Utah’s air quality continues to be a top-of-mind issue for many business leaders and employees—especially after our recent red air days. However, just because the poor air is now out of sight, doesn’t mean it should be out of mind, too. Whether there is an inversion or not, air quality affects the recruitment, retention and health of employees as well as our state’s overall economic development and quality of life. Many are still wondering what they can do to make a difference for Utah’s air this winter and while there are many simple actions business leaders and citizens can take, it’s also an important time to learn from the best practices of others who are leading out on adopting emerging technologies that contribute to better air.

Hanko Keisner, CEO of Packsize, is one such leader who has stepped up to do something about our air quality. Spurred by a potential hire that flew in during an inversion and “didn’t even get off the plane,” Keisner was moved to act and founded the non-profit Leaders for Clean Air (LFCA) as a way to combat air pollution. LFCA’s mission is to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and to build a stronger electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the Wasatch Front. Right now, close to 50% of the pollutants in the air come from the tailpipe of a car with an internal combustion engine. In an effort to build out the nation’s most comprehensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure, LFCA gives away free chargers to any business in Utah that wants one and will work with companies to plan and design more comprehensive charger projects to encourage employee adoption. In addition, Hanko has made going electric a key to the success of his company. Packsize has the region’s largest workplace EV charger installation with 52 ports available, to both the public and Packsize employees, at no cost (estimated to be the largest workplace electric vehicle charging installation in Utah). Hanko has also electrified the entire Packsize fleet (as well as warehouse forklifts), and offers a monthly stipend to employees who wish to purchase or lease an electric vehicle.

Studies have shown that employees are six times as likely to drive an electric car if workplace charging is available, and with the increased battery range and lower cost of the next generation of electric vehicles, owning an electric car is now a reality for the majority of new car consumers. Earlier this year, Coldwell Banker Commercial published a blog that shares the impact of electric vehicles on the commercial real estate industry, stating that the demand for and rise of electric vehicles is something that should be watched closely by the CRE industry. The blog states: “contributing to the adoption of these vehicles can also be in the hands of developers as the more charging stations there are, in terms of locations, the more likely individuals are to consider electric vehicles.” By taking the simple, low cost step of installing electric vehicle chargers, Utah’s business leaders can drive adoption of this emerging clean technology and do their part to better our air quality and ensure that Utah’s spectacular natural environment shines through.

To find out more about Leaders for Clean Air and how you can install chargers at your business, visit www.leadersforcleanair.org. Sign up to receive your free charger and start leading the way to cleaner air.