Clean Air Strategy – partnership with business is just as important as partnership with local authorities

Gudrun Cartwright, Environment Director at Business in the Community, responds to the publication of Defra’s Clean Air Strategy
 
“While the strategy’s focus on domestic fuels and farming is welcome, transport is the largest contributor to air pollution and we must not lose sight of this.  Complacency has set in around air pollution and we are currently too focused on making cars better than questioning both how and when we use them.  In many parts of the country, we’re caught in a vicious circle because the number of cars on the roads makes it unsafe and unhealthy to travel by foot.
 
Partnership with local authorities is crucial, but so is partnership with business who have a huge role to play not only making cars better by setting bold targets around changing their car fleets to non-diesel/petrol, but also their role in enabling people to change their behaviour on car use.  For example, introducing flexible working gives workers the opportunity to work from home or work non-core hours to avoid commuting and they can incentivise and support walking, cycling, use of public transport and car sharing. Air pollution is the fourth biggest threat to public health and businesses need to assess both their contribution and solution to the problem.”
 
Gudrun Cartwright is available for interviews, please contact Katherine Howbrook