Project examples

Unconventional Gas in England: Description of infrastructure and future scenarios

This report for the Environment Agency explores the resources and infrastructure which would be required to develop shale gas and coal bed methane in England.  It also models a range of future scenarios for how unconventional gas production might develop in England up to 2035.  Download report

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Helping Local Authorities develop Low Emission Strategies

Despite the introduction of low emissions transport and monitoring systems, air quality is still poor in many of England’s cities as they become more populated. Local Authorities find dealing with the issue complex, with development of a robust strategy often being outside their resource capabilities. Ricardo Energy & Environment was appointed by the respective local authorities to help a number of cities in the United Kingdom (UK) develop urban Low Emission Strategies. Read more…

High Resolution Shipping Emissions

We helped improve understanding of emissions from shipping, around the UK for the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).  The work conducted by our experts resulted in improved resolution and accuracy of shipping emissions allowing dispersion modellers to improve their assessments of the impact of shipping emissions in port cities and their surrounding areas.

As part of the project, we delivered:

  • Improved accuracy and knowledge of the spatial distribution of shipping emissions. Through the innovative use of port layout and ship Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) data.
  • Published data for use by the air quality modelling community.
  • Inputs to the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) to improve estimates from the shipping sector.
Examining the potential risks of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Europe

Ricardo Energy & Environment was appointed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment to carry out an analysis of the environmental and human health risks posed by unconventional hydrocarbons exploration and extraction in Europe. This process is commonly known as ‘fracking’ and is proving to be a highly controversial energy extraction technology within Europe. The Commission wanted to understand how current legislation maps to the key environmental and health risks associated with hydraulic fracturing. Read more…

Supporting Gibraltar on meeting EU air quality obligations

Countries in the European Union are subject to strict reporting measures on air quality to help meet internationally-agreed targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol. These aim to reduce pollution from harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Read more…

Assessing the United Kingdom Government’s legal compliance through detailed ambient air quality modelling

The European Union (EU) Air Quality Directive stipulates air quality standards for various pollutants in ambient air. Compliance with these Limit Values helps to protect human health and the environment.  For many years, Ricardo Energy & Environment has been at the forefront of assessing the United Kingdom Government’s legal current and future compliance against air quality standards through high quality air quality measurements and detailed ambient air quality modelling. Read more…

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Air Quality Measurements in the vicinity of the Bacton Gas Terminal, North Norfolk

Ricardo Energy & Environment delivered cost effective measurement of regulated air pollutants in the vicinity of Bacton Gas Terminal by designing, implementing, managing and operating a sampling programme for hydrocarbon species and nitrogen dioxide. This analysis was required as a condition of the site permit issued by the UK Environment Agency

We delivered: 

  • A multi-site network of passive diffusion tube samplers that provides consistent, reliable hydrocarbon and nitrogen dioxide concentration data, of known uncertainty, in the vicinity of the Gas Terminal.
  • Monthly data quality control, interpretation and analysis.
  • Quarterly and annual air pollution reports on behalf of the site Environmental Forum for the benefit of the UK Environment Agency, Local Authorities and interested local stakeholders.
Measuring and improving air quality in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh

The Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, is experiencing rapid development in its metropolitan area leading to social and environmental sustainability challenges – including worsening air quality and its associated health impacts. Ricardo Energy & Environment has more than two decades’ experience of successful and focussed service delivery on air quality management and has been chosen by ArRiyadh Development Authority to deliver a consolidated air quality evidence base to support the development of its air quality policy. Read more…

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Helping countries comply with European Union air quality standards

Europe’s air quality has significantly improved over the past few years, with increased regulation being put in place by the European Commission on emissions of a range of pollutants. However, many pollutants such as particulates, nitrogen dioxide and ozone continue to cause health problems. European Member States must report air quality measurements to the Commission and apply for time extensions if standards are not met. Read more…

Assessing the United Kingdom Government’s legal compliance through detailed ambient air quality modelling

The European Union (EU) Air Quality Directive stipulates air quality standards for various pollutants in ambient air. Compliance with these Limit Values helps to protect human health and the environment. For many years, Ricardo Energy & Environment has been at the forefront of assessing the United Kingdom Government’s legal current and future compliance against air quality standards through high quality air quality measurements and detailed ambient air quality modelling. Read more…

