Take Action for Cleaner Air This Summer to Maintain Healthy Lungs as COVID-19 Lingers

While the St. Louis region and cities nationwide are experiencing a decline in the number of overall COVID-19 cases, the staggering toll of the pandemic has driven home to the world the importance of healthy lungs. New research shows that exposure to elevated levels of air pollution is linked to worse health outcomes from COVID-19; however, the health burden of air pollution is not evenly shared as certain populations face a greater risk of illness or even death from breathing unhealthy air.

Several key factors can affect an individual’s level of risk – including where someone lives, where they go to school and where they work – which all greatly impact the amount of air pollution a person is exposed to. Likewise, children, older adults and people with chronic lung or heart conditions may be physically more susceptible to the health impacts of air pollution.

According to the American Lung Association’s latest “State of the Air” report, close to 20.7 million people – or 6.3% of Americans – live in the 13 U.S. counties that failed all three tests for ozone and particle pollution levels. Report findings also reveal that, of those 20.7 million individuals, 14 million are people of color. Communities of color have been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and are disproportionately exposed to unhealthy air, with sources of pollution like power plants, industrial facilities, landfills and highways being deliberately placed in economically disadvantaged communities of color. In general, living in poverty increases the likelihood of being in close proximity to sources of pollution, and thus being more susceptible to respiratory infections.

The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including the thousands of survivors who potentially may never regain their full health, raises the danger of a sharp and sudden rise in the number of people living with underlying conditions that put them at increased risk of health harm from air pollution. During the coming summer months when weather conditions create a risk for higher ozone pollution levels and ozone-related health concerns, it is especially important for these individuals and the rest of the population to prioritize lung health by minimizing exposure to air pollution when possible and taking action to reduce harmful emissions that contribute to the problem.

For starters, the Clean Air Partnership releases daily air quality forecasts to let residents know what the air quality is forecast to be during the prime of summer. Signing up to receive the color-coded forecast via email at www.cleanair-stlouis.com helps to ensure St. Louisans know what the next day’s air quality is forecast to be and if they should take precaution by altering their outdoor activities to avoid being exposed to polluted air. Given that transportation-related emissions have always been one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, the Partnership encourages area residents to do their share for cleaner air by telecommuting, choosing not to idle your vehicles, avoiding topping off your gas tank and combining errands into a single trip. Carpooling, ridesharing and taking advantage of the region’s public transit system as people continue transitioning back to the office can also make a big difference in the amount of ozone-forming emissions generated on any given day and improve lung health overall.

For more information and a host of additional tips to help people all across the region breathe easier this summer, visit our website, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.

Spotlight On: Bunge

With sustainability at the heart of Bunge’s corporate strategy, the company has proudly served as an industry leader in this essential area of focus for more than a decade. As demand for food, feed and fuel continues to grow, Bunge serves as an important link in the producer-to-consumer food chain and strives to put quality food on the table, advance sustainability where they operate, strengthen global food security and help communities prosper. At the company’s global headquarters in St. Louis, Bunge was pleased to participate in the 2020 St. Louis Green Business Challenge with a focus on employee education, local environmental projects and leadership toward common solutions to industry-wide challenges.

During the 2020 Challenge, Bunge earned the esteemed title of Challenge Champion for completing work with the Leader scorecard and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies. The company also elected to develop and report on an Innovation Project – Sustaining and Growing Internal Sustainability Awareness Through Enhanced Communications and Community Partnerships – around their internal greening efforts and client-based work.

Among the company’s impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was a biodiversity project that planted 437 native tree species at five Bunge sites, plus a renewable energy project that supported two East Kansas plants to switch to 100% wind power to achieve net zero emissions by the end of last year. Other noteworthy initiatives included an Earth Day 2020 tree planting event for more than a dozen volunteers across seven Bunge sites and a series of nearly 30 strategy webinars facilitated by the company’s Green Team, which were promoted by Ameren, the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, Gateway Greening, BG Sustainability, Living Lands & Waters and more.

