Tag Archive for: Clear the Air Challenge

Are You Ready for the Clear the Air Challenge?

The Clear the Air Challenge begins in just one month! From July 1-31, join us in being more aware of the trips that you take and making an effort to choose alternatives to driving alone, such as carpooling, using public transportation and working remotely on bad air quality days. In order to make the Challenge a success, here are five easy steps you can take to do your part in clearing Utah’s air: 

  1. Register and set up your team. If you don’t already have an account, create one today! This takes less than two minutes and gives you access to the TravelWise Tracker, a software that keeps track of the emissions, miles and trips you save when you don’t drive alone. You can also join or create a team, whether it be your business or organization, or even just a group of friends.
  2. Invite others to join the Challenge. Tell your coworkers, family, and friends about the Challenge and encourage them to join you! We amplify our impact when we work together. If you’re part of a team in your office or organization, contact your team manager for your team’s join link and circulate it to others.
  3. Educate others. If you are knowledgeable about the Challenge, help others learn how to register, plan their travel, and use a variety of TravelWise strategies. Recirculate Clear the Air Challenge social media posts (find us on Facebook and Twitter) to spread the word. Increasing awareness about eco-friendly transportation strategies helps all of us!
  4. Encourage your team. Maintaining momentum can be difficult in our busy world, but you can help! Periodically check in with your teammates, and don’t forget to celebrate your victories, even the small ones. 
  5. Practice logging your trips. Although the Challenge officially begins July 1st, you can practice using the TravelWise tracker to log your trips any month out of the year! Simply go to the TravelWise Tracker Dashboard and enter your distance and mode of travel to calculate your impact. This page can be accessed on mobile, or you can even download the Commute Tracker app. This way, you’ll be ready when trips start counting towards our Challenge goals in July.

Thanks for your involvement, and good luck! If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please reach out to info@cleartheairchallenge.org.

Top Reasons Businesses Should Care About Our Air

As Utahns, we are lucky to live in a state with breathtaking natural beauty and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, our mountainous landscape creates a natural barrier that can adversely affect our air quality, especially when inversions trap pollutants close to the ground. As a result, many people in Utah are starting to take action to reduce their emissions and improve air quality. Here’s why businesses should, too:

Protect health and well-being: Utah’s air quality has a direct impact on our health and well-being, especially for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. By taking steps to reduce emissions and improve air quality, businesses can help protect the health and well-being of their employees, customers, and fellow Utahns.

Support Utah’s economy: Utah is known for its business-friendly environment and growing economy. By promoting sustainable practices and reducing emissions, businesses can help ensure that our state remains a great place to do business for years to come.

Save money: Speaking of the economy, many of the strategies for reducing emissions and improving air quality can also help businesses save money! For example, encouraging employees to use alternative transportation options like carpooling or public transit can reduce commuting costs and parking expenses. Improving energy efficiency in buildings can also help lower utility bills.

Preserve our natural beauty: Utah’s stunning natural beauty is one of our state’s greatest assets. By taking action to reduce emissions and improve air quality, businesses can help preserve this natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

Connect with our community: Utahns take pride in our state and our communities. By caring about our air and participating in initiatives like Utah’s Clear the Air Challenge, businesses can show that they care about our state and our fellow Utahns. Being involved helps build stronger connections with customers, employees and other stakeholders.

By taking action to reduce emissions and improve air quality, businesses can help protect our health, support our economy, preserve our natural beauty, connect with our community and even save money in the process. An easy place to start is Utah’s Clear the Air Challenge, a month-long competition that gives Utahns the chance to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation using TravelWise strategies. To create a team for your business or organization, email info@cleartheairchallenge.org to get started. Together, we can help ensure that Utah remains a great place to live, work, and play for generations to come.

Join Us for Team Manager Training and Networking

When it comes to clearing the air, businesses and organizations have huge potential to make an impact. As a group of coworkers and office friends, your team has the unique opportunity to make the Clear the Air Challenge more than just a challenge – you can make it a contest, team-building event or even just an exciting game.

