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News 10 November 2022

The business case for reducing air pollution: Sustainable growth and climate action

Major multinationals are adopting measures to reduce air pollution. Our business action toolkit helps companies integrate clean air into their climate and ESG strategies.

Businesses are beginning to measure their air pollution emissions and set ambitious reduction targets. Today at COP27, the corporate Alliance for Clean Air announced new members who have committed to reducing air pollution, including EY, GEA Group, GSK, Haleon Moderna and Oracle.  

But more businesses need to disrupt outdated practices and take action on air pollution. In partnership with the World Economic Forum and Accenture, we have launched a toolkit to support companies to build a business case for acting on clean air. 

Change for your stakeholders and 99% of the population

Sustainability and ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues are fundamental to company performance. Every business with offices, employees and transport adds to the problem of air pollution and suffers from its consequences. Consumers are choosing to spend with greener companies, meaning action on clean air could increase brand value and revenue. Employees breathing clean air stay healthier – as absenteeism goes down, productivity goes up. It is also easier to recruit talent in less-polluted areas.  

Although clean air is critical to many ESG issues (including health, climate and social equity), it is often overlooked. The business action toolkit illustrates how acting on clean air can:  

  • Improve ESG performance 
  • Build consumers’ sense of trust and loyalty 
  • Create productive ongoing dialogue with regulatory authorities 
  • Enhance brand/share value 
  • Attract and retain talent 

Whether your company has well-established decarbonisation targets or you’re at the start of your sustainability journey, the business action framework provides a step-by-step process, including: 

  1. Identifying air pollutant sources  
  2. Assessing the business benefits of reducing air pollution. 
  3. Identifying stakeholders to engage in your journey 
  4. Developing mitigation measures 

The power to make a positive impact 

Focusing on innovation and consistently driving change, the private sector can devise new solutions to provide low-emissions technologies, goods and services. 

The Alliance for Clean Air, a coalition of business leaders committed to measuring and reducing value chain air pollutant emissions, has adopted a first-of-its-kind guide on how to measure air pollution across value chains, developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Climate and Clean Air Coalition and Inter IKEA Group. Building on existing reporting standards for greenhouse gas emissions, the guide allows businesses to understand their impact on air pollution, unlocking a new path to accelerate climate targets. 

The guide is enabling existing alliance members to quantify their air pollutant emissions along their value chains from key sectors, including electricity generation, transport, industrial processes, agriculture and waste. This has enabled them to consider the impact of their existing climate mitigation strategies on air pollution and ways to increase their ambition through specific mitigation measures.  

The new members announced today will measure their air pollution emissions within 12 months and set ambitious reduction targets, further strengthening private sector action on air pollution.   

See more

How does air pollution affect businesses?

Action on clean air is an opportunity for businesses to improve performance, while building a sustainable future for people and planet.

Partner with us: Corporates

All businesses, regardless of size and location, engage in activities that contribute to air pollution. Be part of the solution.