Developing a new modelling tool to measure air quality in the UK

The Community Multiscale Air Quality model (CMAQ) is an open-source air quality management tool developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). It simultaneously models multiple air pollutants, including ozone and particulate matter, to help regulators determine the best air quality management approaches for their towns, cities and countries. Ricardo Energy & Environment has been appointed by the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to investigate the potential of using CMAQ in the UK. Read more…

High-level quality assurance for the UK’s statutory air quality monitoring programme

The United Kingdom Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) comprises of around 140 air quality monitoring stations located throughout the UK. They use continuous automatic monitoring equipment to record concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), and the particulates PM2.5 and PM10. Ricardo Energy & Environment has a long-running contract with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Devolved Administrations to ensure the quality of the data collected within the AURN until 2015. Read more…

Leading the world in national air emissions reporting

Ricardo Energy & Environment has been developing emissions inventories for the United Kingdom Government since 1982 and has become a world leader in creating, storing and maintaining complex high-quality datasets for monitoring and reporting under legal obligations. The UK’s flagship National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) is managed by Ricardo Energy & Environment on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It provides annual estimates of current and projected UK emissions to 2030 to strict national and international standards and timescales. Read more…

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Driving compliance with international emissions reporting

Ricardo Energy & Environment was one of the first organisations in the world to deliver national emissions estimates and has operated the United Kingdom Government’s emissions inventory programme since it began in 1982. The UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHGI) provides emissions data to meet all international reporting obligations and interpretation of data to provide input into national policy formation. The inventory provides independent estimates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is used for tracking the United Kingdom’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Read more…

Keeping the public informed on pollution and air quality

Ricardo Energy & Environment is appointed by the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to manage the UK Air Quality Data Dissemination Unit (DDU). The DDU brings together a range of air quality information, statistics and reports and interprets these for public and stakeholder consumption. Ricardo Energy & Environment is ideally placed to collate this information through its work on managing automatic and non-automatic monitoring networks, air quality forecasts and reports, and international guidance documents on air quality. Read more…

Know and respond
Communicating air quality risks to the public – Know & Respond Scotland

Ricardo Energy & Environment helps the Scottish Government to raise awareness of the risks associated with air pollution to the public. The 'Know & Respond' service uses the latest health evidence on air pollution, coupled with air quality data from various locations across Scotland, to provide tailored information on how air pollution may affect an individual’s health.

As part of the project we provide an air pollution alert service, developed in collaboration with health professionals, the services:

  • Gives early warning of air pollution incidents - free at the point of use - to the public in Scotland.
  • Sends pollution alerts via SMS, email or ‘Text to Speech’.
  • Sets easily understandable pollution thresholds tailored to the UK’s Daily Air Quality Index bandings


London LEZ
London Low Emission Zone

Ricardo Energy & Environment provided support to Transport for London during the pre- and post-implementation of London’s ground breaking Low Emission Zone (LEZ). We produced vehicle emission factors to identify the likely impact of London’s LEZ on air quality and public health.

As part of the work we delivered:

  • The health impact assessment for the London LEZ.
  • A vehicle emissions assessment.
  • Emission factors for affected groups of vehicles.
  • Measurement programmes to identify emission factors for new technologies e.g. selective catalytic reduction.
  • Measurement programmes to check the performance of emission abatement technologies e.g. Particulate Filters.


Oxford Low Emission Strategy

Ricardo Energy & Environment supported the development of a pollutant emissions reduction strategy in the city of Oxford, exploring options to lower emissions whilst taking into account political acceptability, technical achievability and cost.

Ricardo Energy & Environment delivered a feasibility study to Oxford City Council providing options for pollutant emissions reduction in the city that included:

  • Technical assessment of a wide range of options.
  • Cost benefit analysis.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Consultation.
  • Recommendations for a scheme to be implemented.


Modelling of the UK’s Ambient Air Quality

Ricardo Energy & Environment has developed a bespoke, GIS-based, air quality modelling system (Pollution Climate Model) to provide an assessment of the United Kingdom’s past, present and future air quality and support UK government policy development and demonstration of compliance with EU Air Quality Directive obligations. The project draws on information from ambient measurements, emission inventories and the model itself to provide an integrated evidence base of the UK’s air pollution climate today and in the future.

