Following on from First Mile CEO Bruce Bratley urging Londoners to take Air Pollution seriously, in light of the annual air pollution quota for London repeatedly being surpassed in January, First Mile has released a new image to illustrate the reality of the scale of the problem.
The image below is a harrowing depiction of what London could look like if initiatives to help tackle air pollution are not taken seriously. The images represents what the future of London could look like if business and consumers let responsibility for pollution and emissions fall by the wayside. Those living in London need to wake up to the effects of air pollution, not just for our overlay health but also for the infrastructure of London. The image therefore depicts what London could look like if we do not take responsibility.
Currently, First Mile are London’s only small business who have taken action on air pollution and the only company to already have initiatives and schemes in place inline and ready for the Ultra Low Emission Zones coming into force in April.
Toxic air must be cut to protect the health of the next generation. Air pollution in the UK currently causes 40,000 early deaths a year, 9,000 in London. It has further been linked to a growing number of health conditions. Recent research has already confirmed that air pollution is harmful for those who are pregnant, increasing the risks of miscarriage and premature births.
Data from Asthma UK has also found that Asthma attacks are also three times as common as previously thought, demonstrating the true impact of air pollution. A large percentage of this pollution comes from traffic. The UK’s first Ultra Low Emissions Zone coming into play across the city is a vital initiative to help tackle the problem and one that has been described as a public health emergency.
As a London-based business driven by environmental purpose, First Mile have gone above and beyond a lot of other companies ensuring they are ready for April.
- Zero emissions deliveries, in central London, First Mile operate 150 zero emissions deliveries a day through their new electric vans and their first cargo-bike. They are on a mission to electrify their whole fleet, continuing to invest in their clean air fleet. Currently, their HGVs are 10 times cleaner today than they were a decade ago, as well as three times less polluting than the average black cab when it comes NOx and Particulate Matter. The progressive operational business model from First Mile means they can deliver increased recycling rates at the same time as improving London’s air quality, both of which are outlined within Sadiq Khan’s Environmental strategy.
- Award winning sacktory, First Mile own London’s most central waste sorting depot, located in Park Royal. Being centrally located means they have hugely reduced the amount of vehicles they have on the road at one time. The impact First Mile are having can currently be seen around the Bond Street area. Since they began a waste consolidation scheme on Bond Street in 2015, air pollution and congestion from waste vehicles have been drastically reduced. Encouraging businesses to sign-up to two preferred suppliers (First Mile and the local council) saw a reduction in the number of HGVs operating on Bond street from 45 to 5, saving at least 25,214 grams of NOx, 345 grams of particulate matter and 45 tonnes of CO2 per year. The Bond street consolidation scheme is an example of the impact a preferred supplier partnership can make. They have already implemented a number of other schemes within the business also.
- Pioneering driver technology, First Mile have optimised route optimisation programmes to determine the most fuel-efficient route for the collection and delivery vehicles. Additionally, all vehicles are fitted with telematics to deter heavy breaking, fast acceleration and idling, all of which reduce emissions.
Bruce Bratley has made a pledge to help clean up London. First Mile is using innovation to make their routes shorter, their emissions lower with high spec vehicles, and efficiency models to ensure an overall reduction in their contribution to air pollution. Bruce is encouraging Londoners to ‘wake-up’ to the reality of this as an issue affecting the whole city. In anticipation of the London surpassing the annual air pollution quota, Bruce is keen to chat more about making predictions and educating people and business on the simple ways they can make a difference.