GLOBE QUARTERLY · OCTOBER 2014
IFA 2014 A HUGE TECH-FEST p. 10
WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL INDOOR AIR PURIFIER p. 12
CONTENT 12. 14.
WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL INDOOR AIR PURIFIER
THE PRETTIEST AIR PURIFIER IN THE WORLD?
Photo: Oskar Bakke
Tomorrow’s indoor air cleaning appliances: Delivering the best user experience
Air purification movers and shakers meet in Beijing
Game, set... Clean air
IFA Berlin: A huge tech-fest
World’s most powerful indoor air purifier
The prettiest air purifier in the world?
U.N. spotlights climate change
Marketplace India: Serving India the world’s best indoor air
What I think of Blueair: Vijay Kannan
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
Design for a better world
hat can be more important than striving to create a better world for people to live in? As September’s UN special summit on climate change and the related participation globally by millions of people in peaceful climate marches highlighted, we need to work together to forge a vibrant, clean, global economy. And that’s why at Blueair we work so hard to turn the best design ideas, innovations and inspiration into tangible indoor air purifiers that can help build a cleaner, healthier and better future. Our ambition is to meld forward-thinking design with technological and materials innovation so as to push indoor air purification towards a smarter future. Since we launched our first air purifiers in the mid-1990s, we have worked to put indoor air cleaning on the public agenda by spreading knowledge about the contaminants building up in the air people breathe at home and work. We see this as an urgent priority in our rapidly urbanizing world. In 1970 just 39 million people lived in megacities with populations over ten million. Today there are 28 megacities that are home to 453 million people – and forecasters say there will be 41 such urban areas by 2030. While it’s true that megacities will be the engines of the world economy and centers of innovation, the negative impact of congestion, pollution and infrastructure issues will magnify the consequences on the air we breathe and the water we drink. But I’m confident we will evolve the solutions allowing urban citizens to live decent lives. Already today, the new indoor air purifiers we launched at Berlin’s 2014 IFA tech show set a new benchmark. In this issue of Globe Magazine you can read more about Blueair Pro and Blue. Not only by efficiently removing airborne chemicals, dust and viruses and looking amazing at the same time, but also when it comes to energy efficiency and use of sustainable materials. By aligning design with innovative technology, Blueair is showing that positive change can happen.
Bengt Rittri, Founder & Principal
Tomorrow’s indoor air cleaning appliances
DELIVERING THE BEST USER EXPERIENCE Product development is probably the most important component behind the success of a technology and innovation-driven company. So what is the vision driving Johan Skåntorp, the new Head of Product Development at Blueair?
ohan Skåntorp has been given the exciting task of steering the product innovation roadmap for Blueair moving forward to 2020. And Blueair’s customers have a lot of exciting things to look forward too based on Johan’s credentials. Johan is widely considered one of Sweden’s foremost experts on global product planning after 24 years as a senior executive at Electrolux Group. With a technology background from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Johan will be bringing a fresh perspective to the critically important job of developing indoor air purifying products that delight customers around the world. Johan told Blueair Globe that it is not the company launching the most innovative product that wins - it’s the company (with the product) giving the best user experience within the category that wins. “Having insight is key - listening is not enough,” Johan said. “Our challenge is to ensure that the indoor air purifiers we launch in the marketplace are of the highest quality and meet all the expectations of our customers. “Blueair already has an impressive product line up but we will ‘sweat the details’ even more going forward to add new features with the latest technology for a world where indoor air purifiers will become as natural a part of the modern home as a refrigerator or vacuum cleaner is today.” Johan stressed that Blueair’s ambition is to “move in to adjacent product categories to align our offering even further with our mission as a company to deliver cleaner, healthier indoor air.”
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
HAVING INSIGHT IS THE KEY
Photo: Oskar Bakke
Air purification movers and shakers meet in Beijing
PSST... CHECK THIS OUT!
Top international scientists, government officials, engineers, architects and companies active in air contamination gathered in Beijing in mid-September to network and exchange insights at the 8th China Air Purification Technology and Equipment Expo.