To further reduce environmental impact, Bunge’s Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Committee continues to assist the Board of Directors in fulfilling its responsibility for oversight of relevant sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies, strategies and programs. In doing their part to embrace sustainable decision-making for a greener planet, three core pillars guide the company’s business and sustainability efforts: Action on Climate, Responsible Supply Chains and Accountability. This approach enables Bunge to better plan for and measure the success of its activities, in addition to aligning with global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 — a critical movement to reduce poverty, protect the environment and ensure healthy and productive livelihoods.

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the tremendous efforts of businesses like Bunge that continue to do their share for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability. For additional information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spotlight On: The City of Clayton

With a strong track record of valuing environmental sustainability, the City of Clayton’s strategic plan provides a vision of Clayton as a sustainable, welcoming community comprised of desirable neighborhoods, attractive green space, diverse artistic, cultural and recreational opportunities, and a multi-modal transportation system, all of which foster a safe, healthy and enriched quality of life. The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to shine a spotlight on the City of Clayton for these tremendous green efforts and others that helped to earn them recognition in the 2020 St. Louis Green Cities Challenge.

As a first-time Challenge participant, the lessons learned last year proved to be invaluable and helped the city to focus its efforts on revisiting past accomplishments and to determine future priorities. Among those impressive accomplishments was the renovation of the Center of Clayton, which included the installation of high efficiency HVAC systems, LED lighting with occupancy sensors, installation of ENERGY STAR appliances and planting stormwater detention facilities with native landscaping. Additionally, the Fire Station boiler at City Hall was also replaced with a 96% thermal efficiency, low emissions, multi-heat exchanger boiler, and thermostats were lowered at the station’s engine bay, resulting in savings of nearly 11,000 therms of energy. Along with these updates, the city implemented energy management software to track and report on energy usage and monitor measures taken to conserve energy, which is also a great way to reduce emissions and help improve air quality!

Moreover, Clayton’s removal of invasive species throughout city parks and rights-of-way has been a priority for many years, including during the 2020 Challenge for its newly developed parks. This achievement coincided with the installation of Oak Knoll Park Woodland Trail that includes more than 700 native plants and bushes to ensure the area continues to thrive. To further reduce environmental impact, the city also introduced an initiative to reduce the use of plastic bottles within the community by replacing traditional water fountains with reusable water bottle filling stations throughout city facilities and parks.

Led by the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), the City of Clayton has shown its dedication to sustainability through recycling programs, the use of rain gardens, a city-wide smoking ban, and a commitment to green building design embedded into the city’s culture and operations. Following Challenge completion, Clayton is poised to continue prioritizing various green practices and identifying additional ways the city can be a sustainability leader in the St. Louis region.

For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Clayton and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the weekly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Latest “State of the Air” Report Reveals Good and Bad News for the St. Louis Region

The American Lung Association’s 2021 “State of the Air” report is out, and though the data indicates some nationwide progress on cleaning up air pollution, 41.1 percent of the population — more than 135 million Americans — are still living in areas with unhealthy air quality. While this is 14.8 million fewer people breathing unhealthy air compared to the years covered by the 2020 report (2016-2018), there is still much work to be done to protect our local communities from the growing risks to public health resulting from high levels of ozone and particle pollution.

For the fifth consecutive year, the St. Louis region escaped being ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the U.S., however, the area landed in a four-way tie for the 20th spot on the list of most-polluted cities by year-round particle pollution. Rising global temperatures and disruption of both short and long-term weather patterns caused by climate change are reportedly making it harder to protect human health and putting millions more people at risk, including those in the St. Louis region and far too many other cities across the nation. Despite the three years included in this year’s report (2017-2019) being relatively cooler than those in the previous report, they still rank among the six hottest years on record globally.

