The UN-endorsed World Environment Day celebrated on 5 June 2019 to encourage awareness and action to protect the environment. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is “Air Pollution“.
Specifile is also celebrating World Environment Day for the entire month of June, featuring environmentally friendly products, projects and business pledges.
How can businesses get involved in World Environment Day? Make pledges on reducing emissions and investing in research and development to imagine new and less damaging ways of doing business. Send us your pledges and we will feature them on Specifile. Here are a few examples:
- Make a pledge to use recyclable materials for your products.
- Host a company tree planting ceremony.
- Use World Environment Day to ensure your power supply is renewable.
- Think about using fresh air ventilation for cooling or install ultra-efficient, hydrofluorocarbon-free cooling.
- Make a pledge to buy low-emission or electric vehicles for the company fleet.
- Consider how you can reduce emissions of air pollutants from facilities and supply chains.
- Less printing and more digital displays or sharing.
- Create a company vegetable garden.
Why is air pollution an urgent issue to address right now?
Health – Evidence of the effect of air pollution on human health is stark. Air pollution has in recent years been linked to not only cardiovascular and respiratory diseases but also diabetes, increased risk of dementia, impaired cognitive development and lower intelligence levels. About 7 million people worldwide die prematurely from air pollution each year.
Human Rights – Healthy environments is a constitutional right. Obligations related to clean air are implicit in a number of international human rights instruments.
Clean Air and the Sustainable Development Goals – Fulfilling the right to breathe clean air goes hand in hand with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including healthy lives for all, sustainable cities, universal access to clean energy and effective action to address climate change.
Climate – Air pollution and climate change are intrinsically linked as they share common sources. Air pollution control measures can, therefore, reduce emissions of climate pollutants and improve local air quality. If we were to reduce pollutants like methane, black carbon, and tropospheric ozone, we could reduce global warming by up to 0.5° C over the next few decades, simultaneously avoiding 2.4 million premature deaths and more than 50 million tonnes of crop losses per year.
Environment – Air pollutants can have powerful impacts on the environment. They can change or deplete nutrients in soil and waterways, endanger vital freshwater sources, harm forests and minimise crop yields, introduce toxins and heavy metals to the food chain, and damage cultural icons such as monuments and statues.
Economy – The most obvious economic impact of air pollution is the cost to public health. Air pollution costs the global economy more than US$5 trillion every year in welfare costs. The effects are worse in the developing world, where in some places, welfare losses cost nearly 7.5 per cent of GDP.
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Consider marking this World Environment Day to make commitments to improve air quality #BeatAirPollution