The Body Shop, Airlabs, JCDecaux, and Maxus, are today introducing a ground-breaking new initiative to help reduce air pollution exposure for people in London.

Airlabs air cleaning technology, which removes harmful pollutants from city air including nitrogen dioxide (N02) and particulate matter, will be introduced at three high profile and highly polluted central London locations. The Body Shop, a pioneer in environmental activism and campaigning, is facilitating this by incorporating the innovative cleaning units into its brand advertising at three bus stops sites in New Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and High Holborn.

Airlabs research shows that Central London has exceeded legal limits of N02 levels nearly every day so far this year. The technology, which has been incorporated into The Body Shop ads, removes pollutants and delivers up to 95% cleaner air, helping protect passengers standing inside a bus stop who are at high risk from pollution exposure as they wait by the road for their bus.

The system works by trapping harmful particles (PM2.5) via a filtration system before gas pollutants, such as N02, are absorbed with cleaner air delivered to people in the immediate vicinity, thus protecting them from harmful air pollution exposure. The clean air provided could fill more than 80 buses every day.

Elen MacAskill, The Body Shop UK Marketing & Corporate Responsibility Director said: “While these air cleaning units have yet to be introduced on a wider scale, we’re making a start to help protect Londoners from air pollution exposure, as well as help raise awareness of this incredible technology available.  We are calling on other businesses, transport operators, bus stop site owners and brands to follow this industry leading approach. The technology can help reduce urban pollution exposure for thousands of people every day where nitrogen dioxide levels exceed the legal limit”.

Dallas Wiles, Commercial Director at JCDecaux UK added: “JCDecaux is committed to transforming urban landscapes and we strive to ensure that our screen locations add significant value to their immediate surroundings. Increased vehicle usage due to urbanisation is one of the main causes of air pollution so given The Body Shop’s strong ethical commitment to sustainability, we naturally jumped at the opportunity to work with them, Maxus and Airlabs, using state-of-the-art technology to not only deliver a hard-hitting campaign, but also help to reduce air pollution in the city."

Sophie Power, CEO & Co-Founder of Airlabs said: "It is estimated that a Londoner’s life expectancy is reduced by as much as 16 months owing to the harmful effects of air pollution. Currently, 3.8million people, 44% of the city’s working population, work in parts of London which are above the legal limits for NO2. It is vital that more is done to address this issue, and it is our view that by working with the government and other key stakeholders a viable solution can be developed to provide better quality air for the city’s population. We believe this project will showcase the role our technology can play in reducing the levels of exposure the city’s population is being exposed to.”

Daniel da Costa, Strategy Director at Maxus added: “The Body Shop has always been a brand that has championed environmental issues, and with pollution so high on the UK’s agenda at the moment it’s a problem we wanted to help find a solution for. We set out to connect The Body Shop with a younger audience by bringing the brand’s philosophy to a modern day issue they felt strongly about. With Maxus bringing together Airlabs and JCDecaux, this meant we could create media that helps the environment and trials a new technology that has the potential to create a better life for the city’s population as part of future bus stops going forward.”