International Day for Clean Air for blue skies, by World Economic Forum

On the first International Day for Clean Air for blue skies, lessons learnt from shutdowns can inspire reaching cleaner air in a post-pandemic world, according to Margi Van Gogh, Head of Supply Chain and Transport, World Economic Forum. 

Due to lockdown, cities have recorded drops in air pollution: there was a 25% reduction in PM in New York City, 32% in São Paulo, 60% in Delhi and 54% in Seoul. There is an opportunity to either support a green recovery and build back better or lock-in patterns that will do permanent damage to our fragile systems for many years to come.
Business and industry have a key role to play to reduce air pollution as both contributors and solution-providers, here are 5 actions that they can take:

  • Adding air quality to their Corporate Social Responsibility activities and reporting.
  • Quantifying air pollution down the supply chain and/or manufacturing processes.
  • Collecting the data required to develop emission inventories for key major pollutants related to the companies’ own activities.
  • Establishing programmes that reduce air pollution from their own operations and also from their suppliers.
  • Promote awareness campaigns to transparently communicate the levels of emission caused by their operations and explain what they will do to reduce those emissions.

IKEA’s Better Air Now Initiative; Johnson and Johnson’s use of health as one of catalysts for change; Danfoss putting sustainability at the core of its business and Siemens Mobility’s Zephyr are some of the examples of private sector action already underway.

The World Economic Forum’s Alliance for Clean Air, working closely with the UN Environment Programme, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Stockholm Environment Institute and other partners, will continue to support the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies over the following years by regularly bringing all the stakeholders together.

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