Should diesel vehicles be banned from cities?

    Business Spotlight 1/2018
    Umweltverschmutzung durch Abgase: Autoauspuff
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    Von Julian Earwaker


    “Health and well-being are key indicators of productivity in the workplace”
    (Kevin Thomson)

    Kevin Thomson


    Employee health and well-being are the most important assets of any business and key indicators of productivity in the workplace. In the past ten years, organizations have moved away from tick-box surveillance of employees to a well-being approach. About 60 per cent of organizations in the UK now have a health and well-being strategy for their employees. Health tracking can give an overview of employee health. It can identify key risks so that interventions can be put in place.
    In the UK, 1.4 million workers suffer from work-related health problems. From 2017 to 2018, there were 541,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related illness, and 26.8 million working days were lost because of work-related ill health. Employers have a responsibility to support and empower staff to live healthier and longer lives, particularly as the working population ages and diversifies.

    Technology has transformed corporate well-being programmes. Personalized health assessments are helped by artificial intelligence to produce an accurate picture of individual employees. Employees get secure information about their lifestyle, nutrition and mental health; employers get an anonymous summary of that data to help them shape workforce health interventions. Using digital tools, organizations can identify risks and encourage positive changes in behaviour.

    Most people carry a mobile phone, and tracking devices are readily available if they want to manage their own health. We need to be careful that monitoring people’s health doesn’t become a surveillance tool to track employees. Staff should be made aware in advance what their data is going to be used for. We need to encourage employees using trust, respect and empowerment. The large tech companies that have supported this culture are the ones doing best in the marketplace.

    Businesses struggle to find platforms that gather health data in one place. It’s a logistical challenge, and the platform must meet GDPR requirements. Privacy is a sensitive subject, and staff may be careful about giving out personal information.

    Employers want to support individuals, but they also want to see the economic returns that may be associated with some of these corporate healthcare programmes.

    Kevin Thomson is corporate healthcare director at Nuffield Health, a UK healthcare charity.



    “The UK is a road-transport economy”
    (Brian Madderson)

    Brian Madderson


    The London Assembly recently published work showing that over 50 per cent of NOx and particulate matterFeinstaubparticulate matter in London is not vehicle related. Gas central heating, wood-burning stoveKaminofenwood-burning stoves, rail, aviation, off-road diesel plant and machineryAnlagen und Maschinenplant and machinery all have an impact. Banning diesel vehicles isn’t going to solve the problem. London is its own worst enemy. A lack of investment in road infrastructure to keep traffic moving; giving licences for a large number of mainly diesel, private hire vehicles; buses idling in Oxford Street — all have contributed to the current state of affairs.

    In 2001, the Labour government introduced tax incentiveAnreizincentives for diesel-driven cars to improve CO2 emissions, knowing that NOx fumesAbgasefumes were a cause of medical and environmental concern. In 2000, very few new car registrations were diesel. By 2015, this had risen to 50 per cent. The current government has been pragmatic by giving incentives to local authorities to find ways of dealing with their air-quality problems, such as traffic-light reconfiguration, limiting to idleim Leerlauf laufenidling, removing sleeping policeman (UK),Bodenschwellesleeping policemen, changing road layouts and providing throughways for buses.

    There is no short-term solution that would not have a negative impactAuswirkung(en)impact on the economy and consumer. The UK is a road-transport economy: 100 per cent of our fresh food and nearly 75 per cent of all other goods move on our roads. The 50 per cent increase in new vehicle registrations from 2013 to 2016 for light vanleichtes Nutzfahrzeug, Lieferwagenlight vans, almost exclusively diesel, has been driven by online shopping and delivery. The UK consumes 18 billion litres of retailEinzelhandel; hier: für Privatautosretail diesel and ten billion litres of commercial diesel a year, largely for road-fuel consumption. Together with petrol, this generates around £36 billion in tax each year.

    It takes five minutes or less to to fill sth. upetw. auftankenfill up a car with petrol. The multiplicity of fill options and times in existing petrol filling stations is far greater than the number of EV charging pointLadestationcharging points. Do we have the future electrical capacity for new EVs? The National gridStromnetzGrid has already said that at the current rate of development, we could be 30 per cent to be shortzu wenig habenshort. There are real concerns about the cost and availability of key minerals, such as lithium, for high-performance batteries. And what about the carbon footprintCO2-Bilanzcarbon footprint of this new vehicle-battery production?

    Brian Madderson is chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association.

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