Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK according to Public Health England. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases and is also linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues.
There is the popular notion that the COVID-19 pandemic has been “good for the environment”—that nature is recovering while humanity stays at home— this has appealed to many people grasping for some upside to the global tragedy. There were many benefits that people found heartening early on—from cleaner air to birdsong newly audible as cars and planes went quiet. Unfortunately, Asendia recognises that sadly these were always likely to only be temporary.
However, Asendia hopes that campaigns such as Clean Air Day, will encourage people around the UK to make small changes that have a big impact.
What is Clean Air Day?
Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. The campaign normally takes place on the third Thursday in June. However, due to COVID-19, this year Clean Air Day took place on 8th October 2020 and Asendia UK took part.
How did Asendia UK contribute?
Before Clean Air Day, Asendia UK already played a small part to help this campaign – for a while now the office has been filled with plants which not only make it a nice environment to work in, but also helps provide cleaner air.
Asendia UK has reviewed its work from home/office balance therefore reducing the office commute, which means that we can as a business continue to play our part in helping the earth recover and hopefully continue with this clear-skied interlude. We have heard the stories in the news that as a result of people staying at home due to lockdown and travel restrictions, some animals have been spotted in cities. Sea turtles have been spotted laying eggs on beaches that they once avoided due to the lowered levels of human interference and light pollution, and clean waterways in the city of Venice.
The Government have installed new cycle lanes in the cities to encourage people to get on their bikes. To encourage our employees to help the Government in this initiative we have upped the limit on how much employees can spend in the cycle to work scheme.
We also pledge to extend our company “on site” bicycles to encompass all sites to encourage employees to ditch the car.
We have been inspired to continue to help make a difference which is why we want to help play our part on Clean Air Day and help make this environmental recovery permanent – let’s keep up the momentum and keep our air clean.
While Asendia UK as a business is fulfilling our pledges, we also had a multitude of employees get involved too. Here are some of their pledges:
- I pledge to grow more house plants
- I pledge to add new plants to the common areas of the Bedford and Southampton operational sites
- I pledge to walk or cycle to places more, rather than taking my car
- I pledge to have more house plants and keep them alive for at least a year!
- I pledge to use my bike or walk as much as possible
- I pledge to cycle to work everyday
- I pledge to drive my electric car
- I pledge to not eat meat for at least a day
What will you pledge?
Asendia, and our employees, will continue to make these small changes including continuing to take part in campaigns similar to Clean Air Day.