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Press release

COP26: Pre-launch of new guide to unlock business action on air pollution

On 3 November, SEI and its partners are introducing a practical guide for businesses on how to measure air pollution across value chains at COP26. The guide is being developed by SEI and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in partnership with IKEA. It will support companies to understand their impact on air quality and take necessary actions to reduce their emissions to contribute to better health for people and the planet.

Published on 3 November 2021
Press release contact

Frances Dixon

Reducing air pollution is more important now than ever before. Global air pollution is currently responsible for causing over 6 million premature deaths each year1. According to a recent survey, one out of three consumers say they are greatly impacted by air pollution2.

This new guide provides companies with methods to quantify emissions that lead to health-damaging particulate matter and ground-level ozone from all sources across their value chains. It is based on existing information to quantify greenhouse gas emissions, adding an extra element to also estimate air pollutant emissions. The guide aims to help companies create efficiencies across their climate and clean air agendas.

The methods presented in the guide will make it straightforward for companies to estimate their air pollution emissions along their value chains.

Dr Chris Malley, Senior Research Fellow, SEI York

Many businesses already estimate their impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, but the same sources often emit air pollutants as well.

Companies are already starting to address their responsibilities to help combat climate change. With just a little extra effort, they can also cut air pollution and reduce health impacts.

Dr Johan Kuylenstierna, Research Leader at SEI York

Martina Otto, acting head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, noted:

Air pollution is a major threat to human health and fuels the climate crisis. This new approach to look beyond direct emissions and reduce air pollution along and across value chains is necessary for businesses to drive down their emissions at scale. This guide is an important first step that companies can take to identify where reductions can be made so they can act.

The guide will be formally published in 2022. It is being released for consultation at COP26 to encourage as many companies as possible to join IKEA in testing it out during the coming year.

Andreas Ahrens, Head of Climate, Inter IKEA Group, stressed:

Clean air should not be a luxury for the few. Companies have a large impact on air pollution, but lack the tools to measure and take action across the value chain. This air pollution guide fills that gap and enables companies to take joint action on air pollution and limiting climate change to 1.5°C. The guide is designed to be easy to use for businesses, including those with complex supply chains.

IKEA will also announce at COP26 that it is joining the Alliance for Clean Air, hosted by the World Economic Forum, the first global corporate initiative to bring together top businesses to tackle air pollution. Members are committing to measuring their air pollution footprint and creating clear and actionable plans to decrease their impact.

COP26 takes place from 31 October–12 November 2021 in Glasgow and will include global discussions on the health impacts of climate change.

For further media-related information, additional content or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Frances Dixon
Communications Manager

T: +44 (0) 7859147820
E: [email protected]

For more information about accessing the guide, please contact one of the researchers listed below.

SEI contacts

Chris Malley

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Eleni Michalopoulou

Research Associate

SEI York

Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna

Reader / Research Leader

SEI York


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