Businesses Take Action to Clean Up London’s Air
LONDON — Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, says he has a solution to the city’s air pollution problem, one of the worst in Europe: Since last year, specially equipped trucks have trundled around the capital spraying glue to stick sooty particles to the ground in its worst traffic hotspots.
伦敦——伦敦堪称欧洲空气污染最严重的城市之一，而伦敦市长鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson) 声称他已找到治污对策：自去年起，配备特殊装备的卡车开始在城市各处巡游，并在交通最繁忙的重点路段喷洒粘合剂，使烟煤颗粒沉降到地面。
Critics accuse Mr. Johnson, who has a shrewd penchant for self-parody, of not taking the problem seriously. Environmentalists say the trucks have been particularly active near air quality monitoring stations, to help London avoid being fined for violating E.U. pollution limits.
Mr. Johnson disputes that, saying the spraying is one element of a serious cleanup effort.
Amid widespread skepticism about the cleanup efforts, some businesses are taking action on their own, hoping to show that small steps, like consolidating deliveries and encouraging employees to walk to meetings, can make a real dent in the city’s pollution problem.
“It’s business leaders getting it, and getting on with it, in a way that the political leaders just aren’t,” said Simon Birkett, director of Clean Air in London, a research and campaigning group, and author of the Beijing-London comparison, released in April.
西蒙·伯基特(Simon Birkett)是研究和运动组织“伦敦清洁空气”(Clean Air in London)的负责人，也是四月发布的一篇论文的作者，该论文对北京和伦敦进行了对比。他说：“企业领导人正在处理这个问题，而且处理得很好，政治领袖就是不懂得这样的方法。”
A 2010 study commissioned by City Hall blamed dirty air for 4,267 premature deaths every year. While London has come far since the days of its infamous pea-soupers — toxic clouds of smog that killed thousands — its air still endangers many. Nationally, figures show that air pollution is Britain’s second-biggest public health hazard, after smoking.
Levels of small particle pollution — which causes health problems including heart attacks and lung cancer — are high, but no worse than in many other European cities, said Frank J. Kelly, an environmental health professor and head of the environmental research group at King’s College London. Officials are tussling with Brussels over London’s breaches of E.U. limits, which Mr. Kelly said were twice what they should be to safeguard health.
伦敦国王学院(King’s College London)的环保健康教授和环境研究课题组组长弗兰克·凯利(Frank J. Kelly)说，空气颗粒污染会引起包括心脏病和肺癌在内的疾病，伦敦的空气颗粒污染程度较高，但并不比其他许多欧洲城市更糟。官员们正在与布鲁塞尔欧盟总部就伦敦违反欧盟限制进行激烈角力。凯利认为，欧盟设定的限制已经比维持人体健康的正常指标高了一倍。
Where London stands out is its nitrogen dioxide levels, which are the highest of any European capital and often double the legal limit, Mr. Birkett said.
That is largely because of the number of diesel buses, black cabs and cars on the streets, plus widespread use of natural gas for home heating. Nitrogen dioxide is linked to respiratory trouble and can aggravate heart problems. Countries across Europe have struggled to control concentration levels, which are higher than in the United States because of the Continent’s heavy use of diesel fuel.
Now, some businesses are making their own efforts to tackle the problem, working with the City of London Corp., the local government body for the Square Mile financial district.
现在，一些企业正在和伦敦旧城公司(City of London Corp.)携手应对这个问题。伦敦旧城公司是管理“方里”(Square Mile，即伦敦旧城)金融区的政府机构。
Others are developing technologies like exhaust filtration or cleaner taxis, in hopes of making a profit while helping Londoners breathe more easily.
The British manufacturer Eminox is one company working with the bus and train agency Transport for London on a pilot program to retrofit 18 buses to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions. It hopes to win a £10 million, or $15.7 million, contract to install the technology on up to 1,000 of the city’s 8,500 buses.
