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Breathing Life into Our Planet: World Environment Day

World Environment Day - 5th June 2024

World Environment Day 2024 is focused on #GenerationRestoration, highlighting the need across our planet to grow back forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils. In the UK we're drawing attention to another essential focus for environmental effort: improving air quality through innovation and technology.

World Environment Day - scorched earth during a drought

The #airwebreathe is more than just a simple necessity; it's the very essence of life and vitality and possibly the single biggest threat to human health in our cities. In recent years, the UK has taken significant strides in legislating for cleaner air as part of an overarching environmental net gain strategy. This initiative is not just about conservation; it's about actively enhancing our environment and biodiversity for future generations.


The Importance of Clean Air

Air quality is a pivotal factor in our overall health and the health of our ecosystems, thus a vital contributor the forests and earth focus of World Environment Day. Poor air quality is also linked more than ever before to a host of health problems, including asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) over 7 million premature deaths are as a a consequence of poor air quality, but pollution equally affects the smallest of our flora and fauna, disrupting delicate ecosystems and reducing biodiversity. Improving air quality is, therefore, not just an environmental concern but a public health priority.


World Environment Day - human health and air quality

Environmental Net Gain: A Holistic Approach


So what about strategies and pledges to support World Environment Day? A phrase that is talked about more and more in board rooms is environmental net gain, a term that goes beyond the traditional focus on conservation. It's about making a positive impact, enhancing biodiversity, and restoring natural habitats. Our product Clean Air by Resysten can also play a vital role in this strategy. Plants need clean air to photosynthesize and grow, which in turn provides habitats for wildlife. By improving air quality, we're naturally supporting the intricate web of life that sustains biodiversity.


Legislation and Property Development


Since the launch of Clean Air by Resysten back in November 2023, we have spoken with a number of major property developers and Tier 1 construction firms about their strategies for air quality. Under the umbrella of the Environment Act 2021, the UK government now has a legislative framework that requires property developers to consider air quality amongst other factors in their projects.

Further, since February this year the need to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) was added into the mix on planning applications, a further mandate to developers to ensure that their projects result in a net positive impact on biodiversity; this also includes considerations around air quality.


Both the stipulations of the Environment Act and BNG are not just a box-ticking exercise; they ultimately represent a transformative policy that integrates environmental enhancement into the heart of urban development. Technologies such as ours that aim to reduce air pollution are we hope integral to these strategies and the creation of sustainable green spaces going forward.


The Path Forward

As we look past World Environment Day, the message is clear: improving air quality is not optional; it's essential. When we talk about protecting our health, preserving our ecosystems, and ensuring that development is sustainable, a meaningful commitment to the goal of cleaner air for all is a major step to making this reality.

 


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