Southampton city council and local charity the Environment Centre have launched a â€˜Clean Air Networkâ€™ â€“ aimed at providing support for organisations and individuals seeking to make changes to improve air pollution.
Launched last week, the initiative will offer support and advice online through social media and through a regular digital magazine. Membership is available to businesses, charities, schools and members of the public.
People can join the Clean Air Network as individuals or as part of organisations, and simply have to commit to reducing emissions where possible, embracing good examples and supporting others to do the same.
All members receive a Clean Air Membership card with handpicked offers to support them with relevant and meaningful products and services. Offers include discounts on a range of items from cycling services, electric mopeds to cheaper meeting room bookings in central locations.
Commenting on the initiative, Southampton city councilâ€™s cabinet member for sustainable living, Councillor Christopher Hammond, said: â€œThe time for pointing fingers at everyone else is gone. We canâ€™t keep blaming one group of people or business over any other. Just because we donâ€™t personally drive a big lorry through the city, doesnâ€™t mean we have no responsibility â€“ we all buy goods that come off of those lorries every day.
â€œResearch shows, we all contribute to the issue of air quality in Southampton and are all responsible for finding a solution by changing our attitudes and behaviours.â€
The authority was one of five named within the governmentâ€™s 2015 air quality plan as requiring to establish a clean air zone by 2020 to help bring the UK into compliance with the Air Quality Directive target on nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Proposals are currently being finalised as to how the council will comply with this order. Other initiatives to have been brought forward by the council include a scheme to offer a cashback incentive to taxi drivers to replace older, more polluting vehicles (see airqualitynews.com story).
Last week, the authority also introduced its first electric Nissan E-NV200 vans into its fleet, to replace diesel vehicles (see airqualitynews.com story).
Southampton city council – Clean Air Network