Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Helping businesses reduce their environmental impact - Impact on Urban Health
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Health effects of air pollution

We’re helping businesses to reduce their impact on the environment

14 June 2022
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4 min read

We’re working with Ricardo, a renowned environmental consultancy that helps businesses measure and mitigate their air pollution emissions.

Air pollution has devastating effects on people’s health. In fact, the World Health Organization says air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to health.  

The toxic gasses that form air pollution affect every organ in the body and cause inflammation and cardiovascular conditions. Research shows for every ten microgram per cubic meter of increased exposure to just one type of pollution – fine particulate matter – the risk of dying from any cancer rises by 22%. 

We also know that the climate crisis is profoundly affecting people’s health around the world. 

For both air pollution and the climate crisis, the health effects are unfair. Locally, nationally and globally, it’s the people whose health is most susceptible – and who have done the least to contribute to the problem – whose health is most affected.  

The consequences are clear: Both air pollution and greenhouse gasses – like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane which trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet – are public health crises that must be addressed.   

Approximately one third of polluting emissions come from industrial and commercial sources in London, like construction and transport sectors. That’s why we’re working with businesses to find innovative ways to reduce businesses’ polluting emissions. 

Approximately one third of polluting emissions come from industrial and commercial sources in London, like construction and transport sectors. That’s why we’re working with businesses to find innovative ways to reduce businesses’ polluting emissions.

What responsibility do businesses have? 

We’re working with Ricardo, a renowned engineering and environmental consultancy that specialises in helping businesses measure and mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ricardo have developed a new method which enables businesses to measure how much they’re contributing to toxic air pollution by emitting gasses like nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.  

Why? Because it’s good for business 

There is the obvious moral reason. Air pollution is responsible for 36,000 premature deaths per year in the UK. In London, it causes 4,000 deaths per year.  

But reducing emissions is also good for business.  

Typically, companies that measure the effect they have on the environment benefit from lower energy and resource costs 

It’s important for businesses to be able to keep ahead of regulations (like emission charging schemes in London) so they can plan for the future. To do so, it’s vital for businesses to know how much pollution they’re emitting. Freight companies were able to do this, and planned vehicle replacement strategies in advance. 

By taking a proactive approach to measuring polluting emissions, businesses also show leadership. Consumers expect companies of all sizes to mitigate their environmental impact. Doing so shows a nuanced understanding of operating in cities and appeals to socially responsible investors and consumers. 

The business case is clear: A study sponsored by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) found that most small and medium-sized enterprises that manage their environmental impact generally saved money.

The business case is clear: A study sponsored by DEFRA found that most small and medium-sized enterprises that manage their environmental impact generally saved money.

Join us! 

As part of our work to help businesses understand their environmental impact, we’re offering 20 businesses the chance to work with Ricardo to measure their air pollution emissions. 

Businesses from all over the country can get in touch and receive free specialist support. Our focus is on urban areas and key sources of emissions are likely to be from the transport, construction, services and retail sectors. 

Amandeep Singh Kellay

Contact us

For more information on our work with Ricardo, contact Amandeep Singh Kellay, our Portfolio Manager.

Contact Amandeep