Clear the Air Challenge Winners Announced

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (March 16, 2018) – The 2018 Clear the Air Challenge has wrapped up and the first winter-time Challenge was a huge success. The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners TravelWise and UCAIR, are excited to release the final results of the 2018 Clear the Air Challenge.

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of February. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car and using alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling, taking public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.

For the first time in its 9-year history, the 2018 Challenge was held in the month of February to draw attention to individuals and teams who make a difference for our air by creating new commuting habits and changing their individual behavior during a time when air quality is visibly at its worst.

“The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Doing our part to clear the air isn’t just about our quality of life, it’s about the quality of life of our children and grandchildren. We are encouraged that so many businesses and individuals are taking responsibility and have taken actions towards clearing up our air and creating a better future for all Utahns.”

Collectively, this year’s participants eliminated 89,076 trips, saved 1,427,134 miles, 368.1 tons of CO2 and $423,388 dollars, and burned 2,120,838 calories in just 28 days.

“We at UCAIR continue to be optimistic with the way our business community comes together to find solutions related to air quality,” said Thom Carter, Executive Director of UCAIR. “With the amount of participation this year, it is clear that our business leaders are looking inward and finding ways to work within their organizations to have the best long term effect on our air. In our efforts to clear the air there are no perfect answers, but there are practical solutions; everyone that participated in the Clear the Air Challenge now knows how easy it is to find a practical solution that works for them.”

Top Large Teams:

  1. University of Utah
  2. Utah Transit Authority
  3. Fidelity Investments
  4. Salt Lake City Corporation
  5. Weber-Morgan Residents

Top Small Teams

  1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  2. Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  3. Weber-Morgan Health Department
  4. Management & Training Corporation
  5. HEAL Utah

Top Users

  1. Clayton Price
  2. Soren Simonsen
  3. Megan Price
  4. Spencer Hancock
  5. Stephen Rufus

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ABOUT THE CLEAR THE AIR CHALLENGE

The Clear the Air Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition that gives you the chance to reduce your vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. The Clear the Air Challenge is a partnership between TravelWise, UCAIR and the Salt Lake Chamber.

ABOUT THE SALT LAKE CHAMBER

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000- plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.

CONTACT
Salt Lake Chamber
Kimberly Flores
(801) 328-5089
kflores@slchamber.com

2018 Team Story: Salt Lake City Corp.

Salt Lake City Corp. ramped up our game in 2018 for the Clear the Air Challenge. As Utah’s capital city, we understand how important it is to “walk our talk” on air quality and reducing our own emissions. The Challenge is a fun way to engage employees on commuting behaviors and to bring more awareness to the power and choices we all have to make a difference.

This year SLC ran an “internal bracket” between departments for four weeks. We paired each of our 16 departments against another to see who won based on different metrics each week (trips saved per capita, total trips saved, most improved, etc). There were no departments eliminated in the bracket, but the department with the most “wins” received the Mayor’s Clear the Air Challenge Cup. Participating employees from the winning department also received a lunch gift certificate from the Mayor’s Office.

This strategy significantly increased SLC Corp’s competitive spirit (friendly “trash talk” abounded) and upped participation. We were pleased to finish in the top 5 on the overall leaderboard in 2018! We also saw bigger departments running their own competition between their divisions. Here are some strategies from the Department of Community & Neighborhoods which finished 20th overall statewide. They:

  • Created little competitions within our team to personalize the Challenge
  • Mentioned the competition and how we were doing multiple times a week to keep up momentum
  • Used each week as a chance to beat another department.
  • Weekly updates in our intra department newsletter.

The Clear the Air Challenge works however you can make it fun and competitive for your organization. We can’t wait to see what more we can do next year!

2018 Team Story: Culinary Crafts

Culinary Crafts loved participating in the Clear the Air Challenge this year! We’ve participated for the past 3 years, but 2018 was our best yet! When you cater for thousands of people each year, you see the environmental impact of large-scale events up-close and personal. That’s why our goal is always to make our carbon footprint as small as possible. We embraced that goal in this years challenge! We put fliers to remind our staff to log their trips all over the office (including the bathrooms). We also had a milk and cookies kick-off event where our employees ate car shaped cookies. We even put a bike in our front office for employees to use instead of driving!