“While weather conditions do play a significant role in our region’s daily air quality, the dramatic reductions in transportation-related emissions during the pandemic provided a compelling reminder that our commuting choices affect air quality and the health of the region,” said Susannah Fuchs, Director of Clean Air for the American Lung Association in Missouri. “As we prepare to settle into the summer months when we’re at greater risk for higher levels of ozone pollution, the Clean Air Partnership is calling attention to the trends observed during 2020 to encourage area residents to remain steadfast in their efforts to take voluntary steps to reduce emissions. These include the continuation of eco-friendly actions like telecommuting and giving greater consideration to alternatives to the solo commute like the region’s public transit system, ridesharing and bike-sharing services.”

As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, research shows that reducing air pollution is critical for respiratory health now and in the future, especially for populations most at risk, such as children and older adults, people of color and individuals with underlying health conditions. With the air quality forecasting season resuming May 1st,  so does the Partnership’s seasonal outreach to educate residents of the St. Louis metro area about the health risks associated with poor air quality and the impact of everyday actions on the environment. Actions like combining errands into a single trip, not topping off your gas tank, avoiding vehicle idling or even opting for electric vehicles can also greatly impact the amount of ozone-forming emissions on any given day and help people across the region breathe easier.

For additional information on the health effects of poor air quality, tips for doing your share for cleaner air and to sign up to receive the daily air quality forecasts, visit www.cleanair-stlouis.com. You can also like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter to stay up to date. To access the American Lung Association’s 2021 State of the Air report, visit www.lung.org.

Cheers to 51 Years of Restoring Our Earth

With spring in full bloom and Earth Day right around the corner, it’s time to roll out the green carpet in honor of the holiday’s 51st anniversary on April 22. Though Earth Day has gone somewhat digital again this year with COVID-related concerns and municipal restrictions on large gatherings resulting in the cancellation of popular events like the St. Louis Earth Day Festival, a series of reimagined, socially-distanced celebrations will continue to help promote green living and inspire area residents to take action for environmental causes.

For starters, Earth Day Celebration Kits – sponsored by the Metropolitan Sewer District, Great Rivers Greenway, Metro Lighting and the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation – are available this week to pick up at several local establishments and include Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Packets, a collapsible metal travel straw, LED bulbs, a Build A Habitat Activity, free tickets to Trailnet’s Bike Scavenger Hunt, a map to Forest ReLeaf’s Great Tree Hunt and more. From now until April 25, select GDA-certified restaurants stretching all the way from St. Louis City to Ballwin will also offer special menu items in celebration of Green Dining Week, where 20% of the proceeds from sales will go to earthday365 and its programs like the Green Dining Alliance. The full list of participating restaurants can be found here.

On the morning of Earth Day, a virtual panel discussion on “Watershed Resiliency through Food Waste Reduction and Food Justice” will feature Maggie McCoy of the Earthways Center, Nick Speed of Ujima, and Tyrean Lewis of Heru Urban Farms. Viewers can expect to gain in-depth and personal perspectives from the panelists as they explore Food Waste and Food Justice in our watershed as part of the Global Freshwaters Summit. Rounding out the Resilience Speaker Series will be a keynote presentation on April 23 by Mary Ann Lazarus on “Resilience and the Power of Community”. This important conversation will focus on the power of community to strengthen resilience so that the St. Louis region can survive, adapt and thrive in the face of a changing future. Online registration for these virtual events is available here.

Additionally, EarthDay365’s Environmental Justice Days of Action series will culminate on April 24 with the Dutchtown Neighborhood Cleanup. In collaboration with the Community Improvement District of Dutchtown, Employment Connection and several neighborhood associations, event volunteers will do their share for cleaner air by providing much needed litter cleanup along the streets and alleyways. To further these green efforts and help reduce food waste going to the landfill, individuals that don’t have the ability to compost can also drop off their food scraps at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market Food Waste Outreach Booth on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The good work for our planet doesn’t have to stop there as a wealth of resources are available to people all across the St. Louis region and beyond for celebrating Earth Day each and every day to help create a better world for generations to come. Incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes into our daily routines, such as walking and biking more, utilizing the region’s public transit system, combining errands into a single trip and avoiding vehicle idling, are all great ways to significantly help reduce harmful emissions and keep our air quality in healthy ranges.

