Coinciding with its participation in Climate Week and the United Nations General Assembly, 3M is acting on climate change through a new partnership with Clean Air Asia.
3M and the international non-governmental organization will collaborate on science-based air quality solutions for New Delhi, India, and Metro Manila, Philippines, ultimately advancing the mission to create healthier, more livable cities in Asia.
Over the next 5 years 3M will assist Clean Air Asia in its efforts to assess baseline air quality conditions, design capacity-building programs for air quality management, implement awareness and education campaigns, develop Clean Air Action Plans with selected city and district governments, and measure the resulting impact on air pollution levels.
“Air pollution is a significant known health risk across the globe,” said Gayle Schueller, 3M Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. “We are eager to partner with the Clean Air Asia team and share our expertise, so that we may continue addressing the negative impacts of climate change with science-based solutions.”
Poor air quality is a worldwide health issue, and people living in urban areas in Asia are exposed to levels of pollution that pose significant health risks. Of the almost five million premature deaths estimated to be attributable to air pollution (ambient PM2.5, household, and ozone) across the globe in 2017, about 70% occurred in Asia. And only 2% of 420 cities surveyed in Asia met the PM2.5 World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guideline (annual average), based on Clean Air Asia’s 2018 analysis of ambient air quality.
India is also struggling with poor air quality nationwide. According to the WHO, in 2016, 14 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world were in India, and 900,000 premature deaths were attributed to poor air quality. New Delhi’s sources of air pollution include industrial facilities, vehicles, road dust and domestic cooking.
In Metro Manila, PM2.5 levels in four of five cities with monitoring data in 2017 exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value and WHO Air Quality Guideline.
“Solutions are at hand to address this severe health threat in Asia, although there are challenges due, in part, to a lack of technology solutions and financial support,” says Bjarne Pedersen, Clean Air Asia Executive Director. “This new collaboration with 3M will support our work to bridge these gaps and implement science-based policies and programs to improve lives in New Delhi and Metro Manila.”
3M has accelerated its long-standing commitment to sustainability over the past year—in both strategy and action. It announced bold new commitments to renewable energy, advancing the circular economy, and embedding sustainability in all new products, and is on a path to do much more. Together with its customers, partners, governments and communities, 3M can collaborate to solve shared global challenges and improve lives.