Our favorite way to reduce emissions (and something we rocked at during this year’s challenge) is van-pooling! Culinary Crafts offers bonuses to team members who van-pool, but that’s not why we do it. Not only does van-pooling help the environment, it also builds team relationships. Those van rides are a highlight of the job!

Culinary Craft’s efforts to improve air quality in Utah are ongoing. We will continue to do our best for Utah and are already looking forward to next year’s challenge!

2018 Team Story: Weber-Morgan Health Department

Walking meetings and walking breaks are a big part of the Weber-Morgan Health Department‘s Worksites Empowered project to encourage local businesses and agencies to implement worksite wellness programs. Our health promotion employees try to embody the concepts they teach as they walk to meet with community partners or plan for their upcoming workshops. In bad weather, they carpool and others skipped a trip to try out some of the in-office workout techniques rather than going off site to the gym.

Interested in learning more about the Worksites Empowered Project?

Join the Weber-Morgan Health Department for a lunch and learn on March 22. To register or more information: Click Here. Cost is $15 and includes lunch and a walking tour of actual healthy worksite ideas. Presentations will be focused on resources available in Weber County but HR and Wellness professionals from anywhere are invited to attend.

Downtown SLC Free Fare Zone

Many Utahns who live outside of downtown Salt Lake City may be surprised to find out that there is an entire section of the downtown area where bus and TRAX travel is completely free.

The next time you want to come to downtown Salt Lake City, consider taking the FrontRunner from your area to downtown. Then utilize the free fare zone to get where you need to go.

Learn more on the UTA website.

How each of us makes a difference for clean air quality

Originally published by Good4Utah on February 5, 2017.

2/5/2018 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Salt Lake Chamber and its clean air partners kick off the 9th Annual Clear the Air Challenge. The Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. Kimberly Flores, Director of Public Relations and Communication for the Salt Lake Chamber shared the main goal of the challenge and how we can all individually be responsible.

And for the first time, the Clear the Air Challenge will be held during the month of February, when our air quality is visibly at its worst.

“There is no greater health threat to our community than poor air quality,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Doing our part to clear the air isn’t just about our quality of life, it’s about the quality of life for our children and grandchildren. It’s also an economic issue. In order to attract and retain the kind of talent we need to further our state’s economy, we have to protect our unparalleled quality of life. This is everyone’s responsibility. The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality.”

Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly fifty percent of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. By reducing vehicle trips, we can protect our health, environment, economy and quality of life. That’s why participants of the Clear the Air Challenge use TravelWise strategies like carpooling, using public transit, teleworking, trip chaining, walking or riding their bike, and, new this year, using electric vehicles, to reduce their emissions and help clear up Utah’s air.

“As we all know, there are no perfect answers to solving Utah’s air quality problems, but there are practical solutions,” said Thom Carter, UCAIR executive director. “The Clear the Air Challenge is one way to engage the citizens of Utah in finding practical solutions that make a real difference in improving our air quality.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air quality. In that time, almost a million trips have been eliminated, 13.6 million miles were saved, 4,700 tons of emissions were reduced and more than $6 million was saved.

“While many seemingly small individual behaviors contribute to the problem, it is also small changes on each of our parts which can make the biggest difference,” said Michael Shea, senior policy associate with HEAL Utah. “This is why the Clear the Air Challenge is such a great event. It creates a coordinated framework to show Utahns how easy it is to make difference and how big of an impact they can make.”

Business and organization participation is a key component of the challenge. By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact. Employees from last year’s winner, Fidelity Investments, prevented 492 tons of emissions from entering the air.

“Fidelity Investments has participated in the Clear the Air Challenge for the past seven years. The pride of being a responsible corporate citizen motivates our employees tremendously,” said Carly Seely, head of Fidelity’s Sustainability Committee. “Environmental sustainability has long been a part of Fidelity’s commitment to our community and participating in the Challenge is a tangible way to really make an impact.”

