Collaborating to develop a new pollution classification system

22 Sep 2021
Recyclers & Reprocessors Theatre
Governments and businesses are now realising they must decarbonise in order to continue working, using well-established methods for measuring carbon emissions. However, the move to a low-carbon economy should mirror a move to a low-pollution economy and methods to monitor and report single pollution incidents are not so developed. Incidents such as spills into waterways, are not being recorded or discussed openly because:

1.    Incidents are not uniformly recorded or classified between organisations. For instance, Company X may record an incident as an 'Intermediate', Company Y will record the same incident as a 'Level 2' etc.; and

2.    There is no law or standard requiring incidents disclosure to the markets, unlike carbon emissions.

In contrast, the Health and Safety profession's use of incident statistics including Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFRs) and Accident Incidence Rates (AIR) are widely understood.

This opens an opportunity for a globally unique project with significant policy applications and needs the support of Environment professionals across all industries - to collaborate and create a standardised classification system for pollution. This system is the focus of David's research and is being completed through a PhD with the University of Birmingham's Business School.
David Dowson, PhD Researcher - University of Birmingham