A variety of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), came together today to hear about Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and to find out more about its second phase which will extend the emission requirements to all vehicles by the end of 2022.
The information event hosted jointly by the council and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was open to the whole SME business community and provided an ideal platform to learn more about Glasgow's LEZ which was the first to be introduced in Scotland.
Delegates were warmly welcomed at the historic City Chambers where they had the chance to hear from and engage with, a wide range of speakers, including council air quality officers, the FSB and Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, Councillor Anna Richardson. Representatives from ECO Stars and the Energy Saving Trust were also on hand to speak to the ways in which financial and environmental savings can be made across business fleets, no matter the size.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said; " Air pollution impacts negatively on human health; particularly so for the very young, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
"Our LEZ is capable of bringing about a significant improvement in air quality and its impact will make Glasgow city centre more pleasant and attractive for those living, working and visiting here.
"Whilst it's not until the end of 2022 that the strict emission standards required of Glasgow's LEZ will apply to all vehicles, it's critical that we connect with bodies such as the Federation of Small Businesses and their members, to raise awareness early and ensure that businesses have time to prepare.
"Businesses are the backbone of Glasgow's economy; driving growth and creating jobs. And so, we'll continue to engage with enterprises and their representative bodies over the coming months to ensure that their voices are heard as we deliver cleaner, healthier air for Glasgow."
Andy Aird, FSB's Area Leader for the West of Scotland, said: "Improving air quality is important to make Glasgow city centre a great place to live, work and do business. It's everyone's business and small firms are willing to play their part.
"Changes brought about by the Low Emission Zone will have a big impact on the business community. As a result, decision-makers should do all they can to help local businesses purchase cleaner vehicles.
"We will continue to work with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to raise awareness and to ensure that additional support will be given to small businesses."
Glasgow's city centre Low Emission Zone took effect on 31 December 2018 and is being introduced in phases. At present, the LEZ only affects local service buses however by the end of 2022, all vehicles wishing to enter the zone must meet the strict emission requirements.
The LEZ is expected to reduce pollution from road traffic and improve air quality, complementing a wide range of air quality and active/sustainable travel initiatives.