Construction firms urged to tackle air pollution

A major construction industry awareness campaign, focusing on actions that businesses in the sector can take to reduce air pollution from their operations, has launched this week (20 February).

The Considerate Constructors Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ awareness campaign for 2018 is promoting legislation, best practice case studies and research to businesses in the construction industry on measures to mitigate air pollution from construction projects.

construction air quality

The campaign aims to put focus on air pollution from construction sites

CCS is a non-profit organisation founded by organisations within the construction industry to promote better practices within the industry.

According to CCS construction sites are responsible for 7.5% of nitrogen oxide emissions, 8% of large particle emissions and 14.5% of emissions of the most dangerous fine particles.

The campaign adds that the construction sector mostly contributes to air pollution through construction dust, plant machinery and construction transport.

Practical case studies on how to address the air pollution include contributions from: Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd; Costain; the Institution of Civil Engineers; Interserve; Mace; Sir Robert McAlpine and TfL (Transport for London).


Commenting on the latest campaign, Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive, Edward Hardy, said: “A staggering 40,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution in the UK, and many people are suffering long-term health problems caused by poor air quality. As construction is a significant contributor to air pollution, it is essential for the industry to put measures in place to clean up our air by working together to reduce our impact on air quality.

“The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ campaign provides everyone within the industry access to a practical suite of resources including best practice, guidance and case studies from Scheme-registered construction sites, companies and suppliers on how to tackle this issue, as well as guidance from organisations including the Institute of Air Quality Management, Healthy Air Campaign and the Greater London Authority.”

According to research carried out ahead of the launch of the campaign, up to 91% of construction industry representatives said that they believe air pollution is a nationwide issues, but only 39% said that they have an average understanding of the regulations surrounding air pollution.

Details on the ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ website include details of the relevant regulations with which businesses must comply to ensure that they are not harming air pollution, as well as actions that construction organisations can take to mitigate their air pollution impact.


Proposed actions include the drafting of air quality plans, dust management measures, workplace awareness schemes and action to address emissions from Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM).

Launch of the campaign has come following the publication of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) report calling for action in the sector late last year.

Professor Peter Hansford FREng FICE, Chair of ICE Air Quality Task Force commented: ”The Institution of Civil Engineers is delighted to be partnering with the Scheme for the launch of its ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ campaign.

“The Scheme offers a golden opportunity for the industry to ‘up its game’ in relation to air quality around our construction sites and is a key driving force in helping to address this issue across the industry.”

Related Links
CCS ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’



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