On-demand food delivery courier

Health effects of air pollution

Reducing air pollution from on-demand food deliveries

On-demand food deliveries pollute the air in cities. We’re learning more so we can support a shift to safer, cleaner transport throughout London’s food delivery sector.

Key info: 

What are we doing together?

Working with climate action charity Possible, we will explore the effects that on-demand food deliveries have on London’s air and roads. We’ll explore what could change to reduce the negative effects this rapidly growing industry has on health.

Popular services like Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats rely on their workers using their own, personal motorbikes and scooters to deliver food. These polluting vehicles are bad for air quality and are dangerous for their drivers.

We’re supporting Possible to collect robust data on the air quality impact of the sector and the road danger risks to its workers. Possible will also calculate the potential reduction in fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions if all London’s on-demand food delivery riders switched to e-bikes.

Possible will work with the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union to talk to food delivery drivers about air pollution and road safety. They will also offer support to drivers willing to act as champions for safer, less-polluting modes of transport, like e-bikes.

Amplifying the voices of gig economy workers will help us to inform policymakers and food delivery companies about how and why to transition to safer and cleaner alternative modes of transport.

Possible will publish a report summarising all insights and evidence.

Aim of the partnership

We are supporting this work because if on-demand food delivery companies incentivise and support their workers to use e-bikes rather than motorbikes and mopeds it will improve air quality and health in London.  

We will use the data and insights we gather to make the case to on-demand food delivery companies that choosing cleaner, safer transport alternatives would be better for public health, for their workers and ultimately for their business.  

Depending on the findings of the report, we may look to speak to local authorities about developing safer infrastructure for delivery drivers. 

Connection to our strategy

This partnership will address two priorities for our programme:

1. Engaging and amplifying voices of those most affected by air pollution

We will listen to food delivery drivers about how they can be best supported by their employers to choose less polluting, healthier ways of delivering food. We will also provide support to make sure they are heard on an issue that disproportionately affects their health and pollutes the neighbourhoods they deliver to.  

2. Working with businesses to find equitable solutions to reducing emissions

Gathering new data and fresh perspectives from the on-demand food delivery industry will shine a light on a growing source of air pollution in Lambeth and Southwark. By working with employers and employees in the sector, we will influence food delivery companies to prioritise less-polluting alternatives, protect their workforce and improve air quality for all.

Amandeep Singh Kellay

Want to find out more about this project?

Contact Portfolio Manager Amandeep Singh Kellay

Contact Amandeep