This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Arguing that better air is good business, the Salt Lake Chamber has unveiled its private-sector approach to improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
Businesses interested in participating in the voluntary program can sign up at http://www.cleanairchampion.com. The website includes eight suggested practices:
Using telework options for employees and corporate meetings; using clean-air fleets, such as natural-gas, electric, hybrid, alternative-fuel or cleaner-burning gas vehicles; offering or subsidizing transit passes for employees; operating a carpool program for employees; encouraging use of alternative transportation on bad-air days; encouraging active transportation, such as walking and biking; establishing an integration plan (http://www.travelwise.utah.gov); participating in the annual Clear the Air Challenge (http://www.cleartheairchallenge.org); joining the ranks of "Clean Air Champions" by implementing three of the eight recommendations or by devising an original or industry-specific approach.
Overstock.com, or O.co, headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, has joined in the cause, implementing most of the eight options, with the exception of clean-air fleets and subsidized transit passes.
In a recent statement, President Jonathan Johnson said there are many businesses across Utah that are already engaged in helping with the clean-air initiative.
"For those that want to do more than they're doing now, this program provides motivation and recognition," said Johnson, chairman of the Chamber's Clean Air Task Force, "and it helps them see what actions other businesses have found to be most effective."
Kennecott Utah Copper joined the clean-air effort three years ago by installing a system in its light- to medium-weight vehicles that reports any that idle for more than two minutes. The company estimates it saved $5.3 million as a result.
The Chamber offers UTA transit passes to its employees at no cost, and reports that one-fourth of its workers use alternative transportation.