Air quality and environment

Tackling atmospheric pollution

Our expertise

Creating greener, smarter, more sustainable cities and regions

Our experienced team of environmental experts, scientists and engineers are delivering comprehensive support to improve urban environments. Through utilisation of innovative technologies and data-driven best practices, we create a city that is more sustainable, efficient, and liveable.

Improving city air quality and helping protect the health of your citizens

Ricardo has been working with cities across the world to address the challenge of understanding and managing the complexity of urban air quality, helping to protect the health of their citizens.

As a multi-disciplinary consultancy, we also understand the integrated nature of a city and how air quality links with urban transport policy, energy and climate change,  waste and water.  This puts us in a unique position to solve your air quality problems as part of a wider approach to a sustainable city.

We also understand that to deliver successful and long terms improvements we need to develop a partnership approach with your city working with your existing expertise and knowledge, but also building future capacity through training and skills development.

Citizens In A City

Urban air quality capabilities

Ricardo experts support the development of an integrated approach for a range of complementary measures that not only solve air quality problems, but help mitigate carbon emissions and ensure a vibrant and liveable city for your residents. Our approach has under pinned our work with cities in developing Air Quality Action Plans, Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones. We have helped cities secure significant investment in low emission vehicles, sustainable transport measures and access management and charging schemes.

We have worked for over 200 city authorities on air quality and emissions policy. This work is underpinned by our detailed understanding of pollutants and their behaviour, and the use of our city-scale air quality modelling tool – RapidAir®.

From detailed local scale dispersion modelling assessments in support of planning or permitting requirements through to national scale modelling for the UK Government and other international agencies, we support a comprehensive range of requirements.

Ricardo is one of Europe’s leading and largest specialist emission inventory compilation team. We share responsibility for UK reporting on atmospheric emissions under international treaties including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme Gothenburg protocol, and European directives. As well as the national level, we are leading experts in the development of more localised inventories particularly for large cities and have played a leading role in the development of methodologies and enhancing the capacities of authorities with inventory development.

We have been providing bespoke air quality monitoring solutions to cities for over six decades and our work provides the bedrock for national and regional air quality monitoring networks around the world. This means that we are ideally placed to develop bespoke air quality monitoring solutions for city authorities.

Ricardo draws on four decades of experience in helping the public and private sectors to address climate change. We are at the forefront of efforts by businesses and governments to understand the implications of climate change, and to develop effective strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive operational cost and risk down. 

We have a comprehensive understanding of the technologies and behaviours needed to survive, thrive and remain competitive in a low carbon economy. This expertise enables us to help you gain a competitive advantage through sustainable planning.

Ricardo's comprehensive range of air quality assessment services support clients worldwide throughout the planning application and permitting processes. We also provide specialist air quality assessment services as part of Ricardo's wider Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) team.

Delivering robust and sustainable low carbon energy systems in cities

Ricardo works closely with a wide range of international city stakeholders to develop clean and sustainable energy solutions. Through decades of experience we have developed unique insights into the technical and commercial range of issues and how these link to wider city issues of transport, water, waste and air quality. These insights extend from policies and regulations and their impacts, to novel mechanisms to commercialise renewable energy development. This means that we offer independent and unbiased market, technical, commercial and environmental advice to a range of developers, investors and city authorities.

As a multi-disciplinary consultancy, our approaches to renewable energy implementation are embedded as part of wider solution solving activities. 

Renewable Energy In Urban Environment

Sustainable urban energy capabilites

Our renewable energy experts can provide comprehensive solutions to help make your city greener and to achieve climate commitments. Our expertise includes supporting cities with identification and implementation of renewable energy sources that can provide long-term energy security and reduce emissions.

We have extensive experience supporting the development of self-healing and smart grid electricity networks. Our team consists of world leading experts with a deep understanding of the technical and economic challenges associated with the development of intelligent networks, both in the context of urban energy systems as a whole and in off-grid settings. 

Ricardo's experts help support city stakeholders across the full lifecycle of energy from waste technologies in urban environments. From due diligence with technology option assessment and site selection, through to owner's representative and post-implementation support. 

Our digital modelling experts have developed a large scale applied energy system model that provides detailed projections of future energy demand, supply, prices and investment, covering the entire energy system including emissions. The distinctive feature of energy system modelling is the combination of behavioural modelling (following a micro-economic foundation) with engineering aspects, covering all energy sectors and markets. The model has a detailed representation of instruments policy impact assessment related to energy markets and climate, including market drivers, standards, and targets by sector or overall.

Expertise for the advancement of sustainable urban mobility

Ricardo's sustainable transport experts have worked with cities around the world to provide advice on low-carbon technology alternatives, develop urban transport roadmaps and design tools to assess the impacts of future transport policies.

From providing advice on the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure to supporting cities across the European Union to achieve their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), Ricardo deliver effective mobility strategies to support the development of sustainable cities.

Transport Regulatory Advice

Sustainable urban mobility capabilities

Built on decades of experience in energy and transport, Ricardo offers tailored solutions for cities to support the uptake of electric and ultra low emission vehicles. From enabling cities to develop smarter mobility solutions to contributing towards improved air quality, investment in electric and alternative fuel vehicle deployment, and infrastructure, has the potential to facilitate the growth of innovative, low-carbon cities. Ricardo also works with charging providers, and fleet operators, advising on the planning and deployment of charging schemes. Through providing vehicle-based assessments, advising on city-specific charging infrastructure and undertaking cost-benefit analyses, Ricardo identifies effective, city-level solutions.

