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Beat Air Pollution for World Environment Day 2019

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. Last year, 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). World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world. So, how can you help?

4 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

4) Attend our World Environment Day Awards and Lectures, held on the 4th June at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, with speakers including Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra

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


4th June | Society for the Environment World Environment Day Awards and Lectures

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will host the Society’s annual flagship event – “A Spotlight On Net Gain” – a topical choice, complementing the connected global World Environment Day theme of "Air Pollution”. Speakers include Defra's Dr Therese Coffey, Net Gain expert Claire Wansbury CEnv and the Director of Kew, Richard Deverell.

The event will also see the presentation of the 2019 Environmental Professional of the Year Award – recognising the outstanding work of CEnv and REnvTech registrants.


4th June | World Environment Day event - Fighting Air Pollution on a Local Level | IEMA

Join IEMA on the eve of World Environment Day to discuss the raised awareness of the research trends around Air Pollution and what is happening locally to address this ongoing issue. 


5th June | World Environment Day Webinar: West Midlands Air | IEMA

 Bill Bloss will present on the five-year air quality improvement programme for the West Midlands, WM-Air, applying environmental science research to improve air quality, delivering health, economic and environmental benefits.


5th June | City Pollution: Emerging Scientific Issues For Air Quality Policy | Institute of Physics - Combustion Physics Group

On World Environment Day, join the Institute of Physics - Combustion Physics Group to explore the emerging scientific issues for air quality policy. 


11th June | A Breath of Fresh Air: Together We Can #BeatAirPollution | IEMA Yorkshire and Humberside

As part of the World Environment Day programme of events, IEMA Yorkshire and Humberside would like to welcome you to an event focusing on air quality. The topics being looked at will be:

· How the UK is approaching issues

· How Leeds is using science to drive policy

· Leeds as an exemplar of driving the air quality agenda

· How industry is responding to the challenge


12th June | Belfast Air Quality Seminar to Celebrate World Environment Day | IEMA

Belfast City Council, in partnership with other statutory agencies, has highlighted a series of measures to improve air quality across the city by 2020.

This seminar will discuss the Local Air Quality Management Plan and the work towards providing cleaner air in Belfast by 2020.


12th June | 'Turning #ClimateEmergency to #ClimateOpportunity' | IEMA

In this event, organised by the IEMA Sussex and Surrey Regional Network and hosted by Merlin Entertainment, you'll hear from leaders in the sustainability field on the opportunities that are starting to be presented from climate change, and how you can use innovation to secure the benefits to us and our surrounding environment.


13th June | Scotland Transport Bill Webinar | IEMA

Stephen Thompson FIEMA will present on the progress in developing Low Emission Zone (LEZ) legislation in Scotland via the Transport (Scotland) Bill.


20th June | Leeds Air Quality Control Zone Webinar | IEMA

 An overview of the legal controls that currently apply to air quality in England and an overview of the Government’s latest Air Quality Strategy, alongside a summary of recent air quality focused legal cases featuring Leeds Clean Air Zone.


20th June | Low Carbon Britain: Shaping Our Future | IEMA

Do you know the carbon footprint of Britain or the city you live in?

The climate is changing rapidly but carbon dioxide levels are not rapidly decreasing. In this event, the aim is to calculate the carbon required to maintain a city in Britain, discussing the opportunities for creating low carbon cities, with a focus on Manchester and their zero carbon by 2038 pledge.


Join in the conversation via social media, using the hashtag #BeatAirPollution. We will also be sharing all the latest news and stats in the run-up to World Environment Day - 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. This must change! In the run-up to #WorldEnvironmentDay, share the actions you're taking to #BeatAirPollution!

Nine out of ten people breathe polluted air. This cannot continue! In the run-up to #WorldEnvironmentDay, share a case study of a project helping to #BeatAirPollution!

Research from @cleanairdayuk found that indoor air pollution can be 3.5 times worse than outdoor air pollution, carrying serious implications for our health. This #WorldEnvironmentDay, find out how to get involved to help #BeatAirPollution!

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


Clean Air Day Resources

Just some of the resources available for Clean Air Day can be found below:

Clean air travel hierarchy 

Pledge cards

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


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

Clean Air Day

Tied into this campaign is Clean Air Day, co-ordinated by Global Action Plan and taking place on the 20 June. Their website contains loads of great tips for reducing air pollution, as well as free resources to help you build awareness of the dangers of air pollution in your local community. 

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 

SocEnv News

Chartered Environmentalists react to the choice of Air Pollution as the theme for World Environment Day (21 March)


General News

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)


Latest from World Environment Day HQ

Turning air pollution into art | Find out more >>

Rotary International backs World Environment Day | Find out more >>

Invisible Emissions - High tech cameras reveal methane leaks  | Find out more >>

In Bangladesh, women's right to clean air starts in the kitchen | Find out more >>

Air pollution's effect on bees | Find out more >>

Celebrating the greatest of air pollinators - bees  | Find out more >>

Rooting for a sustainable future: how forest resources can help tackle climate change and air pollution  | Find out more >>

Fixing Nitrogen - Managing Earth's nitrogen problem  | Find out more >>

The living air purifiers cities need more of  | Find out more >>

Air pollution hurts the poorest most | Find out more >>

Asthma sufferers need to be ultra-wary of air pollution | Find out more >>

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

Plastic bags bans can help reduce toxic fumes | Find out more >>

Sowing best practices for cleaner air and better resilience to climate change | Find out more >>

Gasping for Air in Kabul Find out more >>

Air pollution and climate change: two sides of the same coin | Find out more »

Five leaders “doing the right thing” on transport emissions | Find out more »

London implements the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone | Find out more »

Greenhouse gases are depriving our oceans of oxygen | Find out more »

25 steps to end millions of deaths from “the new tobacco” | Find out more »

India pushes for greater uptake of electric mobility | Find out more »

China to host World Environment Day 2019 on air pollution | Find out more »


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


Clean Air Day

We are proud to be official supporters of Clean Air Day

Professional bodies licensed to award the Chartered Environmentalist registration:

Society for the Environment
EC1.1 Enterprise Centre, Puma Way 
Coventry, West Midlands CV1 2TT.
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