Green.org sat down with Simon Swan, the Global Solutions Director at Arcadis, to learn about how they are helping their clients reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions. Arcadis is one of the the world’s leading company delivering sustainable design, engineering, and consultancy solutions for natural and built assets. Arcadis consists of more than 36,000 people, in over 70 countries, with a goal of improving quality of life.
Simon, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the Global Solutions Director for New Mobility atArcadis. This means that I help our clients move people and goods more efficiently often using new disrupting technologies or processes with an aim to reduce air pollution or CO2 emissions.
What would you do with $1 Billion dollars?
I would provide free or discounted electric bikes with secure bike storage and electric car clubs mobility credits to families living in areas that suffer from the worst air pollution derived from congested roads to try and move people away from car ownership
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Humans are becoming increasingly aware and knowledgeable about the climate change impact to our planet, communities and health due to our ability of processing huge amounts of information very quickly via our screens whilst at the same time becoming increasingly demanding on wanting to move people and goods almost immediately as technology improved allowing us to do this. Basically, people are thinking “I’m climate change aware but I want it now” and this makes it an important topic because CO2 emissions are increasing not slowing down whilst people are becoming increasingly polarized due to this conflict in people’s mind.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I believe air pollution will decrease in cities as more people switch to electric vehicles and providing governments support industry to increase energy generation through renewable means such as wind and solar then CO2 emissions will reduce on this basis too. More cities will have introduced Ultra Low or Zero Emission Vehicles zones and electric bikes and other micro mobility active travel solutions will become increasingly popular if cities invest more in the infrastructure to make them safer and easier to use. We will start to see an increase in the use of Autonomous Vehicles and Advanced Air Mobility (EVTOL and drones) to move goods in certain environments such as campuses.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Carefully consider if you really need to own a car and whether more trips could be done using bikes.