Retrofit engineer and school NO2 project among Air Quality Award winners

Leeds city council, Greater London Authority and London Electric Vehicle Company were among the winners at the National Air Quality Awards, announced at a glittering reception at Lord’s Cricket Ground, yesterday evening (4 October).

Niki Welch, head of retrofit engineering at exhaust specialist Eminox, was crowned the 2018 Air Quality Champion for his work developing emissions reductions technology in buses and trucks, which is thought to have contributed to a 25,000 tonne reduction in NOx emissions.

Geraint Davies MP, chair of the APPG on Air Pollution, addressed finalists at the National Air Quality Awards at Lord’s yesterday (5 October)

Other winners included Hackney Council for its vehicle fleet project, Oxford city council’s STOP — Schools Tackling Oxford’s Air Pollution campaign, HS2 & Arup, Hilson Moran Manchester, City of London Corporation for its project to deliver clean air at Sir John Cass Primary School.

The awards, organised by in partnership with Mercedes Benz Trucks, is now in its fourth year.

Support for the event also came from Calor, Beama, Imperial & Videalert, Gramm Barrier Systems SmogStop, Eminox, Toyota and Urban Transport Group.

Images from the evening can be accessed by clicking on this link. Please use email address and the password environment18 when prompted.

This year, over 80 entries were put forward across the nine categories, which were scrutinised by an expert judging panel.

The 2018 judging panel included Anne Godfrey, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Gloria Esposito, Head of Projects, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and Rebecca Fuller, Assistant Director, Urban Transport Group and Will Date, Editor of

Following on from the National Air Quality Conference, which took place at the same venue during the day, the awards were opened by Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution — who applauded the finalists for their work in improving air quality.

He reminded the audience that there is a huge public health cost from air pollution. And after highlighting the range of sources of air pollution, including transport, he claimed that “people are voting with their feet over diesel cars because of diesel pollution and also Brexit”.

The MP continued: “The government needs to act on air quality and my concern is that it is not acting promptly enough. It is possibly because they think industry doesn’t want to change. But, unless we adapt and change we won’t be in a position to lead export markets with low emission cars and products.”

And, Mr Davies referenced indoor air pollution and growing concerns as well as confusion over the topic. “People will start to believe its unsafe to be outside and bad to be inside with sprays, cleaners, candles, perfumes and paint. There should be proper labelling on these products and in some cases these should be banned.”


On the Awards front, Leeds city council’s Zero Emissions Refrigeration Unit project, carried out in tandem with Dearman, won the Innovation in Air Quality Technology Award. The project saw the council trial a refrigerated lorry cooled by liquid nitrogen as an alternative to diesel, which helped to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions on the city’s streets.

Winners: editor Will Date pictured with representatives of GLA & TfL, who collected their award for Public Transport Air Quality Initiative of the Year for London’s Low Emission Bus Zones from Alan Jennings of Toyota

Greater London Authority and Transport for London picked up the Passenger Transport Air Quality Award for their work in introducing Low Emission Bus Zones, in five locations across the capitals. The Zones have helped to remove highly polluting buses from some of the city’s most polluted areas, replacing them with retrofitted or newer vehicles.

In the Vehicle Fleet Air Quality Initiative of the Year category, the Hackney Fleet Project was recognised for its work to switch a significant proportion of its vehicle fleet to electric and ultra-low emission vehicles. The council is also pioneering Hydro-treated Vegetable Oils as a fuel in a bid to test the scope for further reductions in nitrogen dioxide.

Low emission mobility

London Electric Vehicle Company — the developer of the TX eCity range-extended electric taxi — was crowned the Leader in Low Emission Mobility for its work in leading the low emission vehicle charge in the taxi sector, whilst refreshing the image of the iconic London black cab.

LEVC’s Wil Barber and David Ollier collected the Low Emission Mobility Award from Steve Eminton of

In the Commercial Sector Air Quality Initiative of the Year category, ARUP and HS2 were recognised for their work to apply stringent environmental standards during operations through activities to deliver a major infrastructure project.

Consultancy firm Hilson Moran received the inaugural Indoor Air Quality Initiative of the Year Award for their work in fitting out a new Manchester Office, one of the first outside of London to be awarded the WELL Certification.

The project incorporated green moss walls, selected plants to suck benzene, formaldehyde, and other air pollutants out of the atmosphere, used kitchen cupboards made from potato skin and straw to avoid the use of high VOC materials to improve health and wellbeing within the workspace.

The Air Quality Communications Initiative of the Year Award was given to Oxford city council for its STOP campaign. Through the project, Oxford delivered real-time NO2 and PM10 air quality monitors in six Oxford schools alongside an air quality educational toolkit to teach children about the causes and impacts of air pollution.

