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Air quality for businesses

We work with businesses to consider practical ways that they can minimise their contributions to air pollution in the borough. This includes bidding, whenever possible, for air quality project funding that may help businesses to be cleaner and greener whilst saving them money. It could include heating and cooling buildings more efficiently, increasing re-use and recycling, upgrading their fleet, and encouraging more sustainable operations and travel. Many actions have co-benefits such as healthier staff and the potential to reduce costs.

A presentation given to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce (pdf, 1.1 MB) provides more information about air pollution in the borough, including actions that businesses might consider taking, which are given on slide 23.

How businesses can help tackle air pollution

Our work with businesses

Much of the work we do with businesses centres on the following themes:

Idling Action Campaign

Roadside engine idling is an avoidable form of air pollution. Reducing engine idling is a top priority for Richmond Council. We are encouraging all businesses to sign our engine idling pledge to help make the borough idle free.

To further this aim Richmond became part of a coordinated London wide scheme tackling engine idling, called Idling Action, a project funded by the Mayor of London's Air Quality Fund. Together with the Mayor of London’s team, we work with businesses to increase employee understanding of the causes and effects of air pollution. This includes fleet training to raise awareness about engine-idling and its impact on human health.

Work has been adjusted as a result of COVID-19, so the Idling Action London team launched their online #EnginesOff business engagement programme in August 2020. This includes a driver training video for businesses that covers the health consequences of pollution particularly that created by traffic, and tips on how to use vehicles more efficiently to reduce air pollution, help protect driver health and save fuel. You can watch the video online.

Resources on the Idling Action London Businesses website also include a toolkit with training materials, communication templates, and example anti-idling policies which can be edited to suit an individual company’s requirements.

If your business is interested in participating in the #EnginesOff campaign and/or would like support in reducing your emissions, email the Air Quality Officer.

eCargo bikes for business deliveries

With the increasing number of home deliveries, electric cargo (eCargo) bikes are becoming the efficient vehicle of choice for many businesses and other organisations. An eCargo bike has a surprisingly large capacity and may offer significant benefits for deliveries. It can save money and save time, as well as boosting your green credentials. It can also reduce congestion and improve local air quality, helping Richmond achieve its aim of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2030.

With the aim of helping businesses and reducing traffic emissions in the borough, we provide eCargo bikes for hire, which are based in nine locations - Teddington, Hampton, East Sheen, St Margarets, Kew, Ham, Twickenham, Whitton and Richmond Town Centre. Our cargo bikes page has more information including how to hire a bike and a link to a location map. It also gives details of our Try Before You Bike scheme, which includes both cargo and eCargo bikes.

There are also periodic opportunities for interested businesses to trial eCargo bikes at local events hosted by the Council, such as Clean Air day (third Thursday in June) and Car Free Day (22 September).

Smarter Greener Logistics Project - (SGL)

Richmond is one of 15 London boroughs together with 10 project partners that won a bid to participate in the Smarter Greener Logistics Project (SGL) - a project led by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) which is funded by a DEFRA air quality grant. In our borough, the project will be focused on Sheen Lane and Upper Richmond Road West in East Sheen and Mortlake High Street.

The project aims to minimise the impact of freight on noise, air quality, traffic and pavement space. It has several workstreams, several of which are focussed to help businesses to make and receive cleaner deliveries. The area in East Sheen and Mortlake was selected because it is within an Air Quality Focus Area (AQFA) where population density and levels of air pollution are both high.

The one year project will run between July 2023 and June 2024.The Smarter Greener Logistics webpage provides further information, as well as factsheets about the eight workstreams which can be viewed on the CRP publication webpage

View previous air quality projects for business.

Updated: 05 December 2023

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