Coinciding with the company’s participation in Climate Week and events around the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City, 3M announced it will be acting on climate change through a new partnership with Clean Air Asia. 3M will collaborate with the international non-governmental organization on science-based air quality solutions for New Delhi, India, and Metro Manila, Philippines. This partnership aims to create healthier, more livable cities in Asia, and will ultimately advance the Clean Air Initiative announced by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in July 2019.
To move toward this goal, 3M will spend the next five years assisting 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.”
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths each year. The health impact of poor air quality is particularly notable in the WHO South-East Asia Region, where people in 99% of cities are exposed to pollution levels that exceed WHO guidelines.
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. 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.
“Solutions are at hand to address this severe health threat in Asia, although there are challenges due in part to a lack of institutional resources, technology solutions and financial support,” said 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 continues to increase its long-standing commitment to sustainability strategy and action, both through its own initiatives as well as its broad approach to partnerships around the world. It has announced bold new goals for renewable energy use, advancing the circular economy, and embedding sustainability in all new products, and is on a path to do much more. Together with its employees, customers, partners, governments and communities, 3M is committed to a science-based, collaborative approach to solving shared global challenges and improving lives.
Learn more about 3M’s commitment to sustainability at www.3m.com/sustainability. For more information about Clean Air Asia’s work, visit www.cleanairasia.org. In addition to this partnership, 3M has made a grant to GlobalGiving Foundation, Inc., and has recommended Clean Air Asia as the recipient.