Clean Air Recovery Essentials: Resources for
Lambeth & Southwark businesses
Register now for the next webinar in the Breathing Clean During COVID-19 series aimed at large businesses. In the lead up to Clean Air Day 2020, join other businesses to find out why and how your company can help the London community stay safe, breathe easier and reduce emissions.
As lockdown lifts, companies in Lambeth and Southwark can benefit by building Clean Air into business recovery plans. The Build Back Cleaner Air project from Global Action Plan and Guys & St Thomas’ Charity is helping the boroughs emerge safely and sustainably from the COVID-19 pandemic. This web resource provides locally based organisations with practical advice and guidance for getting back to business whilst improving local air quality for everyone. We will be adding to this resource over the coming months, so keep checking back for the latest solutions, initiatives and events.
COVID-19 has forced a national conversation about the importance of air quality, with scientists concerned that air pollution is causing or worsening health conditions like asthma and COPD, making people more vulnerable to coronavirus complications. Companies in the two boroughs now have a unique opportunity to forge positive relationships with their local community by bringing life back to the streets in a way that keeps pollution down. 78% of people in Southwark think businesses should do more to cut pollution and traffic after the lockdown so that neighbourhoods don’t go back to the way they were. Half of all Lambeth and Southwark residents said the air felt cleaner when lockdown measures were imposed, which gave people a once in a generation opportunity to experience the benefits of life without pollution. By working with the principles outlined below, businesses can be part of a local movement to build back cleaner air.
By thinking smart about return to work plans, businesses can:
- Get staff and customers back to your place of business - by promoting healthy and safe low-pollution journeys avoiding public transport
- Help customers access your goods and services safely - by offering zero-emission deliveries and environments to enjoy them
- Drive business continuity, staff retention, wellbeing and engagement - by supporting employees to work well remotely
- Support the national effort to fight coronavirus, particularly for disadvantaged inner-city communities – by doing your bit to keep the air we breathe as clean as possible
We have identified six categories of action on air pollution that are highly relevant to the recovery from COVID-19. Below is a collection of ideas and related links specifically to help local businesses build back cleaner air.
- A helpful ‘Air Quality Pack’ by Lambeth Council for businesses in Lambeth on the causes of air pollution and steps that companies can take to reduce it:
- Companies in Lambeth can contact [email protected] if you are interested in having an air quality workshops for your business, or want to participate in ‘anti-idling’ events.
Normalise flexible working
Homeworking has been vital to keep businesses running during the lockdown, with 6 in 10 employees nationwide saying they have been working from home at least some of the time. 86% of surveyed residents in Lambeth and Southwark would like to continue to work from home to some extent.
Flexible working includes the ability to work remotely (at home or another location such as a local shared office space) rather than a fixed office location only. It also includes offering and normalising staggered start times to ease people’s commutes and caring responsibilities.Remote working has the potential to create positive knock-on effects for local air pollution; with employees able to receive packages at home rather than getting personal deliveries to their workplace, employers can eventually prohibit personal deliveries to offices which represent up to 50% of incoming deliveries in some workplaces.
With social distancing on public transport set to remain in place for the months ahead, and a need to discourage increased private vehicle use to prevent gridlock and pollution, flexible working is a key tool for business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Register for our webinar on 6th July on the role of remote working on reducing air pollution. Hear national businesses discuss environmental impacts, benefits to employees, and considerations to ensure business effectiveness.
Promote clean and healthy commutes
With shops and enterprises opening up for business again, getting staff to work safely is of utmost importance. Two thirds of Lambeth & Southwark residents would like to walk more. Given public demand and dramatically reduced capacity on public transport, active travel is a key opportunity for employers in the boroughs.
Guidance for staff on walking or cycling routes to work which avoid the worst air pollution:
- In Waterloo: https://www.waterloogreenways.co.uk/
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/airqualitymap.html
Borrow bikes for staff to use for their commute:
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/services/borrow-a-bike
- London-wide: https://www.peddlemywheels.com/try-before-you-bike
Secure cycle parking:
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/services/bankside-secure-cycle-park
Switch to low pollution deliveries
When asked what businesses should do to improve air quality 41% of residents in Lambeth and Southwark said they would like to see more cargo bikes used for delivering goods. In making this switch and others, such as working with neighbours to reduce, reschedule and consolidate deliveries, businesses can cut harmful pollution from light goods vehicles.
Choose local suppliers who deliver with zero-emission vehicles:
- In Lambeth: https://crossriverpartnership.org/directory/
- Nationwide directory of zero/low emission suppliers: https://www.victoriabid.co.uk/zero-low-emission-suppliers-directory/
Minimise deliveries to your site or office by procurement teams and employees:
- In South Bank: https://southbankbid.co.uk/sustainability/
- In Waterloo: https://waterloo.clickcollect.london/
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/travel/sustainablefreight
- London-wide: https://deliverbest.london/
Help customers choose low pollution options
People are taking an increasing interest in clean air, with the majority thinking that it is now more important than ever. People are willing to play their part in the shift to clean air business practices. 83% of residents in Lambeth and Southwark would be happy (to some extent) to wait 3 days for all non-urgent parcels to be delivered and two-thirds would be happy (to some extent) to collect packages from a local town centre pick up.
Use cargo bikes to transport goods to customers:
- In London Bridge: https://www.teamlondonbridge.co.uk/bikesforbusiness
- London-wide: https://www.zedify.co.uk/local-business
- In Streatham: https://www.instreatham.com/cargobike/
- In Bermondsey: https://www.bluebermondsey.co.uk/blue-news/delivery-service/
Use electric vans to transport goods to customers:
Promote bike maintenance services to help customers access you by bike:
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/news/bankside-by-bike
Promote click and collect options to customers:
Create clean air workplaces
Bring cleaner air to your neighbourhood
3/4s of Lambeth and Southwark residents said they noticed that air quality was better during lockdown. Streets, squares and green spaces have never been more popular to enable people to socialise and enjoy cafes and pubs whilst social distancing. This presents a huge opportunity for business to give customers an experience that embraces the great outdoors and makes it safer for customers to reach retail and eateries – especially those that previously relied on public transport. 93% of respondents in Lambeth would find pedestrianised city centres helpful in walking or cycling more, and businesses can help facilitate this change.
Monitor air quality in your area:
Influence improvements to how ‘street space’ is used:
- In Southwark: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/for-the-public/coronavirus/impact-on-council-services/coronavirus-help-us-combat-covid-19-by-suggesting-healthier-streets
Help improve local open spaces:
- In Bankside area: https://betterbankside.co.uk/businesses/bankside-open-spaces-trust
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