Of course, organizational involvement and team participation wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic team managers, the individuals that manage their business’s or group’s team. To show our appreciation for these managers’ involvement and to ensure they get the support you need to make their Challenge experience a success, we are hosting a Clear the Air Challenge Team Manager Training & Networking Event. Join us to learn about Challenge basics, available resources and best practices, and network with other team managers:

Clear the Air Challenge Team Manager Training & Networking Event
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Salt Lake Chamber Office
201 S. Main Street #2300
Salt Lake City, UT

Click here to RSVP. In preparation for the event, we recommend you review the Challenge startup toolkit, video tutorials, and website. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please let us know at the event!

If you are unable to attend, we still want to help you. Reach out to info@cleartheairchallenge.org and let us know what we can do to assist you.

The Clear the Air Challenge Needs You This Year!

Since 2009, participants in the Clear the Air Challenge have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air. But we need your help to make this year’s Challenge an even greater success. 

“Just as each of us contributes to emissions that lead to poor air quality, we all have an opportunity and responsibility to make a difference,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “We recognize that there are no perfect answers to keep our air clean, but there are practical solutions that can help us achieve meaningful results. By choosing to educate ourselves on the issue and reduce our impact we can improve our air quality.”

The 2023 Clear the Air Challenge begins in July. It is a month-long competition that gives Utahns the chance to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation using TravelWise strategies. It’s as easy as working remotely, carpooling, and using public transportation! By driving less and driving smarter, we will ultimately help improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion and conserve energy in Utah.

Our goal this year is to:

  • Reduce 375 tons of CO2
  • Eliminate 100,000 single-occupant trips
  • Save 2 million miles

Signing up for the Challenge takes less than two minutes, and together, it can have a big impact on our state. To help us meet our goals, encourage your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to join you for this year’s Challenge. Remember – even small changes can make a big difference. Sign up at cleartheairchallenge.org.

Why should you participate?

  • The Challenge startup toolkit and website are fantastic educational tools that can help you learn actionable steps to clear the air.
  • The Challenge gives Utahns a fun and competitive way to engage in TravelWise strategies – compete with your family, friends and co-workers!
  • Participants of the Challenge have the opportunity to win weekly prizes!

If you need help setting up your team and/or have questions in the meantime, please reach out to info@cleartheairchallenge.org. Let’s see how many pounds of emissions, gallons of gas and dollars we can save when we work together!

2022 Clear the Air Challenge Results Announced

Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies Take Top Awards

Results are in for the 13th annual Clear the Air Challenge, hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise Utah and UCAIR, with perennial winners Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies-Utah taking top honors. Numerous businesses and individuals participated in the annual competition to show their commitment to our environment and to raise public awareness of the importance of clean air.

“The Clear the Air Challenge is just one way to highlight how each of us can individually take steps to reduce the impact we have on our environment,” said Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Over the past month, participants have shown how easy it is to reduce our carbon footprint by using TravelWise strategies. By taking steps to reduce pollution, we can improve the health and quality of life of all who live and visit here. We applaud all participating teams and individuals for their collective efforts and for leading the way in improving our quality of life.”

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 July. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car and using TravelWise Strategies such as carpooling, teleworking, taking public transit, biking or trip chaining.

“With the Clear the Air Challenge’s transition to the summer, we were able to spotlight summer ozone issues,” said Kim Frost, Executive Director of the UCAIR – Utah Clean Air Partnership. “By providing education, we hope that Utahns will become more equipped to understand how air quality issues arise and what can be done to mitigate its effect. We congratulate this year’s top large and small teams for their dedication to our community and recognize their willingness to change habits and make this issue a priority.”

Collectively, this year’s participants eliminated 53,541 trips, saved 1,079,434.1 miles, 392.7 tons of CO2 and $0.6 million, and burned 1.4 million calories in just 31 days.

Top Large Teams:

  1. Fidelity Investments
  2. State of Utah
  3. University of Utah

Top Small Teams:

  1. Dell Technologies-Utah
  2. GSBS Architects
  3. Penna Powers

Top Participants:

  1. David Vasquez, State of Utah
  2. Alison Mortensen-Hayes, University of Utah
  3. Guinevere Timpson, State of Utah

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.

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.”