As part of the UN's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies and the call for projects “Innovons pour l’air dans les bâtiments publics” (“Let’s innovate for air quality in public buildings”) launched by the Île-de-France Region, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France Region, Karl Olive, Mayor of Poissy, and Diane Galbe, Senior Executive Vice President of SUEZ in charge of Strategy and the global Business Unit, Smart & Environmental Solutions, unveil an innovative solution developed by SUEZ to improve air quality in schools, commissioned in the courtyard of the Victor Hugo elementary school in Poissy.
Each year, air pollution costs France €100 billion1. Even more striking than the economic impact is the human impact. In France, 75% of children breathe polluted air2. The figure is confirmed internationally since 91% of the world’s population live in places that “exceed WHO air quality guidelines”3. This is a pressing issue for French people since more than a third of them see air quality as their main environmental concern4.
Since 2016, air quality has been a priority of Paris Region's environmental and health policy, with actions aimed at both eliminating the sources of air pollution and finding new technological solutions to purify the air. Through its "Changeons d'air" (“Let’s clean up our air”) plan, the Region has set up a test of innovative solutions for the treatment of indoor and confined air in public buildings, especially day nurseries and school courtyards. As they have less mature respiratory system than adults, children are particularly sensitive to air quality and must be protected as a priority.
SUEZ is a key player in preserving the fundamental elements of our environment: water, soil and air. The Group’s innovative solution was selected for the Île-de-France region’s call for projects: “Innovons pour l’air dans les bâtiments publics”. The initial pilot tests start today for a year, in order to confirm the initiative’s real-time performance and scope.
The solution has a strategic positioning, creating a “clean air bubble” that covers a vast air treatment range (primarily PM 10, PM 2.5, NO2 and VOCs). It combines cutting-edge technologies, including microalgae solutions codeveloped with Fermentalg.
The technology is seamlessly integrated into the school courtyard thanks to SUEZ’s collaboration with French street art and graffiti artist, Zdey, with colorful and pop culture references. The presentation of the solution is bold and original. It encourages children to take ownership of this clean-air space and to make it their playground.
Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France region, commented: “Improving air quality is a public health emergency for people living in Île-de-France. The Region made it as a priority of its environmental strategy with the launch of the “Changeons d’air en Île-de-France” action plan in 2016. With this pilot project in Poissy, to be rolled out across other day nurseries and schools in the region, we are taking concrete action to improve the environment and the quality of life of our schoolchildren.”
Karl Olive, Mayor of Poissy, commented: “The city of Poissy cares deeply about the well-being and quality of life of its residents. With respect to air quality, the Carbon Sink installation in 2018 and as an “innovative city,” we considered essential to go even further in our commitment. In doing so, we provided our citizens with a practical and innovative solution for preserving our environmental capital.”
Diane Galbe, Senior Executive Vice President of SUEZ in charge of Strategy and the global Business Unit, Smart & Environmental Solutions, commented: "In a context of climate change and population growth, SUEZ has been supporting municipalities and industrial companies for 15 years in the design, development and operation of air treatment solutions. These innovations are fully in line with our strategic plan Shaping SUEZ 2030, in which new business lines play a key role. Today, we are proud to offer our expertise to the Île-de-France region. Our long-term goal is to expand this project and include other schools in France and abroad”
1 French Senate, Special Inquiry, 2015
3 World Health Organization (WHO), 2018
4 Sustainable Development division of the French Ministry for the Ecological Transition (CGDD)
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