As part of the project we deliver:

  • Mapped air pollutant concentrations and assessment against EU limit and target values.
  • Key inputs to support policy development through baseline and scenario-based air quality projections and to help in the development of air quality plans


INSPIRE-compliant Air Quality services

Ricardo Energy & Environment works to deliver INSPIRE-compliant air quality data sets to the United Kingdom government and EU Commission.

Our work to develop structures and approaches to add value to data, improving awareness of data availability and facilitating data re-use and understanding by citizens and businesses is at the forefront of the air quality open data agenda.

Ricardo Energy & Environment’s INSPIRE-compliant systems are:

  • Delivered across multiple platforms and data channels increasing data dissemination efficiency, awareness and reach.
  • Designed to facilitate EU Member States Air Quality Directive data reporting obligations.
  • Web-enabled GIS tools, data cataloguing and vocabularies, web services and social media.
  • Provide reduced duplication, transaction costs, improve data reuse, adding value and ultimately improving public health.


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City Scale Air Quality Management

Ricardo Energy & Environment developed a city-wide air quality management programme to support Perth and Kinross Council. Our work helped implement the statutory duties and air quality policy of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM).

As part of the project, Ricardo Energy & Environment delivered:

  • An advanced pollutant measurement network covering all pollutants regulated under LAQM.
  • A robust evidence base informed by emissions inventories, dispersion modelling, data analysis and detailed source apportionment.
  • Dissemination of information via air quality web pages.
  • Expert witness support.
Liaoning Integrated Environment Programme

Working with the Liaoning Environmental Protection Board in China, Ricardo Energy & Environment tackled interrelated issues of pollution abatement, economic modernisation and social redeployment across five major industrial cities in Liaoning province.

We led the air quality Management component of the project which:

  • Established comprehensive emission inventories at city and provincial level.
  • Delivered training and capacity strengthening.
  • Developed effective ambient and source measurement programmes, dispersion modelling and GIS based environmental Information Systems.
  • Developed economic models for the cost-benefit analysis and design of optimal emission control and mitigation strategies.
De Vere Hotel Air Quality Impact Assessment

Ricardo Energy & Environment’s air quality experts delivered an air quality modelling assessment to provide insight into the likely impact from the construction and operational phases of a proposed hotel in Edinburgh. The work was conducted to support a planning application.

Ricardo Energy & Environment delivered:

  • Pre project consultation with the local planning authority to agree the scope and acceptable methods of assessment.
  • Atmospheric dispersion modelling of road traffic emissions associated with the planned development using ADMS.
  • A construction dust risk assessment and recommendations for dust mitigation measures.
  • A best practice impact assessment report for submission to the local planning authority.
Bio-Aerosol Measurements

The UK government’s strategy on waste and recycling has led to increased material sent for composting. Composting processes may expose workers and the local population, to elevated concentrations of bio-aerosols with resulting increased risk of associated health impacts.

Ricardo Energy & Environment worked with the States of Guernsey to determine the colony concentrations of bacteria and fungi in and around the Mont Cuet Landfill site. As part of the project we provided:

  • Measurement campaigns to assess bacterial and fungal colony concentrations using internationally recognised techniques.
  • A robust evidence base of concentration data to elucidate the bio-aerosol environment experienced by workers and nearby residents.
  • Assessment of bio-aerosols concentrations against acceptable environmental standards.
  • Information to assist site operators in the design and implementation of mitigation measures.
London 2012 Olympics - Air Quality Forecasting

Ricardo Energy & Environment provided detailed daily air quality forecasts issued to the UK’s Health Protection Agency in the run up to and across the period of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012.

We provided a high quality, detailed, forecast throughout the London 2012 Olympics, including:

  • Daily detailed air quality forecasts.
  • Provision of advice to the public … and of interest athletes competing in endurance events.
  • In collaboration with the UK’s Health Protection Agency to disseminate air quality forecasts and supporting every day.
  • Operational tracking of pollutant concentrations from a detailed, high quality, air pollution measurement network.
Environmental Quality at UK Airports

Ricardo Energy & Environment has been helping airport operators, airlines and policy makers to address environmental challenges in the aviation sector for over two decades. 

