbon footprints and air pollution levels.  

Common forms of business transport such as lorries and coaches are mostly powered by fossil fuels and emit nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, contributing as a major factor to global warming emissions. The same applies to the transportation of essential business supplies. 

close up cropped angle of a track producing air pollution

How Can We Reduce Air Pollution as Businesses?

As businesses, there is a great deal of responsibility to conduct operations with as little impact on the environment as possible. A great way to start reducing air pollution, is by examining the way you use transport in your business. This includes everything from transporting goods to employee commutes.  

Switch your transport to electric

It is a well-known fact that using EVs is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, so switching your business transport to vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions can have a significant impact on your overall business emissions. 

Install EV charge points on site

Whether you decide to electrify your business vehicles or not, installing EV charge points on your premises is a great way to encourage your employees and customers to go electric, as well as experience a range of benefits for your business. 

Encourage greener commutes

An easy way to reduce air pollution amongst your workforce is to encourage your employees to choose alternative methods of commuting to work. This could include cycle to work schemes, subsidised public transport fares and encouraging carpooling or walking if possible. 


As well as making changes to your business transport, there are a number of other initiatives you can take to reduce air pollution 

Get your team involved

By educating your employees on the importance of reducing air pollution, you can create a culture of eco-friendliness, making you more likely to reach your targets as a team. 

Care for green spaces

Trees and plants help to actively combat air pollution by converting carbon dioxide into to fresh oxygen. By planting trees and other greenery on your premises you can not only brighten up your space, but you will also be helping to reduce local air pollution! 

Switch to a more sustainable energy supply

Switching to a sustainable energy plan and powering your business with renewable energy is a great way to help reduce air pollution without the upfront cost or hassle involved in generating your own renewable energy.  

Work to reduce your overall energy consumption

There are lots of factors that contribute to a business’s carbon footprint, and by tackling your overall consumption, you can help reduce air pollution. For more tips on how to reduce your business carbon footprint, check out our range of sustainability guides 

a man plugs in his electric vehicle to help reduce air pollution from transport

How Can We Reduce Air Pollution as Individuals?

Although businesses are large contributors to air pollution, there are lots of ways we can reduce air pollution as individuals too. 

Choose cleaner transport

This could involve switching to an EV, or simply swapping your car for a bike or the bus whenever you can. 

Drive efficiently to reduce fuel consumption

If you drive a petrol or diesel car, it goes without saying that the less fuel you use, the better your vehicle is for the environment. By driving efficiently e.g. maintaining regular speeds, checking your tyre pressure etc, you can improve your milage, saving you money and reducing air pollution.  

Shop local

A great way to cut down on the amount of driving you need to do, is to do your shopping in your local area, within walking or cycling distance. Not only will you be saving money on fuel, but you can also support small local businesses.   

Ready to Make a Difference?

If you want to start reducing your business’s air pollution, Yü can help! Find out more about switching to EV and our green energy plans for businesses or get clued up on all things sustainability with our free guides!  

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