Tag Archive for: Lori Smith

2023 Clear the Air Challenge Kicks Off

Clear the Air Challenge lasts one month to build Travelwise habits and improve air quality

The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and TravelWise, kicked off the 14th Annual Clear the Air Challenge today. Issued by business, government and community leaders, the Challenge is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone.

“We are excited to launch the Clear the Air Challenge again this year to keep air quality front and center for our communities,” said Gary Hoogeveen, chair of the Salt Lake Chamber and president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. “Our partners here today represent leaders who seek solutions and ways to help improve air quality and put their actions behind their words. No solution is perfect for maintaining clean air, but we know practical actions exist that can yield significant outcomes. By empowering ourselves through education and actively minimizing our environmental footprint, we can genuinely enhance the quality of our air.”

Nearly half of the pollutants that contribute to Utah’s poor air quality can be attributed to transportation emissions. By adopting more intelligent driving practices, you have the ability to safeguard the health, environment, economy, and quality of life in Utah. To achieve this goal, participants of the Clear the Air Challenge actively employ TravelWise strategies such as carpooling, utilizing public transit, teleworking, trip chaining, as well as walking, biking, or using scooters, all aimed at reducing emissions and promoting the improvement of Utah’s air quality.

“At UCAIR, we place immense importance on understanding the driving forces behind behavioral change and the environment,” emphasized Kim Frost, executive director of UCAIR. “The Clear the Air Challenge plays a key role in helping businesses and individuals understand the significant impact their actions can have in clearing our air. When individuals recognize the efficacy of their efforts, they are far more inclined to embrace behavioral shifts, not just during the Challenge, but throughout the year.”

One of the key objectives of the Challenge is to raise awareness among Utah residents regarding our air quality concerns. In prior years, the Challenge took place in February, aligning with the winter inversion period when air quality visibly deteriorates. However, again this year, the event will be held in July to address Utah’s summertime ozone issues. Though not as visible, summertime ozone is equally harmful, yet its detrimental effects are less commonly known among the general public.

“By carpooling, biking, walking, or using public transportation whenever possible, we reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier environment,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “But this challenge goes beyond individual actions. It requires a collective effort. It takes collaboration between businesses, organizations, and community leaders. When we support sustainable practices and policies that prioritize clean air, we provide the next generation of Utahns with a healthier future.”

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 more than 1.3 million trips, saved more than 20 million miles and reduced their emissions by more than 6,700 tons.

“We’re proud to join the Clear the Air Challenge again this year,” said Lori Smith, Utah regional leader at Fidelity. “The Challenge serves as a great educational opportunity for our communities on the impact of poor air quality and a heightened sense of awareness that together, through our choices, we can help create a healthier future for all Utah residents.”

By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact. The Clear the Air Challenge begins July 1.

How to Participate:

  1. Sign up on the Clear the Air Challenge website at cleartheairchallenge.org and create an account.
  2. Challenge friends and co-workers to participate as a team or individually.
  3. As a business owner or team manager, send out the challenge fact sheet available in the Startup Toolkit to your employees that explains what the challenge is and why they should participate.

Questions? Contact info@cleartheairchallenge.org.

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.”