To learn more about the link between living greener and our air quality, visit our website tips section at www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spotlight On: Bayer

With sustainable development becoming a core element of Bayer’s corporate strategy, the company aims to achieve long-term returns and generate a positive impact for both society and the environment.  Bayer’s St. Louis locations are continuously working to reduce their environmental footprint by creating and maintaining habitats for native species to flourish, emphasizing the importance of proper recycling, and conserving energy and water, all of which helped them to earn the esteemed title of Challenge Champion in the 2020 St. Louis Green Business Challenge.

During the 2020 Challenge, Bayer made good on their pledge to improve climate and environmental protection as part of their Champion Innovation Project, where Bayer restored two wetlands at its Chesterfield campus. The project provided improved monitoring of prairie habitats to include identifying species presence and created a new, more detailed monitoring form for employee use. Bayer also developed new mobile and web applications to log wildlife habitat observations (nest box monitoring) on its campus, and installed three purple martin nesting houses and 24 nesting gourds.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include the renewal of Bayer’s Wildlife Habitat Council Gold Certification – which is the only voluntary sustainability standard designed for broad-based biodiversity enhancement and conservation education activities on corporate landholdings – for their Creve Coeur campus. Moreover, the company had an average landfill diversion rate of 70% year-to-date in 2020 when submitting its latest data for the Challenge.

As a new leader in agriculture, Bayer also has a heightened responsibility and the unique potential to advance farming for the benefit of society and the planet. The company’s crop science division has turned the power of innovation toward further increasing sustainability by developing climate-smart solutions and creating innovative business models that benefit farmers, tackle climate change and drive towards a carbon-zero future for agriculture. To tackle such an ambitious goal, the company has focused its efforts where they can make the biggest impact, working collaboratively with growers and partners across the value chain to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of crops grown in the fields, all while reducing emissions in the company’s own operations.

With an additional goal of being climate neutral by 2030, the company has vowed to implement energy efficiency measures at its sites and convert 100 percent of the purchased electricity to renewable energies. The remaining emissions will be offset by purchasing certificates from climate protection projects with recognized quality standards.

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the tremendous efforts of businesses like Bayer that continue to do their share for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability. For additional information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spotlight On: The City of Brentwood

As the Clean Air Partnership continues to spotlight local municipalities utilizing innovative and sustainable approaches to create a cleaner, greener environment for its constituents, we’re pleased to recognize the City of Brentwood.

This participant in the 2020 Green Cities Challenge is addressing sustainability within the range of operational requirements unique to its local government and serves as an inspiration for other communities. Throughout the course of the Challenge, participating municipalities incorporated a sustainability policy and practiced fundamentals, including addressing measures defined by OneSTL, the regional plan for sustainable development. Among the city’s impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was the establishment of a sustainability commission, recycling education, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, launch of a new city-wide sustainability initiative and more.

Other noteworthy innovations included planting 118 trees to help rebuild urban forests. Brentwood worked with Missouri Community Forest Council, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Great Rivers Greenway and the Missouri Department of Conservation to connect residents to their urban forest by attaching brightly colored “Trees Work” signs to trees throughout Brentwood. These markings identified the different species and highlighted how each tree is an essential worker in the community and helps to improve air quality. The city also continued work on its woodland restoration project to eradicate invasive exotic plant species that posed a threat to the environment.

Additionally, the City of Brentwood promoted the Grow Solar St. Louis group-buy program, which builds an open and advantageous solar market that provides long-term benefits to communities. To promote energy efficiency and reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, the city completed its sports courts project with upgraded remote-controlled LED lights and replaced all exterior park fixtures with high efficiency LED bulbs. They also installed three solar-powered streetlights and two solar-powered, radar-enabled speed limit signs.

