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What can businesses do to limit pollution?

What can businesses do to limit pollution?

What can businesses do to limit pollution?

For eco-conscious businesses that want to mitigate their impact on the environment, one subject that requires close attention is pollution - not only in terms of harmful materials released into the air, but also in the amount of waste the company produces.

There have recently been fresh warnings about the extent of this problem, particularly in London.

'Dangerously poor'
In a report released by London mayor Sadiq Khan this month, air quality in the capital was described as "dangerously poor".

All 8.6 million people living in the city are thought to be exposed to toxic levels of pollution. Nine out of ten Londoners live in places where superfine PM2.5 particles are in excess of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines by more than 50 per cent.

These particles cause some 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, with even short-term exposure raising the risk of heart and respiratory diseases, as well as reduced lung function and asthma in children.

Mr Khan said the findings published at the 'Every Journey, Every Child' conference at City Hall were "another damning indictment of the toxic air that all Londoners are forced to breathe every day".

"We should be ashamed that our young people - the next generation of Londoners - are being exposed to these tiny particles of toxic dust that are seriously damaging their lungs and shortening their life expectancy."

There are measures in place to combat this trend, including the forthcoming introduction of a new toxicity charge (T-Charge) on October 23rd, which will remove older, more polluting vehicles from central London.

Plans for the new Ultra Low Emission Zone have been brought forward to 2019.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said: "London's plan to clean up their air means millions of people will be able to walk to work and walk their children to school without worrying about whether the air is going to make them sick."

What can businesses do?
Businesses that want to do their bit to reduce pollution and drive environmental improvements should look into positive changes they can make in their day-to-day operations.

If your company uses a road fleet, consider investing in eco-friendly options such as electric vehicles or the latest, most environmentally friendly petrol or hybrid models.

In London, road transport accounts for approximately half of emissions of the polluting gas nitrogen dioxide, and most of this comes from diesel vehicles.

As far as your workforce is concerned, encourage employees to use the most eco-friendly methods of travelling to the workplace, such as cycling or walking if possible, or using public transport.

There are many benefits to be gained from educating members of staff about green habits you would like them to adopt in the workplace. By providing plenty of recycling points and ensuring people know what materials they can recycle, you will limit the amount of waste you send to landfill and further reduce your company's impact on the environment.

Another positive step is to ensure that all external service suppliers and third parties your business chooses to work with have strong green credentials and eco-friendly practices.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of ThinkStock