NEWS / Blog / Clean Air Day: How EIC members can improve air quality


19 MAY 2022


To coincide with Clean Air Day, Michael Lunn explores why now is the right time to revitalise efforts to clean up our air.


lean Air Day was an opportunity to focus public attention on air pollution, help to improve understanding and encourage changes in behaviours, while showcasing that a future with cleaner air is both possible and desirable.

Now in its sixth year, Clean Air Day aims to drive a positive shift in public knowledge and action. It is an opportunity for different sectors to find out more about air pollution, share information, and ultimately ensure cleaner and healthier air for everyone.

It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the important role members of EIC Air Quality Group have on improving both outdoor and indoor air quality on a day-to-day basis.

The UK Government has made good progress, including the announcement of a network of Clean Air Zones following Client Earth’s Supreme Court action. But since the pandemic, when many of these zones were put on hold, progress has been limited.

As we emerge from Covid, there is a great opportunity to supercharge and revitalise efforts to clean up our air.

An area yet to be resolved is pollution from construction equipment, better known within the industry as Non-Road Mobile Machinery. The Greater London Authority (GLA) and HS2 have made great progress in tackling PM and NOx emissions from construction equipment, but much more could and should be done. As members of the EIC Air Quality Group have highlighted, we need the Defra/DfT Joint Air Quality Unit to bring forward proposals to address pollution from all construction equipment within all our Clean Air Zones. Something I personally highlighted with Secretary of State George Eustice.

As we emerge from covid, there is a great opportunity to supercharge and revitalise efforts to clean up our air. Michael Lunn, EIC

Just as Clean Air Zones highlight the need for action on outdoor air quality, urgency is required to deal with the increasing issues faced with standards of indoor air quality. In particular, the pandemic has highlighted issues aroud the purification of air within schools and hospitals.

When considering the capital cost of indoor air purification, facility managers should also think about ongoing savings. Air purification units typically consume the equivalent of a fridge freezer. Further substantial savings can be made on energy, and associated carbon emissions, from closing windows and not having to heat fresh air intake. With energy costs currently rocketing, the ongoing savings will quickly offset the initial capital outlay of air purifiers. But technology is moving at such a great speed that many systems now can purify air with a minimal carbon footprint.

EIC’s air quality group explores the ways in which technology and innovation can help society to tackle dangerous air pollution. Participating members are at the frontline of this fight – either through developing the technology to reduce pollution, or through monitoring, modelling and interpretation of data which allows for informed and evidence-based decisions.

Find out more about EIC's air quality group.