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World Environment Day 2019 Campaign - Beat Air Pollution

Please note this page is no longer being updated on a regular basis. 

 World Environment Day celebrates and promotes environmental awareness and sustainability across the globe. The Society for the Environment champions this initiative by creating awareness of the chosen theme each year. The theme for 2019 - "Air Pollution". 

World Environment Day is actively championed by the Society for the Environment and its network each year. World Environment Day is a United Nations (UN) Environment initiative held annually on the 5th June. It has highlighted important global issues since its origins in 1974 – including climate change, marine pollution and wildlife crime. In 2018, we were a key part of the coordinating team of the hugely successful #pledgelessplastic campaign



Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges that we face, with approximately 7 million people worldwide dying prematurely each year from air pollution, and about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific (UN, 2019).

Ways to Get Involved in 2019

1) Share a good practice case study of a project that has helped tackle air pollution

2) Join in the conversation via social media using #BeatAirPollution

3) Utilise the resources provided to help build awareness in your local community (found in the 'Resources and Materials' section)

4) Listen to the very first podcast of our new series 'Interviews with Environmental Professionals'. The guest for this podcast is Professor James Longhurst HonFSE CEnv, a champion against air pollution. Listen to the podcast and subscribe at

You can also access the full recordings of our World Environment Day Awards and Lectures event, held on the eve of World Environment Day (4 June). 

Find out more below...

Call For Case Studies

We want to share your case studies of projects that are helping to tackle air pollution! If this is sounds like something you can help with, please let us know.

In your case study, please explore: 

What is your organisation doing to reduce its impact on air quality internally and/or externally?
How are you communicating clean air options to your teams?
What is being done to address the issue?
How is your organisation leading on the reduction of harmful emissions?


You can download our case study form from the 'Resources and Materials' section below, as well as view already submitted case studies in the 'those making a difference' section. 


Social Media

We also encourage you to get social by spreading the word to your networks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. It's not just about encouraging other environmental professionals to do their bit - we also want to reach the wider public to make a real difference. Check out the "Get Social" section below for more details.

Archived case studies from IEMA members are available to view here, on the following topics:

  • Combatting Air Pollution in Botswana
  • Change is in the Air - Is Development a Risk?
  • Assessing Air from Construction Projects
  • Air Quality, Dust and Odour Impact Assessment: An Update to the Guidance
  • Consideration of Indirect Air Quality effects in EIA
  • Recent perspectives on the UK’s breach of the NO2 Limits as set out in the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive
  • White Rose Carbon Capture Plant, Air Quality Assessment
  • The Use of ‘Future Year’ Traffic Data within ‘Standard’ Air/Noise Assessments


28th April 2020 - Air Quality Conference North (Air Quality News)

The Northern Air Quality Conference serves as a platform for business, local authorities and the third sector to learn and network as an industry, exploring some of the issues and the possible solutions to the increasing levels of toxic air in our communities.


28th April 2020 - DMUG 2020

Save the date for this year’s DMUG conference, the one-day Institute of Air Quality Management annual conference for users of dispersion models.

This unapologetically technical conference remains the key annual event for experts in this field, providing a platform for knowledge exchange, debate and discussion on topical issues. If you are a professional engaged in air quality modeling then make sure you attend this conference to hear from eminent speakers, network with fellow professionals and gain valuable CPD.


Join in the conversation via social media, using the hashtag #BeatAirPollution. You can find and follow us on Twitter at @SocEnv_HQ

Share what you're doing to reduce your impact on air quality on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Raise awareness within your network by posting an image available in the "Resources & Materials" section below. 

But remember to use #BeatAirPollution


Suggested Tweets

Ideal for copying and pasting - maybe adding your own twist:

7 million premature deaths are caused by air pollution each year. #WorldEnvironmentDay has now passed, but the fight to #BeatAirPollution continues! Get involved today:

9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. #WorldEnvironmentDay has now passed, but the fight to #BeatAirPollution continues! Get involved today:

Clean Air Day Resources

This year, we were an Official Supporter of Clean Air Day (20 June), co-ordinated by Global Action Plan. Clean Air Day may be over this year, but you can still find great information, tips and resources to help raise awareness of air pollution. Just a tiny selection of the free resources available from Clean Air Day can be found using the links below. Plus, click on the image above to download your "Don't idle your engine" poster.

