Spotlight On: Ameren Missouri

Not only is it important for individuals to act sustainably to reduce environmental impact, but the same goes for companies as well. Businesses often leave behind a large carbon footprint, but by creating green initiatives these companies can do their share for cleaner air and work towards improving the quality of our earth. The Clean Air Partnership values the efforts of businesses who channel their time and energy towards practicing sustainability, so this month we’re putting a spotlight on Ameren Missouri and their commitment to keeping pace with future energy needs by implementing green business practices.

Ameren Missouri is part of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation and has provided electric and gas service for more than 100 years.  As a company that is proud to serve, support and invest in the communities they call home, 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 is dedicated to building a legacy of environmental stewardship.

After joining the St. Louis Green Business Challenge and putting their vision into action, Ameren Missouri proudly watched their green efforts be recognized in 2018 when they received the highest award in the Challenge, the Achievement Award in the Star Circle of Excellence and an Award of Merit at the Champion Level.  To achieve the title of Challenge Champion, businesses must have completed work with the Leader scorecard in past years and commit to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies, such as reducing energy usage by at least 25% and diverting waste by 75% or greater.

Ameren’s Champion Innovation Project focuses on investing in Missouri’s clean energy future by entering an agreement to acquire, after construction, a 400-megawatt wind energy facility in northeast Missouri. This facility will become operational in 2020 and the state-of-the-art turbines will produce wind energy for an estimated 120,000 homes in Adair and Schuyler counties. Not only will this sustainability effort provide increased access to new sources of clean energy, it also helps open the door to further development in the region, bringing additional jobs and economic benefits to the area.

Ameren’s continuous efforts to give back to the community by being a green leader in the industry shows their diligence to fulfilling the mission of “powering the quality of life”. They have carried out plans to provide their customers with greater benefits today and in the future – including more affordable and stable rates – all while being able to provide another source of renewable energy in Missouri.

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. For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by Ameren Missouri and how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, visit

Spotlight On: Webster University

With warm summer temps settling in and the importance of keeping the region’s air clean at an all-time high, the Clean Air Partnership is recognizing businesses and institutions of all types and sizes that are driving change in St. Louis. College campuses are oftentimes breeding grounds for new innovations and ideas, especially ones that work towards a more sustainable future. This month, we continue to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge by shining a spotlight on Webster University for its sustainability initiatives.

Webster University is a private, non-profit university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines. The university has multiple branch locations both national and international, with its home campus in Webster Groves, MO. Recently, the campus community has been making exceptional strides that produce positive impacts on the natural world. In 2018, its main campus received St. Louis Green Business Challenge’s Achievement Award in the Star Circle of Excellence and an Award of Merit at the Champion Level, the highest level of competition.

Innovations to improve the community’s carbon footprint can be seen throughout the campus by the increased presence of bikes. Last year, the Webster University Sustainability Coalition launched the St. Louis region’s first university bike share program that allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to rent one of ten available bicycles. The bikes can be used on the college grounds and throughout the surrounding areas and the program is free to users for short distance trips.

New sustainable technology is now present at Webster University as well. Through grant funding, the university was able to install two new solar-powered recycling waste compactors in high traffic areas on campus, in addition to their existing recycling bins and containers. Furthermore, the university completed an LED lighting retrofit at the campus pool to make the building more energy efficient.

In another effort to encourage Webster University students to think critically about prevalent issues in our environment, the Sustainability Coalition and the Sustainability Office partnered to host the first campus-wide Sustainability Week in 2018. The annual week is comprised of an array of events and opportunities for the campus community to make a greater connection with built and natural habitats. This summer, Webster University also hosted Sustainability Wednesdays from 12 to 1 p.m. to help the community learn about the impact of small, local sustainable actions. Topics this year ranged from local agriculture and food insecurity, to how voting can improve equitable transportation options, to the impact of citizen science.

Webster University’s initiatives to create a more environmentally friendly campus and to educate the surrounding community about sustainability makes it a leading example for universities across the country. With the effort of communities like Webster, we can work to help make the planet greener, one step at a time.

For more information on the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. To learn more about the ongoing sustainable efforts by Webster University and how your company or institution can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, visit

Taking Action for Cleaner Air This Summer to Maintain Healthy Lungs

Breathing comes so naturally that we oftentimes give it little thought and take our lungs for granted. The reality is, every cell of our body counts on them and the oxygen they supply, which is why it is so important to prioritize lung health, especially during extreme weather conditions.

With the risks from airborne pollution so great, the Clean Air Partnership seeks to inform people who may be in danger during the hot summer months, including children and teens, anyone 65 and older, people who work or exercise outdoors, and people with existing lung diseases or cardiovascular disease. While cities all across the nation have made significant strides towards cleaning up the air, still, more than 141 million people live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution—meaning the air we breathe could pose an increased risk of premature death, cause lung cancer or other harmful effects. According to the findings of this year’s “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association, more than 75,200 people with lung cancer live in counties that received an “F” for at least one pollutant. Similarly, more than 8,600 people with lung cancer live in counties failing all three tests. In St. Louis County alone, nearly 85,000 adults suffer from lung cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are several things that individuals can do to preserve lung health and breathe easier this summer. Exercise helps to strengthen the lungs, however, it’s important to workout indoors on poor air quality days as heat can trigger an asthma attack or cause symptoms of COPD to flare up. Practicing specific breathing exercises – like slowly inhaling and exhaling – is another great way to help keep your lungs in shape and improve their capacity.

The Clean Air Partnership, along with several other organizations, helps play a significant role in raising awareness about all the ways people in the St. Louis region can reduce emissions to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges. As a driving force in the fight for cleaner air, The Partnership is best known for its daily air quality forecasting. St. Louisans can stay tuned all summer long by signing up at to receive forecasts that utilize a color-coded system designed to keep individuals informed about ozone pollution levels in the region, and how those levels can affect their health. Given that auto emissions are a key contributor to poor air quality, area residents are encouraged to carpool with friends or coworkers, utilize public transit, bike or walk instead of driving when air quality conditions are favorable, avoid vehicle idling, and visit or use MoDOT’s 511 travel information number to get real-time traffic information and use it to better plan routes to avoid traffic tie-ups and construction zones.

For more information and additional tips for taking action to clean the air this summer, visit our website, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.