Tag Archive for: Clear the Air Challenge

Clear the Air Challenge: How Businesses Can Implement Cleaner Air Strategies

Businesses large and small can help make a big difference in improving Utah’s air. Employers and employees can start by integrating TravelWise strategies into their travel routine–to and from work and beyond. These strategies include carpooling or vanpooling, using mass transit, using active transportation, teleworking, skipping the trip and trip chaining.

The first step to improving Utah’s air is traveling less. Consider if your office is within walking or biking distance. These active transportation options are both healthy and economical and save time from traffic congestion. For information about Salt Lake City bike routes and safety, visit the Salt Lake City Transportation and GREENbike websites.

Teleworking is another great option for saving fuel, time and money on car maintenance and parking fees. Consider asking your employer for permission to telework on bad air quality days. Benefits for employees include increased flexibility and improved work environment. Benefits for employers include competitive recruiting advantage and decreased overhead. For a full list of benefits, visit travelwise.utah.gov.

The skip the trip strategy entails planning ahead to avoid unnecessary trips. Examples are packing a lunch to work and traveling together to events outside the office. Outside of work, consider planning out meals for the week to make only one trip to the grocery store. It all comes down to making a conscious effort to consolidate trips.

The second step to improving Utah’s air is traveling in a more efficient way. Through carpooling or vanpooling, employees can coordinate schedules with coworkers who live in the same area. It can achieve significant results–think of only driving to work half the time! Consider establishing a driving schedule, meeting place and pick-up time. A perk of carpooling is the ability to drive in the HOV/express lane. Fewer cars on the road also leads to easier traveling.

Taking mass transit helps clear the air by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. With the growing number of transit options in Utah, it has never been more convenient to travel via FrontRunner, TRAX, or UTA bus services. For an easier process, look up routes, fares and service times before you ride at rideutah.com. Riding transit is not only better for the environment, but better for your health as well. Transit users take 30% more steps each day than those who rely on cars (https://travelwise.utah.gov/strategies/public-transit/). 

Trip chaining to work entails planning your trips to avoid rush hour traffic and grouping errands together. For example, consider making an errand on your way home from work instead of returning home first. Beating rush hour traffic will help you conserve gas and spend less time on the road. Remember to plan your trips ahead of time to consolidate them into a more efficient process. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) commuter website is a resource for traffic congestion, accidents and safety.

For more tips on how to drive smarter and help improve Utah’s air quality, visit cleartheairchallenge.org.

Be a Part of the Solution for Cleaner Air

The 2022 Clear the Air Challenge is around the corner. With various clean air options, there’s something for everyone to be part of the solution, whether that be at work or at home. The Challenge is a month-long initiative undertaken by business, government and community leaders that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of July. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car and using TravelWise Strategies such as carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining. The Salt Lake Chamber, in partnership with Travelwise, Utah Clean Air (UCAIR) and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is asking businesses to engage in the Challenge by  leading by example to promote clean air year round. Together, we can help clear Utah’s air.

“We cannot forget the need we have to sustain the best air quality possible through conscientious commuting and using our public transit systems,” said Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Our air quality impacts young and old through the particulate matter that gets trapped in our valley due to congestion. This issue touches the health, travel, recreation and quality of life for all Utahns.”

Businesses who engage in the Challenge are committed to a sustainable future and empowering employees to reduce their global footprint. Fidelity Investments, long-time leader, took the top spot in the 2021 Challenge.

“We’ve enjoyed participating in the Clear the Air Challenge for 11 years, because it’s important to our employees and our company to make a real difference in the communities where we live and work,” said Mark Barlow, senior vice president and UT regional leader, Fidelity Investments.

The Clear the Air Challenge begins July 1. Become a part of the Challenge by registering your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org.

Clear the Air Challenge: Solutions to Economic Growth & Sustainability

The 2022 Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative undertaken by business, government and community leaders that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of February.

“Poor air quality doesn’t just hinder the views of our beautiful mountains,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “It jeopardizes our health, and it hinders our ability to keep businesses and jobs coming to our state. Since each of us contributes to emissions that lead to poor air quality during inversions, we all have an opportunity and responsibility to make a difference.”

​​Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly fifty percent of the pollutants that make up Utah’s poor air quality. By driving smarter, we can protect our health, environment, economy and quality of life. For this reason, participants of the Clear the Air Challenge use TravelWise strategies like carpooling, using public transit, teleworking, trip chaining, walking and riding their bike or scooter to reduce their emissions and help clear Utah’s air.