AQ CHAMPION: Niki Welch, head of retrofit engineering at Eminox collecting his award from Adrian Heath of Calor

City of London Corporation and St John Cass’s Primary School were recognised for their long-running work to deliver significant improvements in NO2 at what was once labelled ‘one of the most polluted schools in the country’ — with concentrations at the school falling below legal limit values for the first time since 2003.

And finally, Eminox’s Niki Welch picked up the Air Quality Champion gong in a category that also included Dr David Carslaw from Ricardo Energy and Environment, Emily Norman, Head Teacher at St Mary’s Bryanston Square School, David Evans from Airtopia, Cllr Clyde Loakes of the London Borough of Waltham Forest and Nick Molden founder and chief executive of Emissions Analytics.

The full list of finalists and winners includes:

Innovation in Air Quality Technology sponsored by: Eminox

Winner: Leeds Liquid Nitrogen Trailer Refrigeration Unit Project — Leeds City Council

Leeds and Dearman collaborated on the Liquid Nitrogen Trailer Refrigeration Unit Project. Collecting the award from Eminox’s Carlos Vicente (right) were Florian Wagner and Louise Alter of Dearman and Leeds’ Claire Dalton Nobbs and Polly Cooke.

An Innovative Approach to Improve UK Air Quality Using Geofence Technology and Telematics — Electric Blue UK

The AdBlue® pouch by Yara

Airbubbl — Airlabs

EarthSense Provide Integrated & Accessible Data with MappAir™ Technology

Innovative collaboration unlocks the route to reduced emissions — Videalart & Imperial

Passenger Transport Air Quality Initiative of the Year, sponsored by: Toyota

Winner: Low Emission Bus Zones — Greater London Authority and Transport for London

Electric solar powered bus — The Big Lemon

Oxford Road Cycleway — Transport for Greater Manchester

Liverpool City Region, Strategic Interventions Study to Improve Air Quality, MerseyTravel

Vehicle Fleet Air Quality Initiative of the Year, sponsored by: Mercedes Benz Trucks

Winner: The Hackney Fleet Project — London Borough of Hackney

FLEET: Hackney’s Vehicle Fleet Project scooped the Vehicle Fleet Air Quality Initiative of the Year Award. The Hackney team is pictured here with Lloyd Bonson of Mercedes Benz Trucks (right) and Will Date

Smart Electric Urban Logistics — Cross River Partnership

Plugged in for cleaner council vehicles on Leeds roads — Leeds City Council

Cleaner O2, A Bywaters Partnership

A cleaner fuel for cleaner air reduces NOx emissions by 47% — Certas Energy with Brakes Group

Better deliveries for better cities — Zedify

Leader in Low Emission Mobility, presented by

Winner: London Electric Vehicle Company

Time to Stop Idling: Perpetual V2G Systems

The AdBlue Pouch, Yara

Air Quality Communications Initiative of the Year, sponsored by GRAMM Smogstop

Winner: STOP — School’s Tackling Oxford’s Air Pollution — Oxford City Council

Go Ultra Low campaign — Supported by OLEV, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, VW and the SMMT

Oxford’s STOP campaign was recognised as the Communication Initiative of the Year.  Pedro Abreu and Cllr Tom Hayes are pictured collecting the award from Anne Godfrey of CIEH.

#5MileLeeds Challenge & Clean Air Day 2018 — Leeds City Council

Mums for Lungs

London’s Air Quality Alerts System — The Mayor of London, Greater London Authority and King’s College London

Idling Action campaign (delivered by CWC Environmental and Green Gumption on behalf of 18 local authorities in London)

Driving behaviour change with Clean Air Day — National Express West Midlands and Birmingham City Council

Commercial Sector Air Quality Initiative of the Year, sponsored by: Videalert & Imperial

Winner: Air Quality Mitigation During Construction, setting a new standard — Ove Arup and Partners on behalf of HS2

Better deliveries for better cities — Zedify

Cleaner O2:  A Bywaters Partnership

Indoor Air Quality Initiative of the Year, sponsored by BEAMA

Winner: A solution to indoor air quality — Hilson Moran, Manchester

ADROIT — Clean Air for every home — Airflow Developments Ltd

Clean air for retail workers — Airlabs & Stella McCartney

Local Authority and Public Sector Air Quality Initiative of the Year sponsored by: Urban Transport Group

Delivering Cleaner Air at Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School — City of London

City of London and Sir John Cass’s Primary School were recognised for helping to reduce NO2 levels at the school.

Enjoy Waltham Forest — Waltham Forest Council

Low emissions and high recycling in the Heart of London — Westminster City Council

Go Ultra Low programme — Nottingham City Council

The Hackney Fleet Project — LB Hackney

Low Emission Bus Zones — Greater London Authority and Transport for London

Air Quality Champion, sponsored by: Calor

Winner: Niki Welch, Eminox

Dr David Carslaw, Ricardo

Emily Norman, Head Teacher, St Mary’s Bryanston Square School

David Evans, Airtopia

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Waltham Forest Council

Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics


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