To further reduce environmental impact, Brentwood hosted four residential paper shredding events and electronic recycling drives, and continued to educate residents about proper curbside recycling through social media, newsletters and their website. They also added a water-bottle filling station to City Hall during building renovations and provided Brentwood-branded refillable bottles to all city employees and elected officials to cut down on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.

Last but not least, Brentwood Bound – the city’s comprehensive plan to renew the Manchester Road corridor between Brentwood Boulevard and Hanley Road – encompasses three eco-friendly components: Deer Creek Flood Mitigation, Manchester Road Improvements and the Deer Creek Greenway Connector. Together, these projects are helping the city to overcome long-term challenges and enhance the community for decades to comes, all while providing an opportunity for park and recreational spaces to be enjoyed by all Brentwood residents.

For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Brentwood and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Greening Your Spring Travels in the Age of COVID

With the official first day of spring just under a week away and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines accelerating, it’s tempting to get away for a long-awaited vacation. While spring break is a welcome respite from work and school routines for families, COVID-related concerns still mean precautions are necessary when choosing how and where to travel responsibly as a family this year. Regardless of what your vacation plans entail, it’s also important to keep in mind that traveling can have a negative impact on the environment.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways for individuals to take action for cleaner air by incorporating sustainable practices into the way that we travel. Here are some helpful tips to consider for safely reducing your transportation footprint this spring to help improve the region’s air quality:

  • Travel Light – Greener travel starts before even leaving the house. The more weight trains, planes, and automobiles have to carry, the more fuel they use, and the more harmful greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. As a result, these emissions have a negative impact on the climate – including worsened air quality – and pose many threats to human health. Though you’re likely to have plenty of extra hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and masks on hand, be conscious of how many extra items overall you are packing to lighten the load and help keep the air quality in healthy ranges.
  • Drive, Don’t Fly – The most pandemic-friendly and eco-friendly option for your spring vacation travels is to drive. If you’re traveling by your own personal vehicle, routine maintenance steps like checking engine performance, keeping tires properly inflated, replacing air filters and changing oil regularly are all ways to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption, saving money at the pump and cleaning the air. Following the speed limit also saves fuel and prevents unnecessary air pollution. Traveling by bus or train are also great options that can offer a certain level of convenience, particularly if the weather and roads are bad along your travel route. Per that latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandate, don’t forget your mask as they are required by all passengers on public transportation to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • Make Your Stay a Greener One – One of the safest ways to get away is a vacation home rental, which allows you to be socially distant from other travelers and reduces your risk of contracting or transmitting the virus. Since the number of people staying at the home is limited to your family or small group, vacation rentals are great alternatives to the higher-risk hotels, motels and lodges that have a much larger carbon footprint. With the home-like atmosphere of a vacation rental, guests are also more likely to do things like turn off lights or electronics before leaving a room and keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, not just out of environmental thinking but because this is normal behavior in a house and is more convenient.

A few small changes are all it takes to help people all over the St. Louis region stay safe and breathe easier during one of the busiest travel times of the year. For more clean air tips, visit www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

COVID Related Shutdowns Clearing the Skies Across the St. Louis Region and Cities Abroad

As the novel coronavirus took the world by storm in 2020, governments around the globe imposed travel and business restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19, forcing countless workers to turn spare rooms and kitchen tables in their homes into newly adapted office spaces. While there is no silver lining to a deadly pandemic that has upended the lives of millions and claimed the lives of far too many around the world; one outcome from the resulting lockdowns this past year is worthy of note – improved air quality due to a reduction in automobile use and increased telecommuting.

According to a recent article published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, data reveals that nitrogen dioxide – a pollutant linked to car exhaust – fell markedly in the St. Louis metropolitan area during the spring economic shutdown, which also mimicked global trends as individuals sheltered in place and kept their cars off area roads and highways. Preliminary numbers released by the Global Carbon Project indicated that worldwide carbon emissions also fell 7% – the biggest drop in recorded history – as a result of people staying home and traveling less by vehicle or plane. The Associated Press reported that emissions dropped 12% in the United States and 11% in Europe, but only 1.7% in China since they experienced an earlier lockdown with less of a second wave. Additionally, satellite footage has shown veils of pollution lifted above cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles and other parts of Asia typically congested with smog.