ver 350 exhibitors showed their air purification solutions at the 8th China Air Purification Technology and Equipment Expo, which attracted around 45,500 visitors. The show also saw the holding of an annual summit on environment and development designed to provide a meeting ground for air purification industry participants and professional experts. Simultaneously to the expo, a joint U.S./China seminar was staged on air purification technology by the U.S. Embassy’s Commercial Service, which was attended by Blueair’s Global Product Marketing Manager, Karin Kruse. “The goal of the seminar was obviously to promote US technology / products in general but also importantly to educate the public on how to best select an air purifier as well as to provide a platform to communicate with Chinese standard, test bodies and key players in the industry,” Karin Kruse said. The seminar saw industry experts from America and China at the China International Exhibition Centre meet to discuss the newest technologies designed to combat China's severe air quality problem. Chinese air purification industry associations and enterprises and the Chinese air purification standard and research institute also attended the event. One of the keynote speakers at the seminar was an official representative of AHAM, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers that develops and maintains technical standards for various appliances to provide uniform, repeatable procedures to measure performance of indoor air purifiers, for example. AHAM’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) standard is widely acknowledged as providing the most accurate conformation of an air purifiers performance. “The seminar was also told that in parallel to the US AHAM standard there is a new update of the Chinese standard, issued by China Household Electric Appliance Research Institute (GB/T18801) that will be launched early in 2015,” said Karin Kruse. “This is largely built on the AHAM standard with some additions.”
SWEDISH WEEKLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE LISTS BLUEAIR AS A SWEDISH SUPER COMPANY. Out of all Swedish companies Blueair was one of 442 companies that does everything right. For the tenth year in a row, Swedish business magazine Veckans Affärer ranked the most successful Swedish companies. Blueair was one of the 442 companies that met the extremely tough criteria. The list contains less than one percent of all of the Swedish companies with a revenue over ten million SEK (approximately $1.033 976). Among the criteria, increase of sales was of big importance. To be on the list, the company needed to show a high increase at least for four years. Other criteria were profit, revenue and debt.
Wayne Morris, Vice President, Technical Operations & Standards at AHAM Photo: Wayne Morris
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
GAME, SET AND...
Blueair teamed up this fall with the annual China Open international tennis tournament, the most comprehensive international tennis event with the highest level and the most players in Asia.
Photos: Blueair China
lueair stepped in as one of the sponsors of the 2014 China Open staged In Beijing from 21 September to 5 October. Ging players the opportunity to breathe clean indoor air in between matches, Blueair aimed to showcase its high performance range of mobile indoor air purification appliances. “We were very pleased to sign up with China Open as a cooperation partner of the 2014 event running in Beijing,” said Sam Li, Blueair China General Manager. “We partnered with a great tennis brand that ranks in the world’s top eight (including the four Grand Slams) tennis tournaments. In addition, this partnership is also promoting important values for us at Blueair China – community involvement, gender equality, a healthy, sporty lifestyle and corporate social responsibility.” The China Open tennis tournament symbolizes Beijing in the post-Olympic era. Last year it attracted over 300,00 live spectators, while domestic broadcasting exceeded 370 hours to reach an audience of 1.24 billion people. The event was covered by 127 television stations and channels from 157 countries, while the official website attracted 14 million visits. Blueair’s sports sponsorship aims to promote its visibility in China, promote athleticism and healthier lifestyles through sport, encourage social inclusion through tennis, and stimulate awareness of indoor air contamination issues and the solutions available. Sam Li added: “We are delighted and proud to have this opportunity to support the China Open, whose ambitions and values we share, from dedication to performance to respect for the environment and gender equality at all levels. Sporting events like the China Open serve to inspire us all to live cleaner, healthier lives, which is also the core ambition of Blueair China.” 7
Healthy Lungs for Life campaign: Breathe Clean Air launched The European Respiratory Society (ERS) and European Lung Foundation (ELF) recently launched their inaugural Healthy Lungs for Life campaign with the theme: Breathe Clean Air.
he 'Breathe Clean Air' campaign aims to raise awareness and educate about the importance of healthy lungs and clean air free from particulate matter, pathogens, smoke and dangerous gases. The campaign was launched at the same time as new data was published identifying a clear link between higher levels of exposure to air pollution and deteriorating lung health in adult European citizens. The new study, part of the EU-funded European Study of Cohorts of Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE) project, confirms previous findings that children growing up in areas with higher levels of pollution will have lower levels of lung function and a higher
risk of developing symptoms such as cough and bronchitis symptoms. Additionally, the new study identified that people suffering from obesity are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution, possibly due to an increased risk of lung inflammation. "The ESCAPE project has clearly confirmed that air quality largely differs across Europe,” said senior author, Nicole Probst-Hensch and lead author Martin Adam, from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. They added: “The findings of this project are crucial as they demonstrate that air pollution is having a negative effect, not only on children as previously demonstrated, but also into adulthood. Although the levels we see in Europe are much lower than in the so-called megacities in China and India, we are still seeing a deterioration of lung function in people exposed to higher levels of air pollution and this must be addressed.”
