Eighteen firms in the City of London have pledged to take action to improve air quality in the capital’s Square Mile, in an effort to help the UK meet its legal pollution limits.
The initiative is part of the CityAir scheme, led by the City of London Corporation. Among the signatory firms are Caffè Nero, Pret a Manger and Deloitte.
Wendy Mead, deputy chair of the City’s port health and environmental services committee, said, “It’s important to do all we can to make London’s air healthier to breathe. The commitments that these businesses have made are a crucial first step on the path to improved air quality in the Square Mile. If we are to secure the improvements that are needed in London, we all need to play our part.”
Measures include plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency in buildings and encouraging walking or cycling among workers.
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John Tomlinson, chairman of the committee, said, “In the Square Mile we have been reducing emissions by tackling idling vehicle engines and helping our 7,500 businesses to take action against air pollution.
“And we will be introducing a 20mph zone this year, which will have a positive effect on air quality, making the City a more pleasant place to be.”
London is among many locations in the UK where pollution levels exceed safe limits according to the European Union standards.
In January, the European commission launched official legal proceedings against the UK as it failed to improve air quality and cut pollution. London revealed that it would not be able to show improvement until 2025.