Clean air travel hierarchy 

Pledge cards

To find out more and access the full set of resources, please visit the Clean Air Day website.

Case Study Form

You can download our case study form here. Please complete, or if you prefer, send the text us to us and we can format it for you! Please send all case studies to


Siemens Resources

Blog: How can you Beat Air Pollution? By Sarah Jones of Siemens, a CEnv via the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)


ICE Resources

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) have a number of useful resources and guides relating to the topic of air pollution. 

These include: 

Report: Engineering Cleaner Air: a report into Civil Engineering solutions to London's air pollution - Also: related news item

Event materials: A growing city is a polluting city: Will London always have an air quality problem?

Event materials: Air quality in enclosed railway stations

You can find out more about the ICE via their website


IAQM Resources

The Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) is committed to enhancing the understanding and development of the science behind air quality by promoting knowledge and understanding of best working practices. 

Just a few of their resources can be found below: 

Air Quality Monitoring in the Vicinity of Demolition and Construction Sites 2018

RTCA two-day Annual Conference: experiences of improving traffic emissions

Guidance on the assessment of odour for planning 2018 v1.1

You can find many more via the IAQM website.


Further Reading 

Local Air Pollution

You can find out about air pollution levels in your local area via the UK Air website and the European Air Quality Index

British Safety Council

Find out more about the Council's 'Time to Breathe' Campaign here and here


Keeping children safe from toxic air campaign 

Client Earth

You have a right to breathe clean air campaign

University of Leeds

Leeds Air Quality Living Lab

Books to Read

Useful books on the topic of air pollution include: Clearing the Air: the beginning and the end of air pollution by Tim Smedley and The Invisible Killer: The Rising Global Threat of Air Pollution - and How We Can Fight Back by Gary Fuller

SocEnv News

Catch Up with All the Lectures and Award Winners from our World Environment Day Event 2019 (9 July)

New Air Pollution Public Information Platform Launched (14 June)

Beating Air Pollution for World Environment Day and Beyond (5 June)

2019 Environmental Professional of the Year Revealed on World Environment Day (5 June)

The Society for the Environment Announce Upcoming Release of New Podcast Series (30 May)

Final Speaker Line-Up Confirmed For Awards and Lectures (9 May)

Dr Thérèse Coffey MP Confirmed to Speak at World Environment Day Awards and Lectures (10 May)

Global Theme for World Environment Day 2019 Announced – Take a Deep Breath! (21 March)


General News 

London commits to WHO guidelines for PM2.5 by 2030 (Air Quality News, 11 October)

Air pollution: Half of pupils worried about air quality (CBBC Newsround, 24 September)

'We are now in a climate emergency': Choked by air pollution in Malaysia (Sky News, 20 September)

Cut air pollution to fight climate change - UN (BBC News, 20 September)

MPs call on government to enshrine WHO PM2.5 guidelines in law (Air Quality News, 19 September)

ONS: road traffic increased by 30% since 1990, but many air pollutants down (Air Quality News, 17 September)

Huge reduction in air pollution as city goes car-free for Great North Run (Engie, 9 September)

Leaders of biggest cities including Newcastle call for Government help to tackle air pollution (FutureBuild, 2 September)

Range anxiety still biggest EV turn-off, survey finds (Air Quality News, 27 August)

Clean air campaign: Cut air pollution to save 10,000 children a year from asthma (The Times, 8 August)

How air pollution can directly affect fertility, according to a doctor (Evening Standard, 4 August)

Study aims to map air pollution in front of our faces (Phys Org, 1 August)

Defra’s reporting of air quality and emissions data criticised in report (Air Quality News, 31 July)

The Strand first London location to breach NO2 limits in 2019 (Air Quality News, 31 July)

Air pollution plan for roads due to levels of pollutant found at properties (Stoke-on-Trent Live, 25 July)

London pollution: High levels detected by 40% of capital's air quality sensors (Evening Standard, 24 July)

WHO guidelines on air pollution ‘feasible’, but more details needed (British Heart Foundation, 24 July)

Bristol’s CAZ will take a decade to clean up toxic air, council says (Air Quality News, 23 July)

