Air quality is not just an environmental issue, but an important health issue which affects us all.
Air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths every day in the UK and has been recognised by the World Health Organisation and the UK Government as the largest environmental health risk we face today. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues.
This Clean Air Day (17th June 2021) why not take the 10 action challenge for businesses to see how small changes can make the world of difference.
1. Consolidate deliveries
It’s well worth talking to your business neighbours to see if they have the same suppliers (or supply needs) so you can work together to consolidate your delivery days and times.
2. Encourage staff to walk or cycle to work
Offering a cycle-to-work scheme, such as the one offered to BE Offices employees, is a great way to promote active travel to your workplace. Walking to work (within reason) is also a great option. The Cross River Partnership has created a Clean Air Route Finder tool to help find the least polluted path from work or home. Employers can also encourage cyclists by offering bike racks.
3. Use Click + Collect for one-off deliveries
For personal or one-off deliveries to your workplace, perhaps consider making click + collect a company policy.
4. Indoor air quality assessment
Most employees spend the majority of their day indoors so it is important, particularly so at the moment, to make sure the air they breathe is clean and healthy.
5. Reduce supply chain emissions
The delivery of business supplies is essential, but there are many suppliers or service providers who have committed to zero or low emission delivery methods in the form of cargo bikes and/or electric vehicles. The Clean Air Villages Directory has a list of ultra low emission suppliers.
6. Consolidate your waste and switch to a green provider
Check with your business neighbours to see if you can coordinate pick-up dates, materials and locations. Expand your recycling to more than just paper, glass and tins. Try switching to a supplier which offers zero-to-landfill recycling. BE Offices’ waste company, First Mile, sends un-recyclable waste to generate green energy.
7. Run an air quality awareness event
Educating your employees, perhaps even your clients, and raising awareness on air quality issues and interventions, can help prompt others to take action to improve air quality.
8. Check your fleet is ULEZ ready
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding on the 25th October 2021. Be sure your company vehicles are ready to minimise fees an tariffs. Check out the grants available to help with the switch.
9. Check your building’s energy efficiency
Energy is required to heat, cool and light your office, and the generation of this can contribute to poor air quality. Check the energy efficiency of your building and consider switching to a green provider if you haven’t already.
10. Incorporate air quality interventions in to your business plan
For truly sustainable, long-term solutions to air quality, they must become part of the culture of your business, incorporated in to both yourt business and CSR plans.
BE Offices is pleased to play its part in the City of London’s quest for cleaner air by supporting it’s volunteer air quality ambassador, BE’s very own CSR manager, Julie Tucker, in her role to promote the work of the Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages programme. It is apt that the City of London’s air quality ambassador works in the only office located in the UK’s first zero emissions street, that being Beech Street, EC2, home of BE Offices central services team.