Goumbook targets indoor air quality in the new Take a Breath initiative
Goumbook, in partnership with Sanofi, has launched the 'Take a Breath' initiative. As part of this initiative, a detailed study will be conducted in 40 primary year classrooms across ten schools in Dubai within the 2023-2024 academic year. This study aims to measure key air quality indicators, monitor changes before and after the implementation of remedial solutions, and establish a benchmark for best practices in indoor air quality. The findings from this study will inform guidelines and recommendations to be published in a white paper, serving as a valuable resource for educational institutions and beyond.
'Take a Breath' currently focuses on raising awareness about the importance of indoor air quality and implementing actionable steps to mitigate health risks associated with poor air quality, especially in educational settings. Lama Saleh from Goumbook, said, " We started with schools - specifically primary years classrooms - as children rarely leave these rooms, spending most of the day exposed to airborne pollutants in their indoor environments. Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of indoor air pollutants, making it imperative to focus our initial efforts on primary years classrooms. Improving indoor air quality is a collective responsibility.”
The preliminary results of this study are scheduled to be announced at COP28, emphasizing the UAE's dedication to creating safer indoor environments and its role in the global movement towards better air quality and public health. However, a benchmarking report from AirZones, based on monitoring indoor air quality in 41 classrooms during October 2023 showed that PM2.5 (fine inhalable particles) were above limit in all schools in the study and carbon dioxide concentration was above limit levels in 80 percent of these schools.
However, Saleh was quick to point out that the campaign extends its reach beyond schools, targeting businesses and commercial spaces to adhere to WELL Building Standards. “We aim to engage all sectors in this campaign, providing support in measuring and improving air quality in various environments." She clarified that Goumbook can support businesses and commercial spaces to improve their indoor air quality through first measuring indoor air parameters in accordance with WELL Building Standard thresholds, followed by recommendations on how they can start on transforming their indoor air quality depending on what problems they may be experiencing - and this would differ from space to space.
Mai Daoud, Sustainability Lead for AMEA and China Region, at Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, said, “Sanofi is proud of its longstanding legacy and ongoing commitment to make a positive social impact on our planet. We take an all-encompassing approach to sustainability that spans all vital areas of health and climate action, with the goal of leaving future generations a liveable planet. We’re pleased to reinforce our commitment to a sustainable and healthier society through our partnership with Goumbook.”
Sanofi is committed to driving positive impact to 5 million people by 2030, following the UN SDG causes, one of which is air quality.
This initiative by Goumbook and Sanofi marks a crucial step in the UAE’s journey to better air quality and public health, showcasing a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to achieve a common goal, aligning with the United Nations’ recognition of clean air as a universal human right and supporting the UAE National Air Quality Agenda 2031.