DPD is installing air quality monitors on its vehicles across six of the biggest cities in the UK to measure the amount of pollution produced when making deliveries.
Project ‘Breathe’ is already live in London with 100 mobile air quality sensors on the roof of DPD vans, and 20 fixed units on DPD PickUp shops. By the end of May, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, and Cardiff will join the initiative, creating a network of more than 400 sensors in total, delivering 1.5m pollution readings a day.
The sensors take readings every 12 seconds and are focused on the most critical health impactor, which are fine particles PM2.5 at breathing level, to provide real-time data designed to help visualise air quality issues.
The UK roll-out is part of a Europe-wide DPD programme in partnership with air quality tracking provider Pollutrack, with a planned total of 2,400 sensors across 20 European cities by the end of 2021.
Olly Craughan, DPD’s Head of CSR said: “Typically, air quality monitoring has just been based on fixed positions, whereas we are mobile and cover the whole of a city at different times. We will be providing real-time, breathing level readings that could help improve air quality for millions of people.
“Breathe is a hugely significant project for us and complements our 2025 strategy to deliver via electric vehicles to 25 cities in the UK. We will be measuring air pollution using our existing city centre fleet and facilities.”
He concluded: “We are already working with the team behind the Birmingham Clean Air Zone and our data will play a key part in monitoring the real impact the zone makes, when it goes live on 1st June 2021.”