Client: Central Office of Public Interest

This is a story about one of the most deadly but ignored killers in the UK: air pollution.

Ignored by individuals, who saw it as someone else’s problem. Ignored by local councils, who had more pressing priorities. And ignored by the government, who were terrified of the backlash of bringing forward a desperately needed ban on sales of diesel and petrol vehicles. In 2019, The Central Office of Public Interest (COPI) made the ignored, unignorable, by tying air pollution to something Londoners really care about: property prices. Working with King’s College London, we used raw data to build a 5 tier air pollution rating system. This system linked the levels of the nitrogen dioxide at any London address to the associated health costs and importantly - financial costs. To get our rating system out there, we didn’t just create an ad campaign, we built a website; a brand new way for anyone to find out the ugly truth of air pollution at their home and demand government action with a petition. And, to ensure the public knew about our website, we infiltrated London’s property market by ruthlessly targeting the most expensive residential areas with the highest pollution ratings and even enlisting the help of estate agents. With little to no environmental impact, we created systemic change to fight air pollution and importantly, got the government to do the one thing we set out to: bring forward the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2040.