The Clean Air Campaign
Tedra Cheatham, Executive Director
Brian Carr, Director of Communications
Mark Telling, Director of FinanceMike Williams, Director of Programs and Employer Services
|Area served||The State of Georgia|
|Focus(es)||Air Quality & Transportation Demand Management|
|Website||The Clean Air Campaign|
Formed in 1996 by government, business, civic, health, environmental and educational organizations, The Clean Air Campaign is one of eight organizations in the metro Atlanta region, and, increasingly in specific job centers around the state, implementing strategies that improve mobility, also known as transportation demand management (TDM). The Clean Air Campaign also administers and provides marketing support for statewide incentive programs that encourage commuters to use alternatives such as carpooling, transit, vanpooling, teleworking, biking and walking.
The Clean Air Campaign receives 80 percent of its funding from U.S. Department of Transportation Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program funds. However, the organization can only receive the federal grant money after 20 percent in matching funds have been raised. For this 20 percent, The Clean Air Campaign relies on sponsorships from corporations, state and local sources.
On a daily basis, participating employers, commuters and schools involved in The Clean Air Campaign's alternative commute programs eliminate 1.4 million miles of vehicle travel and keep over 700 tons of pollutants out of the air.
- 1 Public education
- 2 Commuter rewards programs
- 3 Employer rewards programs
- 4 The One Ton Challenge
- 5 Clean air schools program
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Clean Air Campaign was formed in 1996 following an initiative by Atlanta business, civic, environmental and political leaders which led to less traffic and air pollution during the 1996 Olympics. The non-profit organization, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in the summer of 2011, fulfills its education efforts today through mass advertising, public relations and community outreach. Their education efforts are part of a statewide strategic approach to improve mobility and air quality, bringing public and private sector interests together.
Commuter rewards programs
Commuter Rewards provides financial incentives to commuters who carpool, ride transit, vanpool, telework, bicycle or walk to work. More than 85,000 Georgia commuters have participated in Commuter Rewards programs since 2002. Commuter Rewards includes three programs:
Cash for commuters
This program, started in 2002, offers commuters a cash incentive for changing their commutes from driving alone. It is only for commuters who currently drive alone to work. Participants earn $3 for each day they use a qualified commute alternative within a 90-consecutive day period. Qualified commutes include carpooling, taking transit, teleworking, walking and riding a bicycle. Independent analysis has shown 74 percent of commuters who participate in this program are still using alternatives 18–24 months after their elgibility is exhausted. .
This program has inspired Washington, D.C., a metropolitan area facing similar transportation demand issues, to adopt a program inspired by The Clean Air Campaign's cash-based commuter incentives in Atlanta. The D.C. program offers less money per day but can be used for the same duration of 90 days.
Commuter Prizes, introduced in 2005, gives commuters the opportunity to win prizes for their clean commuting habits. Each month, participants are entered into a random drawing for $25 gift cards. Each clean commute earns an entry into the monthly drawing.
Registered participants who carpool 15 or more days each month receive a monthly gas card for up to 12 months. Three-person carpools receive a $40 gas card per month and carpools with four or more receive $60 per month. Carpool Rewards was introduced in 2005.
Employer rewards programs
The Clean Air Campaign works with employers in the region, given that high concentrations of employees commuting to a common destination during peak travel periods are a high-value audience for their programs. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Center for Transportation and the Environment on behalf of the Georgia Department of Transportation, 82 percent of metro Atlanta commuters drive alone to and from work. . The greater means and resources of employers versus individual commuters opens up a broader range of solutions to their commute issues.
Employer partnership program
The Clean Air Campaign's principal method of engaging employers is through their general Employer Partnership Program. Campaign experts design a commute alternative program tailored to the specific needs of the employer based on workforce size, operating hours, office access to public transit and an array of other factors.
