And breathe…it’s Clean Air Day 2020!

Today (October 8) celebrates Clean Air Day – an important awareness day for Oxford Health as the Trust continues to strive to become a more sustainable and environmentally conscious organisation.

And breathe…it’s Clean Air Day 2020!

As part of our Green Alert campaign we’ve made huge strides in reducing our carbon footprint; we’re trialling hybrid vehicles in community teams and we’ve signed up to a research study to monitor the quality of air in Oxford with a pollution sensor installed at the Warneford site.

Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today, according to the UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) – causing approximately 36,000 deaths a year.

The COVID-19 lockdown has seen a significant drop in air pollution in the UK with the levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution dropping by 20-30% across the UK.

How is Oxford Health making a difference?

Our district and community nursing teams have started a one-month free trial of two Toyota Yaris hybrids at two locations in Oxford. The teams will test the vehicles, the booking app and see how sharing a pool car impacts their daily duties. If the trial is a success it could be potentially extended to other teams across the trust.

Additionally, our Estates and Facilities team are the proud owners of an electric vehicle – the Trust’s first in the fleet.

To investigate the impacts of COVID-19 related public health measures upon air and noise quality, Oxford Health is supporting the new ‘OxAria’ research study in Oxford.

Thanks to funding by the Natural Environment Research Council, an air pollution sensor has recently been installed at Warneford Hospital. The study has extended an existing collaboration to enable five air pollution sensors to be installed at city centre locations. These sensors generate real-time information on key air pollutants known to be a risk to human health.

The data will help inform Oxford City Council’s new Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) to be published later this year, outlining the air quality targets and measures to be achieved between 2021-2025.

John Upham, Sustainability Manager commented “Oxford Health has sounded a Green Alert and launched an action plan to support making our organisation and communities more sustainable. Since then, we have focused on our carbon reduction targets and travel, including reduction of staff mileage. We are delighted to have already reduced our carbon footprint by 25 per cent since 2014.

Clean Air is essential for a better health and we are committed to supporting the OxAria study, increasing the use of alternative travel including active travel and electric vehicles.”

Find out how you can contribute to reducing air pollution with Global Action Plan’s video here. Read further information about air pollution and your health on the Clean Air Hub here.

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Published: 8 October 2020