New Campaign to Promote Clean AirBack

Clean air - we all want to know our air is healthy. But too many of us breathe dirty air every day, especially in our towns and cities. Many people don’t realise what a serious threat to their health it is. Air pollution is a hidden killer. Breathing polluted air has been linked to the major health concerns of our time, such as cancer, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.

The Georgia Alliance for Safe Roads and the UN Office in Georgia (UNO) today announced a new campaign, For Clean Air, to bring awareness to the health effects of breathing polluted air. This is a comprehensive, nation-wide campaign, involving a number of partners.

The announcement comes on the heels of study commissioned by the Washington University, which shows that Georgia is ranked third per 100,000 people, with  total deaths from diseases caused by the air pollution — linked to everything from lung cancer to heart disease to strokes.

 “We have a huge challenge on our hands. Air pollution levels across Georgia consistently break legal limits,” said Eka Laliashvili, Executive Director of the Georgian Alliance for Safe Roads. “In order to have real impact, a broad-based campaign with multiple partners is needed.”

As it turned out, partners were not hard to find. The Government, Tbilisi City Hall, and about 20 companies from banking, insurance, automotive and oil sectors, microfinance organizations, and hotel industry had already begun work on a campaign to promote clean air. These companies are: TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia, Global Benefits, GPI Holding, Aldagi,
Evex,
Sena, Auto, Taxify,
Gulf,
GTS, Electronics, Adjara Group, Postal Union, E-Space,
Ernst &Young, Crystal,
East Point, and Gepra.

Across the globe, organizations and institutions are beginning to channel their efforts towards creating change for a sustainable future. The reasons for going green are not a one-way thing. Companies are adapting sustainability practices because they are concerned about the environment and because it benefits them too, and in a great way.

Being green is a catalyst for innovation, new market opportunity, and wealth creation. Implemented properly it can drive profitability, attract new customers and highly talented employees, reduce costs and boost morale.

While the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not highly developed in Georgia,  sustainability efforts become well-integrated into the corporate fabric of a growing number of large and midsized companies in Georgia. More and more companies understand that the sustainable projects benefit the society as well as the business in the long term.

Clearly, if we are to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals and targets on forests, water, and climate change, if we are to turn our vision of sustainable development to reality,  we can only do so through an integrated and coordinated approach.

Georgia has the potential to improve air quality and become safer, cleaner, healthier country. Investment in clean-up technologies that improve air quality,  air quality monitoring, emission control, better urban planning, a well-designed transportation system that supports walking, cycling and public transit use will allow all people to fully participate in community life.

The national campaign will  give new life to efforts to promote new pollution-combating initiatives, and to make changes and  that those changes do in fact take place.