In the first study of its kind, researchers from across the continent evaluated the correlation between air pollution and lung function in Europe. The researchers used indicators of traffic in the area and modelled the exposure levels to different pollution measures including nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Lung function data were collected from 7,613 participants through spirometry testing in adults across eight different countries (Switzerland, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden). The results were published online on September 6, 2014, in the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ). A large proportion of Europe's population live in areas with levels of air quality that are known to have negative impacts on health. Earlier this year, the WHO estimated that air pollution was the cause of seven million premature deaths in 2012, with 3.7 million of these being connected with poor outdoor air quality.
STRONG LINK BETWEEN HIGHER LEVELS OF POLLUTION AND LUNG HEALTH OF EUROPEAN CITIZEN A new study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute confirms previous findings that children growing up in areas with higher levels of pollution will have lower levels of lung function and a higher risk of developing symptoms such as cough and bronchitis symptoms. Commenting on the results, Professor Peter Barnes, President of the ERS, said: "The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of educating about clean air and the negative effects of air pollution. Urgent action is needed to tackle air pollution in Europe. It is crucial that policymakers in Europe take note of these findings and update guidelines in Member States to meet the WHO recommended air quality standards. This will ensure equal protection of all citizens' health across the continent." 8 Photo: ©istock.com/CaroleGomez
BAD AIR IS BAD NEWS FOR SENIORS’ BRAINPOWER Most of us are aware that air pollution is bad news for our hearts and lungs, but what about our brains? Now recent research highlights the risks of air pollution in older adults, effecting behavior and damaging brain health.
ir pollution does not discriminate. It hits every part of our body, even our brains according to an alarming study, which indicates living in areas of high air pollution can lead to decreased cognitive function in older adults. The latest finding about the risks of air pollution is based on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Retirement Study. The analysis was conducted by Jennifer Ailshire, PhD, a National Institute on Aging postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Biodemography and Population Health and the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California. “As a result of age-related declines in health and functioning, older adults are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of exposure to unhealthy air,” Jennifer Ailshire said. “Air pollution has been linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory problems, and even premature death, in older populations, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to particulate air pollution may have adverse effects on brain health and functioning as well.” Exposure This is the first study to show how exposure to air pollution influences cognitive function in a national sample of older men and women. It suggests that fine air particulate matter — composed of particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller, thought to be sufficiently small that if inhaled they can deposit deep in the
lung and possibly the brain — may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced cognitive function. The study sample included 14,793 men and women aged 50 and older who participated in the 2004 Health and Retirement Study (a nationally representative survey of older adults). Individual data were linked with data on 2004 annual average levels of fine air particulate matter from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System monitors across the country. Cognitive function was measured on a scale of 1 to 35 and consisted of tests assessing word recall, knowledge, language, and orientation. Scored poorer Jennifer Ailshire discovered that those living in areas with high levels of fine air particulate matter scored poorer on the cognitive function tests. The association even remained after accounting for several factors, including age, ethnicity, education, smoking behavior, and respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. Fine air particulate matter exposures ranged from 4.1 to 20.7 micrograms per cubic meter, and every ten-point increase was associated with a 0.36 point drop in cognitive function score. In comparison, this effect was roughly equal to that of aging three years; among all study subjects, a one-year increase in age was associated with a drop 0.13 in cognitive function score.
A HUGE TECH-FEST The IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin is Europe’s biggest technology show, attracting the world’s best firms. This year saw Blueair give visitors a breath of fresh air as clean as nature intended by exhibiting its air purifiers for the first time at the show.
