Improving air quality around schools in Leeds and Manchester

Air pollution is becoming a significant issue in towns and cities across the UK, and with many schools situated on busy main roads, pupils are being exposed to air pollution on a regular basis. Groundwork, one of our  Corporate Charity Partners, has established it's Breathe Easy School projects to help address this. 

In Leeds and Manchester we've collaborated with Groundwork to fund two Breathe Easy School projects. The schools were​​​​​​​ identified by Groundwork after extensive research to locate schools in areas most impacted by poor air quality. Using their paid volunteering leave to take part, our teams planted trees to reduce the levels of pollutants and provide a cleaner future for the pupils and the local community.

Ahead of the volunteering day, Sunbelt Rentals donated £12,050 of plant and equipment to prepare the ground for planting using exclusively electric-powered plant. This enabled a team of 45 volunteers from Balfour Beatty, Sunbelt Rentals, Groundwork and Network Rail to work efficiently and avoid creating additional carbon emissions.

Across two days, the volunteers planted a total of 664 conifer trees (280 in Manchester and 384 in Leeds​​​​​​​) around the perimeter of the school playgrounds to create a natural barrier between the schools and the surrounding roads.

In collaboration with Sunbelt Rentals, the teams will continue to monitor the air quality around the schools and hope to fund more of these projects in other communities across the UK.

£12,050 of plant and equipment donated in kind
392 volunteering hours
664 trees planted

United Nations Race to Zero campaign

As part of our commitment to minimise the environmental impact of our operations across the UK, US and Hong Kong we’ve joined the United Nations Race To Zero campaign.