Controlling Pollution in Beijing by Qantas Airline

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 5

ControllingPollution in Beijing by Qantas Airline

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Thefollowing proposal calls for the establishment of a tree plantingproject in Beijing China. The project is an effort to reducing andcontrolling pollution levels in the city of Beijing. Currently, airpollution in Beijing is a significant issue. China is characterizedby a rapidly growing economy that has high demands for energy.Consequently, it has erected new coal plants at a high rate. Coalplants provide majority- 80% of China’s electrical energy. Besidesthe provision of energy, the use of coal has contributed to emissionsof vast quantities of carbon dioxide as well as sulphur dioxide. Airpollution is caused by the coal-fired power plants that are the keysource of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Although cars, trucksand airplanes also contribute to the concentration of carbon dioxide,the quality of china’s air cannot be improved without reducing theconsumption of coal (Davila 2015).

Theneed to control and minimise the emission of carbon dioxide andsulphur oxides is their contribution as a threat to the health ofChinese citizens. The air composition in Beijing is composed of theparticulate matter referred to as the ‘PM 2.5’ that contains adiameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. The particles are harmful tohumans and cause asthma, bronchitis and other acute and chronicrespiratory problems like the lack of breath and painful breathing.The particulate matter is also a common cause of premature deaths inChina (The problems of air pollution n.d). The concentration level ofthe particulate matter in Beijing, Guangzhou Xi’an and Shanghai hascurrently exceeded the guidelines offered by the World HealthOrganization (WHO). Consequently, there are expected increased healthrisks to the cerebrovascular and cardiovascular systems. Besides,there is the possibility of increased rates of cancer as well aspremature deaths. Besides, air pollution has led to an increase inthe number of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease incidences (Theproblems of air pollution n.d).

Variousapproaches have been developed to assist in the removal of theparticulate matter from the environment. Some of the proposalsinclude the creation of artificial rain by pouring chemical compoundsto the clouds. The key aim of the approach is to cause artificialrain that washes the environment by dissolving the particulate matterto the ground. Other methods entail the use of sprinklers atop highskyscrapers that sprinkle water to clear the atmosphere. Variousapproaches have advocated for the use of carbon rods to attract theparticulate matter. Finally is the use of oxidant paints on tallbuildings that draws the particulate matter and cleanses theenvironment (Birtles 2015).

Researchhas indicated that supposing the cities had controlled the levels ofthe particulate matter effectively in the year 2012 they would havereduced the number of premature deaths by 81%. Besides, the citieswould have enjoyed the economic benefits of reducing premature deathsto 875 million United States Dollars (The problems of air pollutionn.d).

TheQantas Group began a carbon-offset programme in September 2007 aspart of its corporate social responsibility (CSR). The projects arebacked up with a pledge to offset the carbon emissions in everyinternational or local destinations served by the airline.Specifically, the airline plans to compensate for an equivalent of40,000 tons of greenhouse gases that are associated with airplaneflights. The project aims to plant and maintain 9,000 Malleeeucalyptus trees across both Australia and other destinations(Conserving Tasmania`s wilderness, n.d).

Thepurpose of planting trees is not only designed to sequester carbonfrom the atmosphere but also to prevent salinity, soil degradationand erosion. The trees are also intended to serve as a source ofincome for the farmers. The Qantas airline group includes itspassengers in the plight to offset the carbon dioxide footprint.Specifically, it provides for the passengers to make a smallcontribution through their website at Qantas.com or jetstar.com. Thecompany has managed to calculate the emissions associated with thetransportation of a passenger from one destination to another.Besides, the company has developed an online calculator that conductsan assessment of the data about the flight and advises the customersabout their emissions and the related costs of offsetting theemissions. The contributions received by the company are directedtowards the abatement programme such as efficiency measures,generation of renewable energy and the tree planting projects(Conserving Tasmania`s wilderness, n.d).

Treeplanting is a reasonable approach to alleviate the air pollution inBeijing. Research has indicated that the composition of urban treesin the central part of Beijing has removed 1261.4 tons of pollutantsinto the air since the year 2002. Specifically, urban forests play asignificant role in the improvement of the quality of urbanenvironment. Healthy and well-managed urban forests are associatedwith various ecological benefits. First, the urban forests reduce therunoff created by storm water. The primary advantage of the treeplanting project to the Capital of China is the ability to remove airpollutants from the atmosphere. The tree planting projects areexpected to reduce air pollution in two ways. First is the directreduction of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air andsecond, the indirect reduction by reducing the emission of airpollutants (The solution to air pollution, n.d). The direct method iswhereby the trees absorb the pollutants such as Sulphur dioxide andcarbon dioxide through the leaf stomata. Second, the moist on theleaf helps to dissolve the particulate matter on the leaf surfaces.Consequently, trees canopies are efficient at intercepting theparticulate matter from the environment. Indirectly, trees reduce thetemperature of the surroundings through evapotranspiration.Therefore, the cooling nature reduces that rate at which the airpollutant particles react to reproduce more pollutants (ConservingTasmania`s wilderness, n.d).

4.0References

Birtles,B. (2015). Beijing`s pollution red alert: Mass disruption acrossChinese city in desperate bid to clear smog-filled air. ABCNews.[Online].Available from:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-19/beijing-smog-red-alert-causes-disruption-in-bid-for-clear-air/7043380. [Accessed: 21st December, 2015].

Davila,A. (2015). WhatIt’s Like To Live In Beijing Under Hazardous Levels Of AirPollution. ClimateProgress.[Online].Available from:http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/18/3733833/china-red-alert-air-pollution/. [Accessed: 20thDecember, 2015].

Theproblems of air pollution, (n.d). The Green Peace East Asia[Online].Availablefrom:http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/climate-energy/problems/coal/[Accessed:20thDecember, 2015].

Thesolution to air pollution, (n.d). Greenpeace East Asia.[Online].Availablefrom:http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/air-pollution/solutions/. [Accessed: 20thDecember, 2015].

ConservingTasmania`s wilderness, (n.d). Qantas.[Online]. Available from:https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/abatement-projects/global/en. [Accessed: 21st December, 2015].

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