eld annually in Berlin, the German capital, IFA is the technology show to end all technology shows, a non-stop riot of new PCs, phones, TVs, cameras and robot appliances. Over several intensive days, around a quarter-of-a-million people flock from one massive hall to another to see the latest and greatest
electronic consumer gadgets that we’ll all want in our Christmas stockings. Since its launch in 1924, IFA has been held annually in early September and today ranks the largest tech show in Europe. This year saw over 1,200 exhibitors from 32 countries turn up in the heart of the German capital to present a comprehensive display of consumer electronics and services, and unveiling the best new phones, tablets, smart watches, fridges. stoves and more. Big announcements Despite hitting 90 years old this year, IFA is well known for its big announce10
ments of the latest flashy electronics and the 2014 show was no exception. Techies were able to feast on a massive smorgasbord ranging from go anywhere, do anything tablets to UltraHD 77-inch curved TV displays and tiny smartwatches. Blueair made its first debut at the 2014 IFA show with a great looking booth inside the sprawling Messe Berlin convention center. Blueair believes innovation is firmly rooted in its DNA and it demonstrated the truth of that belief by showcasing its entire range of air purifier’s aimed squarely at home and business consumers wanting to
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
Photo: Oskar Bakke
breathe air as fresh as nature intended. Since its birth in 1996, Blueair has focused on making the world’s best premium air purifiers, revolutionizing the technology and design with ever more inventive approaches to improving indoor air to enhance the health and wellbeing of users. Apart from its successful Classic family of air purifiers and the contemporary, hand-swipe controlled Sense, Blueair used IFA to unveil its latest air purifiers. The future Blueair presented its new Blueair Pro family of air purifiers and the trendy
Blue line as the future of indoor air purification. The uber-efficient Pro family is designed for larger workspaces, while the minimalist Blue is geared to appeal to a younger, newer generation of users. “We set out to make clean indoor air something to get excited about at Berlin’s IFA 2014 gadget show,” said Blueair Marketing Communication Manager Henrik Fernsund. “Many companies use IFA to show off new ideas and Blueair is no exception. That’s why we showcased our ‘all new’ air purifying systems with ‘breakthrough’ technology and design 11
features to help people to enjoy clean indoor air no matter how polluted the air is outdoors.” Come of age Blueair’s new model lineup reflects the insight that indoor air cleaning has come of age in a world where homes are built tighter to conserve energy. It is an environmental dilemma that results in indoor air being many times more polluted than that outside with trapped allergens, dust, viruses and chemicals building up to previously unseen levels.
WORLDâ€™S MOST POWERFUL INDOOR AIR PURIFIER The Blueair Pro range launched at IFA Berlin is a new line of indoor air purifiers with off-the-scale, near noiseless performance.
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
Intuitive air purifying The Blueair Pro design includes intuitive air purifying speed change symbols, while an innovative, easy-to-install ‘Air Intelligence Module’ upgrade adjusts air purification performance automatically according to the degree of airborne pollutants picked up by its sensors. Combined with continuous Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) level feedback, the smart Blueair Pro technology and design means users can now take clean air for granted at home or in the office. The culmination of over 30 months of design and product development, Blueair Pro gives users the peace of mind that stems from the world’s most advanced indoor air filtration technology.
he radically new Blueair Pro family delivers sizzling performance from a slim, sleek shape. Thanks to the world’s most advanced modular filtration system featuring unique v-shaped filters, it requires little more energy than an average light bulb to remove viruses, dust and smoke particles as well as VOCs from indoor air. “The Blueair Pro family has been innovated to leverage our unique, patented clean air purification technologies and set a new standard for premium air purifiers,” said Joakim Nygren, Product Project Manager at Blueair. The Pro family initially comprises three models covering rooms ranging in size from 110 sq. meters down to 36 sq. meters. All harness unique, patent-pending modular filtration systems to protect against practically every known air pollutant. “The Pro family utilizes a sleek, eye-catching vertical tower-like design that reduces depth for greater in-room usability without sacrificing performance. We engineered a high performance fan technology designed from the inside out to provide near-silent operation and ultra low energy consumption without hampering high-end air purification efficiency,” Joakim Nygren said.
Less dense filters Blueair’s industry-leading technology allows for less dense filters that translates into both lower noise levels and energy consumption. In short, the HEPASilent™ technology allows Blueair Pro to handle large volumes of air while staying whisper quiet. “We see Pro as a silent sentinel protecting people and their loved ones and colleagues from the consequences of polluted air indoors at home or work,” says Joakim Nygren.
Joakim Nygren being interviewed by French television at IFA 2014. Photo: Oskar Bakke
THE PRETTIEST AIR PURIFIER IN THE WORLD? Not all indoor air purifiers are created equal as Blueair demonstrated at Berlin’s annual IFA tech expo with the launch of its snazzy air purifier — Blue.
ontemporary Blue is a new brand within Blueair designed to shake up the indoor air marketplace by delivering great performance and looks with library-quiet noise at a really affordable price. Blue firmly embraces the lifestyle and wellness aspirations of a younger generation of wellness-aware people who see healthier living as a natural part of their lifestyle, whether chilling out at home, exercising or at work. “Today’s thirty-something’s are probably the most educated, best informed generation in history and driven by a mind-body approach to
achieve positive changes in their lives – something Blue will deliver by giving people air to live for at home or work,” says Elin Engberg, Blue Project Manager. New design rhetoric Elin Engberg explained Blue moves away from the traditional design rhetoric of boxy indoor air purifiers to instead deliver an individually adaptable cool, clean and simple approach. Blue represents the future generation of air purifiers with eco– friendly, functional design and best-in-market air purification highest within its price segment.
