Did you know that 92% of people do not breathe clean air? Did you know that air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs? Did you know approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific?
These are just some horrid stats about the seriousness of air pollution, this year’s World Environment Day theme. At CWT we want to help to raise awareness around this topic by providing some easy-to-follow tips that will contribute to addressing this problem.
1. Less is more. Be careful with the way you consume resources and energy. Every time that you leave the faucet open for too long, that you print paper, that you do not turn off the lights, that you overheat or overcool a room, that you do not turn off your electronic devices, that you throw food, etc. you are unnecessary consuming energy and resources that pollute air while been generated.
2. Recycle. The more we recycle, the less goes into landfills, and that is a plus for air quality since landfills have higher levels of hydrogen sulfide gases. Recycling also improves air quality by reducing the demand for power. Collecting, processing, and shipping recycled materials to industrial users require less energy than mining, refining, processing, and shipping raw materials. Reducing the need for power and for processing raw materials also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Move your body. Walk, cycle. Leave your car at home and try to walk or cycle when commuting. It is good for your body and you will save on gym fees. If the distances are too long, go for public transport, electric cars or bikes, or carpool. If you are a homeworker, your commuting footprint is as low as it can get, but remember that you can also apply these tips to your personal travel.
4. Measure your carbon emissions. Collect data from as many sources as possible and use official standards to measure your emissions. Only by consistently tracking them, you will be able to identify areas of improvement. At CWT we offer a reporting tool, CWT AnalytIQs, to measure the impact of your business travel, so you can track and adapt your travel plans accordingly.
5. Support projects that reduce air pollution. Carbon offsetting is a great way to balance out the emissions you couldn’t avoid by purchasing carbon credits from certified projects. At CWT, we partner with three fantastic projects that tackle air pollution in China, India, and Peru. Supporting these projects, allows us to help combat air pollution while at the same time helping to change and improve the lives of many people. Last year we offset 1,977 tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent to more than 2,200 Paris-New York air round trips.
6. Raise awareness. Celebrate awareness events and invite your employees to participate in environmental actions. At CWT we run several initiatives such as cleaning beaches, planting trees, and we also organize a global environmental awareness campaign each year. Beyond creating an environmentally-responsible culture internally, strive to promote a green conscience among your stakeholders.
“We can’t stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of our air,” so let’s all work towards a greener future.
Blog author: Françoise Grumberg, Vice President, Global Responsible Business and Diversity & Inclusion, CWT.