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 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 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 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