World Economic Forum Alliance Adopts Newly Released Guide to Strengthen Private Sector Action on Air Pollution

10 Nov 2022

Vidhi Bhatia, Public Engagement,

  • The Alliance for Clean Air has adopted a first-of-its-kind guide for businesses to measure air pollutant emissions across value chains.
  • The guide allows businesses to understand their impact on air pollution, unlocking a new path to accelerate climate targets.
  • 99% of the world’s population live in places where air pollution levels exceed World Health Organization guideline limits.
  • Access the full guide here.

Geneva, Switzerland, 10 November 2022 – The Alliance for Clean Air, launched by the World Economic Forum at the COP26 climate change conference in 2021 in partnership with the Clean Air Fund, announced today the release of a guide to help businesses deliver on their commitments to reduce air pollution across value chains and get ahead of sustainability reporting standards.

A Practical Guide For Business Air Pollutant Emission Assessment – developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and Inter IKEA Group – enables alliance members to quantify the 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 air pollution mitigation measures. It is an important contribution that businesses can take to enhance their sustainability strategies.

“Through the air pollution guidance, we as businesses are able to measure our impact and take action to minimize or eliminate it,” said Andreas Ahrens, Head of Climate at the Inter IKEA Group. “Today, we have shared our air pollution footprint and progress to reduce it and will continue to do so alongside greenhouse gas emissions where possible. We hope many other companies will join us, and jointly contribute to clean air and health.”

Many of the drivers of air pollution are also sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Tackling air pollution can deliver double benefits for both climate and health, lowering the burden of disease attributable to air pollution as well as contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

“Alliance members have made an important step to deliver on pledges made at COP26 in Glasgow. The progress clearly shows their intent to integrate air pollution into their climate strategies, and move from commitment to action,” said Pim Valdre, Head of the Climate Ambition Initiative at the World Economic Forum.

The guide is available for companies to create air pollution emission inventories. Alliance members call for as many business leaders as possible to join them in using the guidance for their value chains.

Companies interested in learning more about the business case for tackling air pollution as part of their climate strategies can also access a new business action toolkit recently launched in partnership with Accenture and the Clean Air Fund.

The Alliance for Clean Air brings together business leaders committed to measuring and reducing value chain air pollutant emissions, investing in innovation, and working with policy makers and peers to champion the social, economic and climate benefits of tackling air pollution.

New members who recently joined the alliance are EY, the GEA Group, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Haleon, Moderna and Oracle. These business leaders have committed to measuring their air pollution emissions over 12 months and have set ambitious reduction targets, further strengthening private sector action on air pollution.

“GSK is a global biopharma company committed to getting ahead of disease and has a long history supporting patients with medicines and vaccines for respiratory disease," said Claire Lund, Vice-President of Sustainability at GSK. “We are pleased to join the alliance to take action on air pollution with an aim to improve the health of the planet and people.”

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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