“We recognize that there are no perfect answers to keep our air clean, but there are practical solutions,” said Thom Carter, Utah Clean Air (UCAIR) executive director. “These strategies represent many of the practical steps all of us can take to make a difference for our air. While the Clear the Air Challenge takes place for just one month, we hope it will provide Utahns the opportunity to start new habits and think about how their individual behaviors contribute to our air quality challenges.”

By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact. The Clear the Air Challenge begins July 1. Register your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org and be part of the solution.

Rocky Mountain Power – Top Leader of Clear the Air Challenge

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long competition that gives residents the chance to reduce vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation. By driving less and commuting smarter, we all can help improve air quality, reduce traffic and conserve energy in Salt Lake City. 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.”

“Prosperity rises from jobs and opportunity but these do not happen in a vacuum. They come from corporations choosing Utah as a destination.“ said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “As companies look to our state because of its competitive advantages — including workforce talent, excellent business climate, and best in class recreation minutes away — we have to make sure that bad air quality doesn’t deter them from choosing our state. We all have a stake in improving the environment, and the Clear the Air Challenge is one major way we can engage.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air quality. In that time, participants have eliminated almost 1.2 million trips, saved more than 17 million miles and reduced their emissions by more than 5 thousand tons.

Among the top leaders in the 2021 Challenge was Rocky Mountain Power.

“We all know that our tailpipe emissions are the largest contributors to Utah’s air quality problem, and we are proud to be leading Utah’s efforts to electrify transportation opportunities in Utah with a new $50 million investment in EV chargers here in the Wasatch Front and across the state,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO, Rocky Mountain Power. “There are many ways in which we can all do our part to improve Utah’s air quality, and Rocky Mountain Power is proud to be part of that solution.”

By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact. The Clear the Air Challenge begins July 1. Register your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org and be part of the solution.

Fidelity Investments – Long-time Winner of Clear the Air Challenge

“I think the biggest thing we can help people understand, including our employees, is that it doesn’t require a major sacrifice to make a big difference,” said Lori Smith, senior vice president and Utah general manager at Fidelity Investments.

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long competition that gives residents the chance to reduce vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation. By driving less and commuting smarter, we all can help improve air quality, reduce traffic and conserve energy in Salt Lake City.

Fidelity’s sustainability committee is committed to educating and engaging employees on TravelWise and clear air practices. To them, improving Utah’s air quality is a year-round initiative that starts with taking small steps to create beneficial change.

“The inversion hits us hard and the Challenge is a great way for Fidelity to organize and promote this campaign,” said Smith. “It serves as a great educational opportunity on the impact of poor air quality for anyone who lives in Utah, especially in the valley.”

Creating awareness and understanding is the first step. The team at Fidelity spreads the word through articles, internal websites, emails, posters and digital signs.

“The team effort helps that heightened sense of awareness and energizes the employees when they start to realize they really can make a difference in cleaner air without substantial changes to their lifestyle,” said Smith.

Small changes include carpooling, using active transportation, teleworking, trip chaining and riding mass transit.

To encourage small changes, Fidelity offers and subsidizes UTA passes as part of its benefit program. The organization extends environmental efforts into the community through planting trees at local elementary schools and partnering with Wasatch Community Gardens.

It all starts with a company culture that prioritizes environmental and sustainability practices. Winning the Challenge has helped Fidelity recruit and retain employees who share the same values. It has also created a positive example for Fidelity’s customers.

“We focus on taking steps to produce positive changes, monitor those results and try to always make progress towards our goal of reducing our environmental footprint,” said Smith. “I think the greatest reward is the impact it makes on our customers.”

Fidelity’s goal to minimize waste and invest in renewable energy sources includes in-house recycling programs, printing reduction, styrofoam elimination, lead certified buildings and electric vehicle charging stations in parking lots.

“One of the things that this Challenge did was help us realize in Utah how important this was to so many of our employees,” said Smith. “It allows us to celebrate coming together and something that is such a great cause.”

About 10 years ago, the Utah regional office was the first at Fidelity to form a sustainability task force. Since then, it has evolved into a company-wide sustainability special interest group, with 15 regional chapters nationwide.

