IOM has been instrumental in supporting climate change goals and with COP26 taking place in Glasgow it's work we wanted to highlight!
We've been supporting climate change goals through our research, through our work with industry and through improving our own company.
We’ve set ambitious goals in terms of increasing the influence of our work, so that regulation is improved and businesses are able to keep staff protected as they implement longer term strategies. We also aim for IOM to be at Net Zero for 2050.
Below are a few of the ways we are working towards these goals.
Environment and public health research
As people we can mitigate climate change and improve human health by reducing air pollution and preserving and increasing green spaces. IOM’s research helps us better understand how everyday human activities affect our exposures, making these issues a lot more personal for each and every one of us and raising their public profile. This work also helps policy makers understand how different interventions can impact environmental quality and human health so that better decisions can be made.
We know that air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are intricately linked. Poor air quality and climate changes affect disadvantaged groups disproportionately, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. IOM have researched the impacts of local air pollution in China (APIC-ESTEE project), Thailand (TAPHIA project) and India (DAPHNE project), understanding the local drivers of exposure and health outcomes in these populations. This has led to data for governments to use to evidence policies to reduce emissions. Supporting that we have also developed citizen science methods (Citidair project) to help people understand what changes they can make to reduce their exposure day-to-day so that they are better protected.
Mitigating occupational risks of climate change
Climate change also affects workers, potentially increasing workplace exposure to different hazards, especially heat and likely also to ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the sun. IOM has helped workplaces understand the risks of these hazards and how to manage them.
For example, our research for London Underground identified ways to improve ventilation and reduce temperatures within underground tube carriages.
Similarly, the damaging effects of sun exposure could continue to rise with changes to our atmosphere. We’re in the process, as part of the EPHOR project, of defining which occupations are most at risk and how these risks could be reduced.
IOM is there to keep people protected from workplace challenges from climate change related changes now and in the future.
Embracing Solar and improving company practices
A healthy and sustainable future starts with IOM as a company. In 2016 we made the decision to install solar generators at our Edinburgh Head Office. This contributes to almost a quarter of the office’s energy needs, making a substantial saving in CO2 emissions to improve the planet both now and for many years to come.
Installing solar has been one of many demonstrable steps to our commitment to Climate Action as we seek to achieve Net Zero and other sustainable development goals. These have included switching to hybrid vehicles, reducing energy consumption and paper usage.