Plant & Works Engineering
UK air quality not all bad news
Published:  21 June, 2018

On clean air day (21/6/2018) Bureau Veritas reports current UK air quality is not all bad news.

The media profile of the air we breathe has never been greater. Following the much publicised report by the Royal College of Physicians, which estimated poor air quality accounts for around 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year , a steady but increasing list of air quality related articles are currently appearing on major news sites. Much of this media attention, such as recent articles highlighting the UK’s most polluted towns and cities , focuses on the negative impacts of poor air quality. The Bureau Veritas air quality team therefore thought it would be reassuring around Clean Air Day to shine a light on some of the positive impacts of air quality management initiatives, in response to this increased media focus.

Jamie Clayton, principal air quality consultant at Bureau Veritas, comments: “There is a lot of negative press around air pollution at the moment, particularly related to emissions from road transport. It’s fantastic that initiatives such as Clean Air Day continue to raise awareness across a wide range of audiences on the impact of air pollution and ways that we can all improve air quality, as it’s critical that the issue stays top of the agenda. However, it’s also important to recognise that there is a lot of positive changes being implemented at the moment as UK businesses and public sector bodies get serious about air quality management.”

“Organisations all over the UK plan to celebrate Clean Air Day through a variety of activities including temporary road closures, cycling initiatives, talks from experts and even yoga classes. The air quality team at Bureau Veritas provides support to a large number of public and private sector organisations with the aim of bringing about improvements in air quality. Our team is currently working with a number of local authorities undertaking feasibility studies to bring forward air quality compliance to assess the potential benefits of air quality improvement measures before their implementation. This is to ensure that any implemented measures will bring forward the required emissions reductions at the same time as being economically feasible for the councils involved. Where initiatives are implemented effectively, we are noticing that significant air quality improvements can and are observed, on occasion in quite short timescales.

“At Bureau Veritas we are committed to providing best practice consultancy support for our customers around how to manage air quality emissions to ensure compliance, whilst respecting economic constraints. We also practice what we preach – as well as promoting easy ways to help reduce air pollution across our sites, a consideration in our recent Manchester office move was to encourage a shift to low emission transport by staff commuting to work. The office will therefore soon include a dedicated cycle hub complete with showers and helmet lockers. Small changes like this can go a long way in influencing long-term improvements to air quality.”

“So whilst it’s important not to downplay the current scale of the air quality problem in the UK, it’s reassuring that initiatives such as Clean Air Day will garner increased public awareness and action to ensure in the future it’s not all bad news.”