Ultimately, we all breathe the same air and want it to be healthy. By working together, we can continue to make progress in cleaning up Utah’s air. That’s why this year Mark Miller Subaru is also participating in the Clear the Air Challenge.

“As a Certified Eco-Friendly Subaru retailer in our beautiful state, we take environmental sustainability very seriously,” said Jeff Miller, General Manager of Mark Miller Subaru.  “It’s during days of poor air-quality that I ask myself, my team, and members of our community, ‘What can we do differently?’ While it seems antithetical for a car dealer to suggest public transportation, biking and other alternatives to driving, our way of life and the air we breathe far exceeds all else.  Our team at Mark Miller Subaru is looking forward to participating in the Clear the Air Challenge to make steps in improving Utah’s air quality”.

Tracking your miles during the Clear the Air Challenge from your mobile device or computer is easy thanks to the TravelWise Tracker. Once you register for the challenge at ClearTheAirChallenge.org you can enter in a starting and ending location and receive carpool options, transit routes, or biking and walking routes. The TravelWise tracker gives the amount of emissions you’ll save and the time it will take to make your trip.

The Clear the Air Challenge starts February 1st.  Register your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org and be part of the solution.

About the Clear the Air Challenge

The Clear the Air Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition starting February 1st, that gives you the chance to reduce your vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. The Clear the Air Challenge is a partnership between TravelWise, UCAIR, Penna Powers and the Salt Lake Chamber.

Simple ways you can help clean up Utah’s air for the 9th Annual Clear the Air Challenge

Originally published by Good4Utah on February 1, 2018.

Today kicks off the 9th Annual Clear the Air Challenge. The goal for the movement is simple: clean up Utah’s dirty air. Lara Fritts, Director of the Salt Lake Department of Economic Development, and Vicki Bennett, the city’s Director of Sustainability, joined Brian Carlson to talk about how it works.

The Challenge is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. For the first time, the Clear the Air Challenge will be held during the month of February, when our air quality is visibly at its worst.

The Clear the Air Challenge has helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air. But we need to stay on it. Here is the main goal for this year’s challenge:

  • Eliminate 300,000 single-occupant trips to save 2 million miles

In order to do this, at least 10,000 Utahns will need to engage and register at ClearTheAirChallenge.org. Clear the Air Challenge is a great event, because it creates a coordinated framework to show Utahns how easy it is to make difference. Visit the website to see the impact and get stats of last year’s challenge.

Fidelity Investments in downtown SLC won last year’s team competition, followed closely by University of Utah and L3 Technologies. Fidelity’s team efforts alone prevented 492 tons of emissions from entering the air last year. When you register at ClearTheAirChallenge.org, it’s quick and easy to create or join a team.

Teams can be anything: companies, departments, neighbors, or friends. Salt Lake City Economic Development has challenged the city’s Finance Department this year. In fact, every city department is getting involved. All 3000 of the city’s staff members are encouraged to participate in the challenge.

Fritts and Bennett say it starts from the top, usually with your company’s CEO recognizing it’s importance.

A good place to start planning your commute and finding options can start with the Travel Wise Tracker. It’s a free, easy tool you are able to use anytime. Simply find your route, then enter beginning and ending destination. It will show you all of the alternatives to driving your car. It will even show you carpools that are available.

Doing our part to clear the air isn’t just about our quality of life, it’s also an economic issue. In order to attract and retain the kind of talent needed to further our state’s economy, we have to protect our unparalleled quality of life, and they say this is everyone’s responsibility.

There are no perfect answers but there are practical solutions. The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality.

Visit ClearTheAirChallenge.org now to join and make a difference.

Clear the Air Challenge Kickoff: One month of driving less and smarter to help improve Utah’s Air

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Today the Salt Lake Chamber and its clean air partners kicked off the 9th Annual Clear the Air Challenge. The Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. And for the first time, the Clear the Air Challenge will be held during the month of February, when our air quality is visibly at its worst.