Our global, multidisciplinary team of engineers, economists and scientists helps city authorities navigate the uncertainty around alternative fuels, infrastructure investment, operational changes and regulations in the transport sector.

We provide the robust and reliable evidence required to future-proof decision-making helping to:

  • Set sector emission reduction targets that are realistic and effective?
  • Identify the most effective regulatory and pricing instruments
  • Consider the e-mobility affect costs and emissions in public transport

Ricardo designs a range of urban transport roadmap and scenario tools to enable cities to develop sustainable mobility strategies, which are tailored to specific social, environmental and economic objectives.

Our advanced models include: a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps (addressing the most pressing environmental and socioeconomic challenges confronting city transport systems); illustrative scenarios tools (helping to assess the impacts of prospective transport sector policies such as the implementation of a CO2 emissions reduction target); and models for the implementation and optimisation of charging infrastructure for public fleets.


Ricardo has a strong track record in managing transport programmes, information portals and innovation competitions for the UK Government and the European Commission. Our team provides rigorous programme and project management support, innovative stakeholder engagement tools and in-depth knowledge of sustainable mobility technologies, supported by dedicated in-house digital services and communications experts.

Supporting efficient and effective city waste and resource management

For more than 35 years Ricardo has been working with local and city authorities and the waste management industry to drive improvements in waste and resource management. Through evidence gathering, analysis and expert technical knowledge we enable optimisation of waste services improving efficiency, saving money and contributing to recycling and net zero carbon emission targets and other government priorities.

Our team are leading technical experts in their field and have a detailed understanding of the policy drivers and the implications for local authority services.

Ricardo can advise on every aspect of public realm waste and resource management services, from strategic planning, modelling and options appraisal to service commissioning and implementation.

City Waste And Recycling

Waste and resource management capabilities

Ricardo’s waste team has an extensive track record of reviewing and benchmarking a wide range of waste-related services. We can provide you with a thorough analysis of service performance and suggest effective improvement solutions that could deliver cost savings and performance enhancement.

Ricardo’s waste team are thought leaders in the carbon from waste arena, having performed the first detailed quantification of the UK’s recycling and waste sector. Our team can provide you with cutting edge analysis and scenarios to reduce the carbon emissions from your contracts, services and facilities.

Ricardo is a leading provider of public and stakeholder engagement services. We deliver tailored solutions to help city authorities to engage with the public and other stakeholders. Our expert support includes:

  • Social research
  • Communication and behaviour change
  • Stakeholder engagement and consultation
  • Public dialogue

Through our deep technical knowledge and expertise in the resources and waste sector we help our clients to develop progressive strategies, underpinned by powerful execution pathways. This enables a clear direction of travel and helps improve understanding, decision making and accountability throughout an organisation.

Ricardo has undertaken extensive research on waste treatment technologies, including processes, uses, advantages and limitations and suppliers and can support city authorities in the categorisation of different technologies in terms of capacity, suitable feedstock, outputs, and energy recovery efficiency.

Air quality and environment


Air quality and environment


Ricardo delivers a range of assurance and testing services across a variety of industries.

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Find out more about our expert automotive testing solutions at our state-of-the-art facilities.

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Find out more about our expert testing solutions at our state-of-the-art facilities.

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Helping you understand the challenges facing agriculture and implement sustainable solutions that deliver effective results.

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World-leading environmental, energy and policy modelling to create a safe and sustainable world.

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Complementary measures that solve air quality problems and help mitigate carbon emissions and ensure a vibrant and livable city for your residents. 

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Ricardo provides impartial evidence and analysis underpinning environmental policymaking throughout the policy life cycle.

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Ricardo supports utilities, mining, resources, healthcare and the public sector to develop, deliver and manage their projects and assets.

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Providing expertise to support your chemical operations and sustainable growth.

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Ricardo's strategic consultancy services enables our clients to navigate complexity in a disrupted world.

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Ricardo's strategic consultancy offering enables our clients to navigate complexity in a disrupted world.

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Ricardo offers world-class technical consulting services to enable our customers to get the most from their products and services in the energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

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Learn more about our leading engineering, design and design services.

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Technical insights and analysis from Ricardo experts.

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Operations and maintenance services to ensure that our clients' programmes are delivered with excellence.

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Our expert team support businesses with bespoke software solutions and stable software libraries for development programs.

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See our latest work in city and urban environments

Case studies
Bangkok Blue Line

Bangkok Metro Blue Line

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Sheffield Centre

Sheffield City Council steels itself for a bright new future

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Shutterstock 1384221845

Building city emission inventories in emerging economies with limited data

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Discover our latest news

News and insights
Traffic On Road At Night Long Exposure

Future of mobility and energy

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Houses Near Temple

Air quality specialists support first Low Emission Zone to be created in India

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Town With Cathedral In Background

Towns and cities given rare air quality insight with Ricardo reports

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Meet the experts

Olivia Carpenter Lomax Expert BW

Olivia Carpenter-Lomax

Head of Power Planning & Solutions

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Sujith Kollamthodi

Sujith Kollamthodi

Strategy, Innovation and Sustainable Transport Director

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Jake Cartmell Headshot

Jake Cartmell

Head of Engineering Strategy and Performance

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Beth Conlan

Beth Conlan

Modelling, Mapping & Assessments Business Manager

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