EMSOL: on a mission to democratise pollution control

In a world where 80% of the population lives in cities by 2050, the quality of the air we breathe is more important than ever. Amidst the bustling energy and chaos of urban life, we all deserve to inhale clean, healthy air. Building a sustainable future means ensuring that the air in our cities is safe for everyone.

Imagine this: if you were walking down a city street and saw raw sewage flowing into a nearby river, you would be outraged. The visible pollution would be impossible to ignore, and you would demand immediate action. However, when we breathe in polluted air on that same street, the effects on our health and the environment are just as real, but often go unnoticed because the pollutants are invisible.

Confronting The Challenge

This is the challenge we face when it comes to air quality. Teams might be tasked with meeting sustainability targets and clear air goals, but the problem isn't as tangible as a sewage spill. Plus, air quality monitoring tools are complex and require expertise to understand. The result is that air pollution often takes a backseat to more visible environmental issues.

Enter EMSOL, a London-based startup on a mission to democratise pollution control. Founded in 2017, EMSOL believes that the key to cleaner air lies in making pollution visible and, most importantly, easy to understand. Just as a Fitbit tracks your physical activity to help you make informed decisions about your health, EMSOL acts as a "Fitbit for air quality," providing real-time, user-friendly pollution insights, guiding you towards healthier choices.

From a small team of passionate innovators, EMSOL has quickly risen to become a trusted sustainability partner for major organisations across the UK, working with NHS Trusts, construction developers, HS2, and leading waste management firms.

Monitoring Pollution Used to Be a Guessing Game

Imagine being tasked with meeting sustainability targets and monitoring air quality, but you're not a data scientist or environment expert. You're handed a stack of data reports filled with technical jargon and graphs that might as well be in a foreign language. It's like being given a destination without a map or directions – you know where you need to go, but you have no idea how to get there.

This was the reality for many businesses - be it on construction sites or tackling pollution from the supply chain. The order came to meet ambitious sustainability goals and keep pollution in check, but the teams on the ground lacked the tools and expertise to do so effectively. The result was a frustrating cycle of trial and error, making educated guesses and hoping for the best.

Actionable Insights for All

Freddie Talberg, CEO and Founder of EMSOL, knew there had to be a better way. With a background in transport, smart cities, and mapping, Freddie had seen firsthand how data could transform decision-making. But he also recognised that for data to be truly impactful, it needed to be accessible and actionable for everyone, not just technical experts.

"I remember visiting a construction site and seeing the frustration on the manager's face as he tried to decipher a complex air quality report," Freddie recalls. "He knew the data held valuable insights, but he simply didn't have the time or expertise to untangle it all. That's when I realised we needed make it simple – to give anyone the power to make a difference"

With this vision in mind, Freddie and the team set out to develop a user-friendly approach that would combine cutting-edge pollution sensors, machine learning, and importantly the ability to identify the cause of pollution.

The ability to identify the cause is really the secret sauce EMSOL offers. Finally an end to guessing why air pollution was spiking - it could be attributed to a specific supplier's fleet, a particular driver or activity on a construction site.

In the construction sector, EMSOL's technology has been a game-changer for firms looking to balance progress with sustainability. On one notable project in central London, EMSOL enabled a London construction site to operate right next door to a sensitive sleep lab with zero noise complaints. On another site next to the world-renowned Oval Cricket Ground, EMSOL's insights helped a contractor reduce dust pollution by a staggering 71%.

Driving Measurable Impact and Healthier Cities

Across London and beyond, EMSOL's platform is helping to create a new way to think about sustainability. At construction sites, NHS facilities, waste management centres, and more, EMSOL's insights are empowering teams to make measurable improvements in air quality. A reduction in vehicle idling here, a drop in particulate matter there – these changes add up to a significant impact on the health of our cities.

But EMSOL's vision doesn't stop at incremental improvements. The company's ultimate goal is to make pollution monitoring the norm, not the exception. Freddie Talberg noted “Our mission is to give organisations the tools that allow them to easily tackle the problem head on - ultimately delivering a cleaner city for us all to share”.

This is the future EMSOL is working towards – a future where environmental sustainability is woven into the fabric of our cities, where the power to effect change is in everyone's hands, and where cleaner air isn't just an aspiration, but a reality.