“There is no greater health threat to our community than poor air quality,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Doing our part to clear the air isn’t just about our quality of life, it’s about the quality of life for our children and grandchildren. It’s also an economic issue. In order to attract and retain the kind of talent we need to further our state’s economy, we have to protect our unparalleled quality of life. This is everyone’s responsibility. The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality.”

Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly fifty percent of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. By reducing vehicle trips, we can protect our health, environment, economy and quality of life. That’s why participants of the Clear the Air Challenge use TravelWise strategies like carpooling, using public transit, teleworking, trip chaining, walking or riding their bike, and, new this year, using electric vehicles, to reduce their emissions and help clear up Utah’s air.

“As we all know, there are no perfect answers to solving Utah’s air quality problems, but there are practical solutions,” said Thom Carter, UCAIR executive director. “The Clear the Air Challenge is one way to engage the citizens of Utah in finding practical solutions that make a real difference in improving our air quality.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air quality. In that time, almost a million trips have been eliminated, 13.6 million miles were saved, 4,700 tons of emissions were reduced and more than $6 million was saved.

“While many seemingly small individual behaviors contribute to the problem, it is also small changes on each of our parts which can make the biggest difference,” said Michael Shea, senior policy associate with HEAL Utah. “This is why the Clear the Air Challenge is such a great event. It creates a coordinated framework to show Utahns how easy it is to make difference and how big of an impact they can make.”

Business and organization participation is a key component of the challenge. By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact. Employees from last year’s winner, Fidelity Investments, prevented 492 tons of emissions from entering the air.

“Fidelity Investments has participated in the Clear the Air Challenge for the past seven years. The pride of being a responsible corporate citizen motivates our employees tremendously,” said Carly Seely, head of Fidelity’s Sustainability Committee. “Environmental sustainability has long been a part of Fidelity’s commitment to our community and participating in the Challenge is a tangible way to really make an impact.”

Ultimately, we all breathe the same air and want it to be healthy. By working together, we can continue to make progress in cleaning up Utah’s air. That’s why this year Mark Miller Subaru is also participating in the Clear the Air Challenge.

“As a Certified Eco-Friendly Subaru retailer in our beautiful state, we take environmental sustainability very seriously,” said Jeff Miller, General Manager of Mark Miller Subaru.  “It’s during days of poor air-quality that I ask myself, my team, and members of our community, ‘What can we do differently?’ While it seems antithetical for a car dealer to suggest public transportation, biking and other alternatives to driving, our way of life and the air we breathe far exceeds all else.  Our team at Mark Miller Subaru is looking forward to participating in the Clear the Air Challenge to make steps in improving Utah’s air quality.”

Tracking your miles during the Clear the Air Challenge from your mobile device or computer is easy thanks to the TravelWise Tracker. Once you register for the challenge at ClearTheAirChallenge.org you can enter in a starting and ending location and receive carpool options, transit routes, or biking and walking routes. The TravelWise tracker gives the amount of emissions you’ll save and the time it will take to make your trip.

The Clear the Air Challenge starts February 1st.  Register your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org and be part of the solution.

5 Little Ways to Show UCAIR About Utah’s Air

Originally published on January 23, 2018 by UCAIR on KSL.com.

While it doesn’t always look like it outside, inversion season is in full swing this winter. We’ve already experienced multiple “red” air quality days in the Salt Lake Valley and can expect to see more as winter continues. However, making small changes to your current lifestyle can yield tremendous results when it comes to air quality. Here are five little ways to show UCAIR about Utah’s air:

1. Carpool once a week
If you have a 60-mile daily commute, you could save $4,388 annually if you carpooled with another person. Even if you can’t carpool every day, aim for once a week. There are easy resources, such as the TravelWise Tracker and UTA’s RideShare Program, to get you started.

2. Ride transit when you can
Did you know that if you ride transit just once a week, you can reduce emissions by 5.4 pounds? Riding transit in Utah is easy and convenient. Not only are you improving the air quality, but you also earn significant “me-time” by letting someone else drive.