EU Member States make only mixed progress in reducing emissions under UN convention, latest air pollution data shows (European Environment Agency, 22 July)

Guidance published on how to reduce indoor air pollution (Air Quality News, 16 July)

Clean air campaign: Motorway speed limits could be cut when pollution level soars (The Times, 18 July)

New interactive tool shows how trees improve air quality (Air Quality News, 16 July)

Cleaner air: New pledge to cut levels of pollution to be made law (Evening Standard, 16 July)

Farming’s devastating impact on urban air pollution (The Bristol Cable, 15 July)

India air pollution: Will Gujarat's 'cap and trade' programme work? (BBC News, 12 July)

China has made major progress on air pollution. Wuhan protests show there's still a long way to go (CNN, 11 July)

Court of Justice of the EU backs Brussels citizens’ right to clean air (Client Earth, 11 July)

Air pollution prematurely ages lungs by four years (The Scotsman, 9 July)

Air pollution in Birmingham 'shortens lives of children by half a year' (The Guardian, 8 July)

Indonesian president Joko Widodo sued over soaring air pollution in Jakarta (The Independent, 4 July)

Pollutionwatch: diesel restrictions will not hit poorest most (The Guardian, 4 July)

Could 'green lamp posts' be the solution to our air pollution problem? (The Telegraph, 1 July)

Action on air pollution works but far more is needed, study shows (The Guardian, 26 June)

France loses landmark court case over air pollution (The Guardian, 25 June)

Air pollution: How bad is your commute? (BBC News, 25 June)

Spain must face consequences if Madrid's LEZ is cancelled (META/EEB, 19 June)

National academies call for immediate action on air pollution (UN Environment, 20 June)

Air pollution: Houses on polluted street face demolition (BBC News, 20 June)

Clean Air Day 2019: How toxic air pollution in London poses a serious health risk to unborn babies (Evening Standard, 20 June)

OxAir to explore daily exposure to air pollution in Oxford (Oxford City Council, 20 June) 

Clean Air Day: find how polluted your area is and where to go for a breath of fresh air (The Telegraph, 20 June)

Sadiq Khan announces car-free day in London to tackle air pollution (The Guardian, 20 June)

Toxic school run: how polluted is the air that children breathe? - video (The Guardian, 19 June)

Inconsistent Clean Air Zones could be undermining improvements in air quality (Air Quality News, 19 June)

French utility Veolia sees money from tackling indoor air pollution (Reuters, 13 June)

Mr Whippy ice cream van ban proposed for city over air pollution concerns (The Independent, 11 June)

Nearly Half of UK Homes Have High Indoor Air Pollution - New Report (Clean Air Day, 5 June)

Air pollution alerts have already topped all of 2018 (The Times, 3 June)

Five ways in which disasters worsen air pollution (UN Environment, 31 May)

£1bn Silvertown tunnel will slash Blackwall traffic and air pollution, say transport chiefs (Evening Standard, 30 May)

Delhi's Deadly Air (AlJazeera, 30 May)

British Safety Council welcomes #AirWeShare campaign to tackle pollution (Open Access Government, 30 May)

'Dangerous pollution' at Bristol Airport (The Ecologist, 28 May)

Air pollution affects happiness, Chinese study finds (World Economic Forum, 24 May)

Ministers ‘failing to cut illegal air pollution’ on 113 roads (The Times, 23 May)

The effects of air pollution on human health (BBC, 22 May) 

Indoor air pollution can be 3.5 times worse than outdoor air pollution (Clean Air Day, 15 May)

Wake up to air pollution, doctors tell ministers (The Times, 10 May)

Air Pollution: 14 Governments fail to produce 'crucial plans' (META from the EEB, 30 April)

How air pollution is doing more than killing us (BBC, 16 April)

Written in the wind: visualising air pollution - in pictures (The Guardian, 9 April)

Ever wondered what air pollution is actually doing to your body? (BBC, 2 April)

City of London names WYG Air Quality Campaign (WYG, 1 April)


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Bittersweet nature of nitrogen calls for better management practices | Find out more >>

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Gasping for Air in Kabul Find out more >>

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The Society for the Environment are working on this campaign alongside a number of partner organisations: 


Professional bodies licensed to award the Chartered Environmentalist registration:

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