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Clean Air Day 2022 – The Business Case for Improved Air Quality

Clean Air Day 2022 – The Business Case for Improved Air Quality
15 June 2022

Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign, bringing together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector.


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Your Employees Care About Air Pollution


The business case for improving air quality is clear: a CBI report suggests that the UK economy could benefit from an extra £1.6 billion annually by meeting World Health Organization guidelines for safe air. 17,000 premature deaths could also be prevented every year from respiratory diseases and three million working days could be gained by reducing worker sickness absence or absence due to sick children.

As well as the hard business facts, people are more engaged with the issues of air pollution than ever before. A recent YouGov study, carried out on behalf of Blueair, revealed that 71 per cent of UK adults worry about the impact of polluted air on their own health.  In the research, the main concerns raised were the presence of dust, bacteria and viruses, chemicals, smoke, and pollen.


Business Activity and Air Quality


Companies must also address their contributions to air pollution. Global Action Plan, who organises Clean Air Day, suggests that energy generation and transport companies are responsible for 56 per cent of the Nitrogen Oxides pollutants, which inflame airways and are particularly harmful to people with lung and heart conditions.

FMCG and agriculture are key contributors to air pollution, both being huge contributors to volatile organic compounds which can irritate people’s airways.


The Role of Business and Commuter Travel in Pollution


Businesses outside of these industries are not blameless either. Commuting and business travel together are responsible for almost half of all miles travelled per person in England. Almost 30 per cent of Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) comes from industrial activity, with an additional 12 per cent originating from road transport.

Businesses that acknowledge their role in air pollution, and publish plans to address it, will not only contribute to reducing pollutants in the air, but will also assert their corporate responsibility goals to the outside world.


Clean Air Resources for Businesses


  • Business for Clean Air, is a principles-based initiative open to any company of any size, committed to taking action to address air pollution.
  • Business Clean Air Taskforce is a business leadership group, bringing together companies that champion clean air in their business and throughout their supply chain.
  • BESA has its own Air Quality Hub, which is focused on raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality, the conditions of air inside buildings and how the building services sector can work together to make buildings safe-havens.


Picture: a graphic showing the official Clean Air Day logo, which is a cloud with a cityscape inside. Image Credit: Global Action Plan

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 15 June 2022


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