3. Never idle your car
Choosing to never idle your car is perhaps the easiest lifestyle change you can make on this list. Research indicates that the average person idles their car five to 10 minutes a day. Cutting idle time makes sense during inversions, because reduced idling also reduces the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), both precursor gases for the formation of PM2.5 during inversions. If you are going to stop your car for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine.

4. Plan ahead
By planning ahead, you can save significant time and money on your commute. UDOT Traffic communicates Utah’s traffic status to the public by using more than 700 overhead traffic cameras and 1,500 in-road traffic sensors on all major UDOT roads. Utilizing alternative work schedules — such as leaving 15 minutes later — can save you serious time when it comes to your commute when you plan ahead.

5. Have your company participate in the Clear the Air Challenge
In February, companies all across the state of Utah will participate in the Clear the Air Challenge. The goal is to eliminate 300,000 single-occupant trips to save two million miles. Encourage your company to participate with a startup toolkit that contains resources to spread the word. There’s nothing like friendly competition to encourage your coworkers to clean up their act when it comes to air quality.

While our air quality is affected by numerous little acts, we have the power to improve air quality based on our little acts. If all Utahns work together to make small changes to our current routines, we can make a difference in improving the air we breathe.

Finding a Solution for Clear Air in Utah

Originally published by Derek Miller, World Trade Center Utah, on Utahpolicy.com on January 21, 2018.

You may not equate economic prosperity with air quality, but you should. Air quality is an important economic issue.

Poor air quality hinders corporate relocation efforts, places additional regulatory burdens on businesses, increases health care costs and puts Utah’s federal highway funding at risk. Improving our air quality is essential to maintaining Utah’s quality of life and economic prowess.That’s one message Thom Carter, executive director of UCAIR, the Utah Clean Air Partnership, emphasized when I visited with him last week.

While his career has taken him all over the country and world, Thom loves the Beehive State’s quality of life, fantastic landscape and economic strength. In the few years he’s been back in the state, he’s come to love “the Utah way of getting things done,” referring to our many public/private partnerships.Thom describes UCAIR as a state-wide clean air partnership created to make it easier for individuals, businesses and communities to make small changes that improve Utah’s air. The organization strives to raise awareness through public education, grants and partnerships with businesses and other organizations to promote changes that will improve our air quality.

Given that we can’t change the state’s topography or weather, owning our air quality problem means we must make behavioral changes. As Thom told me, when it comes to air quality, “Everyone is the problem, so everyone is the solution. Every small change adds to a collective bigger step toward better health, a better economy and better overall quality of life for all of us.”

For example, with more than half the state’s air pollution coming from vehicles, individuals and businesses can make a significant difference in our air quality simply by changing their driving habits. According to the Utah Division of Air Quality, if all drivers living along the Wasatch Front were to park their cars just one day per week, vehicle emissions would be reduced by 6,500 tons per year.

Thom says there are no perfect answers, but there are practical solutions. Driving less, carpooling, using mass transit and telecommuting – those are practical solutions that make a difference. He points to the Utah Clear the Air Challenge as another solution that is working well. The Challenge begins Feb. 1 and is a month-long competition that gives individuals and businesses the chance to reduce vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving. Results from the 2016 Challenge showed that the 2,281 participants reduced C02 emissions by 492.6 tons for the month of February.

“It all boils down to one person, one business at a time,” Thom continues.

UCAIR will hold its third annual summit on Feb. 21 at Rice-Eccles Stadium from 6:30-9 p.m. NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton will keynote the event. Bill is a lifelong fan of Utah and its unparalleled outdoor recreation.

Participants will gain insight into UCAIR’s progress, grants and updates. UCAIR will also recognize the “Clean Air Person of the Year,” “Clean Air Business of the Year,” and “Clean Air Partner of the Year.” For more information on the summit, contact Mike Deaver at 801-245-9329 or Angie Koford at 801-660-8571.