英国制造商Eminox就是其中之一。它和公交及铁路管理机构伦敦交通局(Transport for London)开展合作试点项目。他们翻新了18辆公交车来减少二氧化氮排放。伦敦共有8500辆公交车，Eminox希望能获得价值1000万英镑即1570万美元的合同，把这项技术应用在其中的1000辆上。
Eminox has also worked to help companies meet London’s Low Emission Zone particle pollution standards for trucks, buses and other large vehicles, rules that were set out by the former mayor, Ken Livingstone, and brought into force gradually, with the final phase kicking in at the start of this year.
Eminox还尽力帮助其他公司，使他们旗下的卡车，公交车和其他大型交通工具的颗粒污染物排放达到伦敦二氧化氮低排放区的标准。该标准是由伦敦前市长 肯·利文斯通(Ken Livingstone)设定的，之后被逐步推行，并于今年初进入最后实施阶段。
“It’s a good example of a win-win, of something that’s beneficial for air quality and helping businesses like ourselves to develop green technology,” said Kathye Henderson, an Eminox spokeswoman. The London work “puts us in a very good position to then be able to export this technology across Europe and further afield.”
In the financial district, the Japanese financial services group Nomura has been a leader in private-sector efforts to improve local air quality. Working with the City of London Corp.’s two-year-old CityAir program, Nomura has consolidated food and office supply deliveries and garbage pickups to cut truck trips. It has also banned engine idling outside its offices, and encouraged employees to share late-night taxis home.
When the group moved to a new London office two years ago, it made environmental sustainability a priority, said Tony Bartle, Nomura’s head of real estate services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Building emissions from boilers and other equipment are a significant source of nitrogen dioxide, which together with nitrogen monoxide is known as NOx, so Nomura installed low-NOx boilers and energy-efficient lighting and generators. Its new building has a plant-covered roof, which cuts energy use and helps clean the air. Bike racks encourage cycling to work.
野村证券欧洲、中东和非洲房地产服务部负责人 托尼·巴特尔(Tony Bartle) 透露，两年以前，当集团搬进新的伦敦办公室的时候，他们就把环境可持续性置于优先考虑。建筑物的锅炉和其他设备的排放物是二氧化氮的一个重要来源，二氧化氮和一氧化氮合称为氮氧化物。有鉴于此，野村证券安装了碳氧化物排放量低的锅炉，以及高效节能的照明和发电系统。野村证券的新楼屋顶为绿植所覆盖，这样既能减少能耗，又能净化空气。自行车停放架则鼓励大家骑车上下班。
Many of the changes, Mr. Bartle said, either cost nothing or save money.
That is also true at Simmons & Simmons, a large law firm: Its Walk to Client program uses an internal social networking site, posters and small foldout maps to prod employees to avoid taxis for short trips. It provides wheeled cases for those with heavy files to carry, and it has promoted the program to 20 other law firms.
大型律师事务所西盟斯(Simmons & Simmons)亦有类似经历：它的“步行去见客户”计划利用公司内部社交网络、宣传海报和小型折叠地图来鼓励员工避免乘坐短程出租。公司为携带沉重文件的员工提供了带轮子的文件箱，并把这项计划推广到了其他20家律师事务所。
CityAir is also spreading the word about such efforts to other companies and encouraging neighboring London boroughs to pursue similar programs. It is encouraging Square Mile landlords to help building tenants work together to consolidate deliveries and pickups, and urging companies to use their purchasing power to push for clean air, for example by requiring taxi companies to use low-pollution vehicles, said Ruth Calderwood, who oversees air quality issues for City of London Corp.
城市空气计划也在向其他公司宣传他们的努力，并鼓励 邻近的伦敦各区推行类似的计划。伦敦旧城公司负责监管空气质量问题的鲁斯·考尔德伍德(Ruth Calderwood)说，公司鼓励“方里”之内的业主帮助住户联合起来，合并物品投递和取送，并敦促各公司利用手中的购买力来推动空气净化，例如，要求出租车公司购买低污染交通工具。
“Some of these businesses have got huge buying power, and from a supply side may well change the market,” Mr. Birkett said. “Done right across London, I’m confident it would make a significant difference.”
伯基特说 ，“其中的一些企业拥有巨大的购买力，很可能从供应方角度就此改变市场。我相信，如果整个城市齐心协力地做好事， 伦敦就会有显著的变化。”