Improving poor air quality

Poor air quality directly impacts our health and must be improved. Its sources and impacts are often complex to untangle but we know that a shift away from the combustion of fuels in areas where there are people would have an immediate benefit. We will work with scientists, data analysts, citizens, companies and policymakers to develop innovative solutions and responsive policies, based on cutting-edge technologies, robust data and citizen engagement.

London Landscape

Urban Freight Partnerships

In order to meet sustainability goals, municipalities and regional governments must develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the field of freight. With e-commerce on the rise, construction booming, waste generation in reading and grocery delivery expanding, the need for urban freight plans and policies is growing. To support stakeholder engagement programs, EDF has released a new report to guide local governments on how to develop, implement and evaluate an Urban Freight Partnership. It is coupled with a “how-to” guide which houses nine templates to serve as easy-to-use tools for municipalities to get started.

Freight shipping workers unloading boxes from truck

Zero-Emission Zones for Freight (SURF)

To help cities develop the tools and experience to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions from heavy duty vehicles in cities, Environmental Defense Fund Europe launched the Sustainable URban Freight (SURF) project in spring 2021. The project was a collaboration with POLIS, the leading network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport. The project focused on the design and implementation of Zero-Emission Zones for freight (ZEZ-Fs), which can dramatically reduce pollution from freight and contribute to healthier cities.

EV shipping truck on road surrounded by hills

Pollution monitoring in London

For two years, the Breathe London pilot project mapped and measured pollution across the capital, led by Environmental Defense Fund Europe and launched in partnership with the Mayor of London and leading science and technology experts.

With more than 100 lower-cost sensor pods and specially-equipped Google Street View cars, Breathe London complemented and expanded upon London’s existing monitoring networks. The project aimed to help people better understand their local air quality and support cities around the world with future monitoring initiatives. EDF developed the Breathe London Blueprint for global cities, which includes both a guide for city-level decision-makers and a more detailed Technical Report.

Google Car

Turning London pollution data into action

One of the main sources of London’s air pollution is transport. On-road vehicles — like cars, delivery vans and lorries — are responsible for some of the most harmful air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Building on the landmark monitoring project of Breathe London, our air quality team is using data to spotlight the city’s pollution from transport and other sources. For example, diesel fuel is an especially harmful polluter, so we zoomed in on air pollution created by diesel cars. We also found that deprived kids and children of BAME background are breathing in significantly more pollution at their primary school.

NOx sources schools map outer inner london - title