Air quality

An overview of the actions that we are taking to tackle air pollution and improve air quality.

Emissions from construction and machinery

We are working with the construction industry and the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to reduce emissions created by construction traffic and machinery.

Non-road mobile machines (NRMM)

The machinery used by the construction industry contributes:

The Mayor is determined to take action to reduce these construction-related emissions. He has introduced the world’s first low emission zone for non-road mobile machinery. Minimum emission standards are required, which are progressively tightened to support the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

Non-road mobile machines (NRMMs) are mobile machines or transportable industrial equipment that are often used in construction sites, such as bulldozers, pumps and generators. Since September 2020, all developments within Greater London are required to conform to the Mayor’s NRMM emission standards, following a move to expand tighter requirements previously only applied to the Central Activity Zone to the wider area. We uphold this in Lambeth by conditioning sites to meet these requirements when granting planning permission.

Lambeth is part of the NRMM project led by Merton. The project is funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund (MAQF) Round 3 to raise awareness and enforce NRMM. Since 2016, Merton and Lambeth officers have been inspecting major developments in the borough and engaging with developers to raise awareness about NRMM emission standards and to ensure compliance. Funding to continue this work is secured until 2022.

You can find out more about NRMM emission standards in the guide below:

London Low Emissions Construction Partnership (LLECP)

We aim to control and minimise emissions from our construction sites, and followed guidance on dust and emissions through the London Low Emission Construction Partnership.

The LLECP was was set up to raise awareness of air pollution from development activities, to test and to encourage pollution reduction measures on construction sites. Funded through the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, it worked with the construction industry for a number of years to highlight the impact that construction has on air quality. It also provided support to local authorities and staff wanting to minimise construction-related emissions.

The project has now finished, but a number of guidance documents have been developed to help local authorities mitigate emissions from construction:

If you are a developer and you would like to know more, please email

Electric sweepers

Half of our street sweepers are electric. Using electric models instead of diesel ones:

  • prevents 78 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year
  • helps us tackle emissions from transport.

We were recently successful in obtaining funding from round three of the Mayor's Air Quality Fund. This has allowed us to investigate different techniques of street cleansing to reduce re-suspended particulates.

We are the lead borough in this joint project with Southwark and we have been trialling different street sweeping techniques in the Waterloo area in 2020.

More information

Please contact the Sustainability Team to find out more: