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COP26: pre-launch of new guide to unlock business action on air pollution

Today, IKEA and partners are introducing a practical guide for businesses on how to measure air pollution across value chains. The guide will support companies to understand their impact on air quality and to take necessary actions to reduce their emissions. The guide is being developed by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), in co-operation with IKEA with the ambition to contribute to better health for people and the planet.

Reducing air pollution is more important now than ever before. Today, air pollution is shortening the lives of billions of people globally, by up to six years*. According to a recent survey, one out of three consumers say they are greatly impacted by air pollution (Globescan, 2021)**.

The guide provides methods to quantify emissions that lead to health-damaging particulate matter and surface ozone (O3) from all sources across a company’s value chain. The guide is based on existing information to quantify greenhouse gas emissions, adding an extra element to also estimate air pollutant emissions. The guide aims to help companies create efficiencies across their climate and clean air agendas.

“Clean air should not be a luxury for the few. Companies have a large impact on air pollution but lack the tools to measure and take action across the value chain. This air pollution guide fills that gap and enables companies to take joint action on air pollution and limiting climate change to 1.5°C. The guide is designed to be easy to use for businesses, including those with complex supply chains,” says Andreas Ahrens, Head of Climate, Inter IKEA Group.

The guide will be formally published in 2022. Already at COP26 it is released for consultation and to encourage as many companies as possible to join IKEA in testing out the guidance during the coming year for their value chain. This will enable companies already in 2022 to start measuring their impact on air pollution and take necessary actions to limit it where they impact the most.

“Air pollution is a major threat to human health and fuels the climate crisis. This new approach to look beyond direct emissions and reduce air pollution along and across value chains is necessary for businesses to drive down their emissions at scale,” said Martina Otto, acting Head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat. “This guide is an important first step that companies can take to identify where reductions can be made so they can act.”

Many companies now estimate their impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, but many of the same sources also emit air pollutants.

“It is relatively straightforward for companies to estimate the air pollutant emissions along their value chains by adding the methods we will be presenting in the guide and building upon the efforts businesses have developed to address their responsibility to help combat climate change. With limited extra effort they can start to address their responsibility to cut air pollution as well and reduce health impacts”, Johan Kuylenstierna of SEI said.

Also, at COP26, IKEA will announce joining the Alliance for Clean Air, hosted by the World Economic Forum, the first global corporate initiative to bring together top businesses to tackle air pollution. The Members are committing to measuring their air pollution footprint and creating clear, actionable plans to decrease their impact.

COP26 takes place 1-12th November in Glasgow and will include global discussions on the health impacts of climate change.




**GlobeScan Healthy and Sustainable Living Global Consumer Insights, August 2021




About Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is the only global effort that unites governments, civil society and private sector, committed to improving air quality and protecting the climate in the next few decades. The Coalition supports the achievement of transformative actions, policies and regulations that lead to substantial reductions of short-lived climate pollutants. Doing so can directly prevent millions of premature deaths and help avoid up to half a degree Celsius of additional warming by 2050 and complements the deep and persistent cuts to carbon dioxide needed if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


About Stockholm Environment Institute

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges. We connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all. Across our eight centres in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we engage with policy processes, development action and business practice throughout the world. The work described in this press release is being developed at SEI’s York Centre, at the University of York, UK. 
www.sei.org @SEIresearch @SEIclimate


About IKEA

IKEA offers well-designed, functional, and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA Brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.


About Inter IKEA Group

Inter IKEA Group includes Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG and IKEA Industry AB related businesses. Inter IKEA Holding B.V. is the holding company for the Inter IKEA Group.