While it’s long been reported that transportation-related emissions are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, the dramatic reductions during the pandemic provided a compelling reminder that our commuting choices affect air quality and the health of the region. The Clean Air Partnership is calling attention to the trends observed during 2020 to encourage area residents to remain steadfast in their efforts to take voluntary steps to reduce emissions, including the continuation of eco-friendly actions like telecommuting and giving greater consideration to alternatives to the solo commute as offices open back up.

The region’s public transit system, ridesharing and bike-sharing services are all designed to limit the number of solo commuters on the road and offer great alternatives for the work commute or an option to hopping in your car for short trips. Likewise, combining errands into a single trip, not topping off your gas tank, avoiding vehicle idling or even opting for electric vehicles can also greatly impact the amount of ozone-forming emissions on any given day.

These actions play a critical role in improving air quality conditions and helping people across the region breathe easier, which is especially important for children, older adults and those who suffer from lung diseases. Given that some of those vulnerable populations are the same ones most at risk from COVID-19, these voluntary measures take on additional significance in the current environment.

With the St. Louis region now experiencing a decline in the number of overall COVID-19 cases, people will continue transitioning back to the office as we settle into the warmer months when there’s a greater risk for increased levels of ozone pollution. Lessons learned during the pandemic could translate into more permanent behavior changes that could significantly help to put a dent in one of the largest sources of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and be another step in the right direction for healthy air.

To learn more about the health effects of exposure to air pollution and actions you can take to further reduce emissions, visit our website at www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.

Spotlight On: Ameren Missouri

While many of us are giving thanks to Ameren Missouri for heating our homes as frigid temperatures  settled in the region, you might also be interested to learn about their outstanding commitment to keep pace with future energy needs by implementing green business practices.

A returning participant of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, Ameren Missouri was recognized as a Challenge Champion for completing work with the Leader scorecard in past years and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies. During the 2020 Challenge, Ameren Missouri elected to develop and report on their Champion Innovation Project – Advancing Our Sustainability Initiatives – that focuses on the company’s internal greening efforts and customer-based work.

As part of the St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation, Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, powering the quality of life for 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company is proud to serve, support and invest in the communities they call home, and they also value the importance of balancing the needs of our environment, customers and economy. From preventing and controlling pollution, reducing greenhouse gases and creating renewable energy initiatives to developing innovative technologies that help the company operate cleanly, Ameren Missouri is dedicated to building a legacy of environmental stewardship.

Additionally, the company is taking transformative steps towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Last year, the company published its award-winning 2020 Sustainability Report, which is a comprehensive view of action taken on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. Ameren Missouri announced more than 75% of their current coal-fired energy centers will be retired by 2040, with all centers being retired by 2042 to help reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality. While building on their existing carbon free initiatives, they also announced plans to add 3,100 megawatts of new clean, renewable generation by 2030 and a total of 5,400 megawatts by 2040.

Through Ameren Missouri’s CommunitySavers® Program, property owners, community managers and income-eligible customers can receive energy-saving products for their home, along with rebates when they make eligible energy efficient upgrades. In 2020, the program distributed 240,000 LEDs and 1,700 window AC units to income-eligible customers. The company also announced it will invest $240 million through the year 2024 to fund energy efficiency and demand response programs though BizSavers®, Residential and Community Savers® programs.

To further reduce environmental impact, Ameren Missouri updated parking areas with new electric vehicle charging stations, introducing 65 co-worker spaces at their St. Louis Headquarters and 27 spaces at other facility locations to support regional electrification initiatives. Moreover, the company established a Fleet Electrification Goal for 100% of new light-duty vehicle purchases by 2030 to be electric, in addition to setting a goal for 35% of overall vehicle fleet to be electrified by 2030.

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the efforts of businesses such as Ameren Missouri that continue to take action for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability. For additional information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.