Campaign staff are then able to assist the employer with employee outreach through programs such as onsite "transportation fairs," educational sessions and assistance in taking advantage of available alternative commute incentives. Currently, the campaign has more than 1,600 employer partners spanning the public and private sectors.
Alternative work arrangement consulting
The Clean Air Campaign develops alternative work arrangements typically to augment an alternative commute program. Telework, compressed work weeks and flextime are all viable options employed to reduce the number of instances in which employees must commute to work during peak traffic hours or inclement weather conditions. This element of The Clean Air Campaign's program is unique in that it aims to assist with business continuity planning as much as transportation demand management and air pollution mitigation. This program has also proved critical to employers whose workforces are affected by Atlanta's frequent road and highway closures.
As one of the leading American cities when it comes to wireless and broadband internet access, the Atlanta metro area stands to benefit economically from the expanded adoption of telework. Based on 2010 survey data, 600,000 metro Atlanta employees telework occasionally and another 245,000 employees do not have permission from their employer to telework but believe their job function would allow it. Clean Air Campaign has lobbied to keep Georgia's telework tax credit in place, as well as assists businesses in taking advantage of these available funds.
Employer program education series
The Clean Air Camapaign facilitates an ongoing series of seminars aimed at assisting private, government, and non-profit organizations to better understand and implement the commute options programs that the campaign advocates. Often these are presented in webinar format to allow the campaign and its partners to better adhere to their commitments while still participating in group learning sessions.
The Clean Air Campaign holds the PACE Awards to honor employer partners, schools and individuals involved in employer programs for their commitment to furthering the Clean Air Campaign's goals. Employer awards are separated into multiple categories; there are categories that recognize best overall programs and innovative projects among private sector companies (small, medium and large), as well as a public sector category called Government Champions initiative and a property management category.
Past PACE Award winners have included major Georgia-based employers such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Porsche Cars North America, Turner Broadcasting System, Cox Enterprises, and Georgia Power.
The One Ton Challenge
The One Ton Challenge is a statewide effort to encourage commuters to use a commute alternative. By tying a measurable and easily understandable amount of impact on the environment (one ton of atmospheric pollutants conserved) to a clear and consistent call to action (one alternative commute to work per week) this challenge attempts to provide a more tangible, less abstract illustration of the environmental benefits provided by alternative commute options.
The challenge derives from the fact that an individual commuter in metro Atlanta is capable of eliminating a full ton of atmospheric pollutants simply by using an alternative commuting method once per week. The average round-trip commute distance in Atlanta is 40 miles. It is estimated that one pound of atmospheric pollution is emitted per mile driven in a conventional vehicle. By eliminating one commute per week, or roughly 52 commutes per year, the average Atlantan would keep 2,080 lbs., or slightly over one ton, of pollution out of the air.
Over 3,600 commuters participated in the challenge in 2008, the program's first year.
Clean air schools program
In 2004, The Clean Air Campaign introduced Clean Air Schools, an education outreach program that engages the entire school community in improving air quality. Initially offered to a select group of elementary schools in the 20-county metro Atlanta region, the program was expanded in 2008 to include middle and high schools statewide and the name changed to Clean Air Schools.
Partner schools are asked to complete one or more programs from a list of approved items, including the No-Idling program, air quality lesson plans, and "Ride The Bus! for Clean Air". In exchange, schools receive free materials, giveaways and creative strategies to address their specific issues. The comprehensive approach combines education with action-oriented projects that seek to reduce car rider traffic and provide everyone in the community with opportunities to improve local air quality. Currently, more than 300 private and public educational institutions participate in the Clean Air Schools program.
While the program targets the elementary through high-school levels, some colleges and universities have enrolled in employer incentive and operations management programs, giving The Clean Air Campaign educational partners in higher learning. Emory University was the 2009 PACE Award winner in the large employer category, and Agnes Scott College in Decatur has become a Clean Air Campaign partner in part of its larger efforts to become a carbon-neutral institution by its 150th anniversary in 2039.
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