Our work with airports, including, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow to monitor the environmental impacts of aviation specifically addressing issues of noise, carbon and air quality.

We also provide:

  • Assessment of compliance with UK and EU legislation, occupational exposure and mitigation measure design and action planning.
  • Quantification and understanding of impacts, and opportunities for their management in pursuit of sustainable growth.
  • Detailed understanding of airports operational environment.
  • Expertise on aircraft / vehicle technologies and management practices.
  • Modelling and forecasting tools to facilitate scenario testing in support of policy development.
SUstainabLe TrANsport (SULTAN) policy tool

Developed to assess the various policy options for reducing EU transport sector’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, SULTAN is a unique tool which provides rapid and cost-effective assessment of transport policy.

Ricardo Energy & Environment outlined the impact of transport policies on emissions of Air Quality and GHGs by assessing:

  • Mandatory vehicle CO2 emission targets for all modes.
  • Reductions in the GHG intensity of transport fuels.
  • Road and CO2 pricing measures.
  • Improved spatial and mobility planning.
  • Fuel efficient driver training.
  • Improvements to freight inter-modality.
  • Non-motorised measures.
Air Quality Management Plan and Health Impact Assessment

Ricardo Energy & Environment analysed the sources of air pollution in in the city of Tbilisi, Georgia through measurement, inventory, modelling and spatial mapping to assess the pollution climates impact on public health.

We provided:

  • Cost effective ambient air measurement programmes (NO2, PM, benzene, SO2, O3).
  • Bespoke traffic emissions model.
  • Identified major sources and pollutants of concern.
  • GIS models of city emissions.
  • Quantified the health impacts of air pollution in Tbilisi and the benefits that would be accrued if EU Air Quality Limit Values were achieved.
  • Organisational training and capacity building.
Planning support on the Willows Energy from Waste Facility, King’s Lynn

Ricardo Energy & Environment provided their expert insight to help assess the impacts on air quality, health and nature conservation from a proposed Energy from Waste facility for Norfolk County Council.

We provided specialist support and expert advice to the planning authority throughout the planning process. The planning application caused public outcry, and was “called in” by the Secretary of State, resulting in a public inquiry.

Our comprehensive and robust analysis of the planning application, put Norfolk County Council in a strong position at the public inquiry.

UK-AIR Website

We set up the UK’s ‘one-stop shop’ for air quality information, a data archive which provides air quality information delivery for the public, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders. Underpinned by a database of over 200 million data records, the UK-AIR website is a library of news, reports and research information

We delivered:   

  • Real time information for public health protection.
  • Multi-channel dissemination including UK-AIR Twitter.
  • Interactive on-line database and analysis tools.
  • Library of all relevant Government funded research.
  • GIS based UK Air Quality Interactive Map.
  • INSPIRE compliant UK AQ Data Catalogue.
Industrial Policy - Technical Guidance and Training

Ricardo Energy & Environment helped to deliver training and technical guidance to increase Environmental Protection Officers’ understanding of the principles and role of industrial regulation and their legal duties. The aim of the project was to improve consistency and effectiveness of Industrial process regulation.

As part of the project, we provided:

  • Classroom style training and seminars – Introduction to Advanced practitioner level.
  • Expert trainers with extensive experience of industry, emissions control techniques, emissions monitoring requirements and inspection and permitting regimes.
  • Coaching on the management of enforcement processes.
  • On-line training material and associated technical reference materials.
  • Certification of proficiency.
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E-PRTR Data Quality Control and Reporting for the UK

Collating the UK’s national and local level emissions data in order to comply with the European Union’s E-PRTR obligation. 


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The UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

Developing and maintaining a national inventory of air pollutants and greenhouse gases for the UK that is reported to the UNFCCC, UNECE and EU. Also the cornerstone of policy development for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. A project Ricardo Energy & Environment has run since inception, for over 30 years. 


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UK’s Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) Multimedia Emissions Inventory

Developing a comprehensive multimedia emissions inventory for a wide range of POPs for the UK in order to meet its commitments under the Stockholm Convention and to underpin development of mitigation policies. 


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Generation of emission inventories and inventory systems in Ireland

Developing an inventory system and building capacity in those institutions responsible for managing it into the future. Read more…