“As we look at winning the Challenge, it’s not just one more feather in our cap,” said Smith. “It’s more like this is our mantra and what we stand for — improving where we live. This mindset reminds us that we’re continuing to make strides along the path to clean air and a better shared quality of life in Utah. When we win the Challenge, it gives a larger emphasis on what we’ve accomplished, the changes we’ve made and looking into the future.”

2021 Clear the Air Challenge Results Announced

Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies Take Top Awards

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (March 12, 2021) – Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies-Utah took top honors in the 12th annual Clear the Air Challenge, sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise and UCAIR. Numerous companies participated in the annual competition to show their commitment to environmental stewardship and improving our public health through cleaner air.

“Even amid the pandemic we cannot forget the need we have to sustain the best air quality possible through conscientious commuting and using our public transit systems,” said Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Our air quality impacts young and old through the particulate matter that gets trapped in our valley due to congestion. This issue touches the health, travel, recreation and quality of life for all Utahns. Each year, we welcome this challenge and appreciate our winners. And in 2021, it’s Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies, who have not only led by example but promote clean air year around. We thank everyone, large and small, who joined this effort to make a difference.”

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative undertaken by business, government and community leaders 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 TravelWise Strategies such as carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.

Long-time Challenge leader, Fidelity Investments, took the top spot once again, making this their 9th year as the No. 1 Team. They were followed by the University of Utah and Rocky Mountain Power among large team leaders. Utah Department of Commerce and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality joined Dell Technologies Utah as leaders in the small teams categories. Individuals from the University of Utah Jami Vaughan, Alison Mortensen-Hayes, and Lillian Rans finished atop individual participants.

“We’ve enjoyed participating in the Clear the Air Challenge for 11 years, because it’s important to our employees and our company to make a real difference in the communities where we live and work,” said Mark Barlow, senior vice president and UT regional leader, Fidelity Investments. “The Clear the Air Challenge represents one more way that Fidelity Investments is committed to a sustainable future and empowering our employees to reduce our global footprint.”

Collectively, this year’s participants eliminated 58,133 trips, saved 1,072,557.8 miles, 410 tons of CO2 and $0.6 million, and burned 0.7 million calories in just 28 days.

Top Large Teams:
Fidelity Investments
University of Utah
Rocky Mountain Power

Top Small Teams:
Dell Technologies-Utah
Utah Department of Commerce
Department of Environmental Quality

Top Participants:
Jami Vaughan, University of Utah
Alison Mortensen-Hayes, University of Utah
Lillian Rans, University of Utah

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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 starting February 1 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 the Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise and UCAIR.

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.

2019 Clear the Air Challenge Kickoff

One month of driving less and smarter to help improve Utah’s Air

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (January 25, 2019) – Today the Salt Lake Chamber, along with its clean air partners UCAIR and TravelWise, kicked off the 10th 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.  

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, using electric vehicles, walking or riding their bike or scooter to reduce their emissions and help clear Utah’s air.

“While we can’t do much about our geography, we can control the choices we make to decrease the emissions that cause air pollution,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality. And when we improve our air quality, we enhance the well-being of all Utahns and ensure our continued economic success.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air quality. In that time, more than a million trips have been eliminated, 15 million miles saved, 5,000 tons of emissions reduced and $6.5 million saved.

“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.”

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.  

“Penna Powers is proud to have been a partner and a participant in the Clear the Air Challenge for the last 10 years,” said Dave Smith, president of Penna Powers. “We incentivize our employees to participate in the challenge by offering fare reimbursement for those who take public transit, flex schedules, teleworking options as well as encourage carpooling whenever possible. As a result, Penna Powers employees are proud to work for a business that cares about the environment as much as they do.”

Tracking your miles during the Clear the Air Challenge just got easier thanks to the new Commute Tracker app. Now participants can log their trips on the go. The Commute Tracker app allows Clear the Air Challenge participants to log their regular trips, like those from home to the office, automatically. It also allows users to manually log their trips from their phone throughout the challenge.

As always, you can track your trips saved from your mobile device or computer with 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.

The Challenge would like to recognize community supporters: Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce, Cedar City Chamber of Commerce, Davis Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Alliance, Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Heber Valley Chamber, Holladay Chamber of Commerce, Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce, Moab Chamber of Commerce, Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, South Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Tooele County Chamber of Commerce, Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce, West Jordan Chamber of Commerce, and Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, the Challenge recognizes media partners: X96 KXRK, ABC4 Utah and Fox 13.

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.

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.