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Air Quality

Why Businesses Should Take Action Now On Air Pollution

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With delays to the long-awaited Environmental Bill, it’s time businesses start thinking about what steps they can and should take to mitigate and minimise the impact of poor air quality.  The Environmental Bill was touted as one of Boris Johnson’s key pieces of environmental legislation, set to introduce legal targets relating to biodiversity, air quality, and waste reduction. Charities and environmental campaigners have been dismayed by the government’s delay in enacting the bill, but they encourage businesses to take leadership on environmental issues.  

One of the most important aspects the Environmental Bill was looking at was ensuring air pollution targets met the World Health Organisations guidelines.  

The European Union Court of Justice recently found that the UK had persistently broken the legal limits relating to toxic air pollution.  The levels of nitrogen dioxide in the UK are dangerously high, leaving people exposed to air pollution. 

We know air pollution can kill.  The tragic landmark case of Ella Kissi-Debrah was instrumental in identifying that illegal levels of air pollution were a material contributor to her death, with the coroner urging the Government to introduce limits on dangerous pollutants to stop further deaths.  

The Government needs to take action soon to build a national legislative framework relating to air pollution, and the implementation of environmental protections. Until that happens, businesses should take action to reduce air pollution as this will not only lead to positive business outcomes but also stand them in good stead for when the Government finalises the Environmental Bill.  

What can businesses do to tackle air pollution?

There are several actions businesses can take to mitigate and minimise the impact of air pollution and climate change.  

Businesses should be looking to:

  • – Re-evaluate processes to prevent pollution 
  • – Minimise waste
  • – Use and reuse substituted materials
  • – Reduce pollution from delivery activity
  • – Reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of community engagement
  • – Increase bid win rates through evidence of site pollution management and reduction 
  • – Reduce pollution from delivery activity
  • – Reduce duration of work stoppages by identifying the source in real-time
  • – Understand the pollution impact of deliveries on the site and local community

To discover more ways construction companies can tackle site air quality get our free download ‘Improving site air quality doesn’t have to be bad for business.

Why reducing air pollution isn’t just a ‘nice to have’

Being compliant with air quality legislation should be on the radar of every business, as failure to comply will lead to prosecution and penalties. Aside from minimising compliance and legal risks, having good environmental practices can result in cost benefits for businesses including healthier employees, lower insurance premiums, less risk of compensation claims, and reputational benefits. In addition, reduced pollution triggers can result in increased productivity, and reduced cost of compliance management.

Businesses, as well as politicians, should be aware that air pollution can lead to death and they could be held accountable if action is not taken.  

Air quality and business prosperity are interlinked, businesses and communities need clean air.  Especially now when the world is looking at economic recovery following the global pandemic. By being ahead of the game when it comes to having environmental policies and protections in place, businesses have the opportunity of becoming world leaders in tackling air pollution and developing expertise in this area. 

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