In November 2019, the US embassy’s Air Quality monitor in Colombo registered a value of 167, whereas the accepted value of air quality stands at 50. Even though the figures fluctuate as of February 2020, the current air quality index is yet at 97 – almost twice the recommended figure. While this issue has been brewing, many countries have begun experiencing the harmful effects of the spreading air pollution.
Being a planet with shared atmosphere, it is impossible for any country to escape the effects of worsening air quality. Due to this, globally over 334 million people suffer with asthma and other respiratory diseases, with an estimate of 4.6 million deaths per year from affects attributable to air pollution.
While there are ways to improve air quality, for example carbon capturing, there is currently a lack of quantifiable evidence to isolate its cause. Under these circumstances, in a world full of global warming skeptics and activists alike, it has become paramount to invest in air quality measuring companies – resulting in the advancement of technology, an increase in the accuracy of readings, the ability to identify the cause and more importantly quantify it to better address it.
Unfortunately, companies in this space differ based on the technology used, the business model and the customers they serve. They can be broadly categorized to two segments that are relevant to impact-minded investors: those who bring about immediate change and those who bring about change via multiple steps.
Companies that advocate for policy change and assist the government to find and fix problems directly are classified as immediate change. They garner the interest of large contracting companies and other investors who value change, but at a lower risk/reward model. Investors interested in these companies include venture capitalists, growth equity, and other investors who enjoy a high risk with high reward.
Individuals using a personal device to track the air quality around them, instigate public awareness and create a much larger effect is classified as multi-step. For example, in Alaska, a local who noticed a drop in air quality took it upon herself to investigate by rallying the community. She used personal sensors to gather evidence and isolated the cause to the nearby port and specifically emissions from ferries. By gaining media attention, the group was able to incentivize the government to electrify the port and reduce emissions.
To this end, Stax Inc, a consulting firm, together with Tim Dye, TD Environmental Services, LLC – an industry specialist, conducted research to create a roadmap for investing in air quality sensing companies to address climate, health and air pollution. The white paper Stax created is targeted at investors, company executives, non-profits and government officials who strive to bring about change in the world. The roadmap paves the way for any type of investor, profit or non-profit, interested in improving the global population’s health, reducing pollution and ultimately addressing climate change.
Visit www.stax.com/freshair to download the white paper.