“Today’s tech savvy generation already embrace every new techy gadget as a virtual extension of their talking, walking, listening, typing and texting lives, so we’re taking some pressure off them with Blue by ensuring it automatically looks after their indoor air quality for them,” she said. “Available in two sizes, multiple colors and with a library-silent terrific clean air delivery rate, the contemporary Blue ensures that all wellness-minded owners ever need think about is how enjoyable it is to breathe freely.”
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
Photo: Oskar Bakke
Blueair Pro XL and Blue honored with two top Innovation & Design Awards Envisioneering Innovation & Design Awards honored Blueair’s new indoor air purifying innovations, the Blueair Pro XL and Blue.
lueair won top accolades for its new products launched at the 2014 IFA Berlin tech show. The Swedish company saw its off-the-scale performance Pro XL and eye-catching Blue indoor air purifier’s chosen as Innovation & Design Award winners by Envisioneering, the industry research firm. Envisioneering judges selected the winners of the Innovation & Design Awards from over 50 companies that launched new products during ShowStoppers, a showcase connecting vendors and media at the IFA Berlin show. Engineering qualities Products are judged on their engineering qualities, including technical specifications and materials used, the product’s intended use/function and user value, aesthetic and design qualities, unique and novel features, and how the product’s design and innovation directly compares to others in the marketplace. “We were very excited to have been honored for bringing emerging technologies to market. We are breaking new ground
BLUEAIR BECOMES FIRST AIR PURIFICATION BRAND OFFERED AT BLOOMINGDALE'S The award-winning Blueair Sense is now available in select stores of the upmarket U.S. retail chain and bloomingdales.com. Bloomingdale's, founded in 1872 and America’s only nationwide, full-line, upscale department store, now offer the Blueair Sense air purifier. The award-winning Sense is the first air purifier offered by Bloomingdale’s and bloomingdales.com. Developed in partnership with Sweden's world-famous Claesson Koivisto Rune architecture and design studio, the Blueair Sense combines the very best in Swedish engineering and aesthetics. The Sense is built with environmentally friendly materials and proven to filter out 99.97 percent of allergens, viruses, chemicals and other airborne pollutants. The Sense features convenient, motion-sensing controls, ENERGY STAR high-efficiency electronics and Blueair's whis-
in giving people cleaner, healthier air to breath at home, work and play,” said Bengt Rittri, founder and CEO of Blueair. “Both Pro XL and Blue push the boundaries of design and technology, harnessing multiple technologies to create a wow factor for anyone who wants to breathe air free of the myriad airborne contaminants in modern homes and offices.” Design ethos Bengt Rittri said Blueair is extremely proud of its design ethos, which has now resulted in all Blueair product families having been honored with awards from around the world. He added that he found it amazing the two latest awards came even before the official product launches of the Blueair Pro and Blue. A preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade press judge the Envisioneering award winners. They are chosen from the many candidates launching new products during the ShowStoppers press event, the product showcase for journalists at the IFA Berlin trade show.
per-quiet HEPASilentPlus™ filtration technology. The unit has also won multiple global awards for its innovative approach to performance and design, including the Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, Germany's Red Dot Award, the German Design Council's International Premier Prize and Sweden's 'Design S' Award. "The Blueair Sense was designed for our most style-conscious customers, and this made Bloomingdale's an ideal retail partner," said Blueair North America President, Herman Pihlträd. "We value their commitment to premium products, design and excellent customer service. Through this partnership, we will we be able bring cleaner, healthier air to many more homes and offices around the U.S." Weighing in at 22 pounds in a compact 19x7x7 inches design, the Sense is rated to purify rooms up to 150 square feet. It is available in six colors: polar white, graphite black, powder pink, powder blue, warm gray and mocca brown. Customers may purchase the Sense at bloomingdales.com and select Bloomingdale's locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, California and Illinois.
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
STOCKHOLM DENTIST SAYS BLUEAIR HELPS CLEAN HIS WORKPLACE AIR
The rooms at Roland Waller’s dental surgery are equipped with Blueair 270E air purifiers.
wedish dentist Roland Waller says the two Blueair 270E units in his central surgery in Stockholm, Sweden, have tangibly improved the indoor air and eased allergy symptoms of some of his work colleagues. Sweden is often flagged as one of the cleanest countries on the planet but even Swedes do not take the quality of their indoor air for granted. For over 32 years Stockholm dentist Roland Waller has run his dental surgery on one of the city’s busiest streets and becoming increasingly worried about the health and wellbeing consequences of the growing traffic pollution outside.
“We got to the stage where we were unwilling to open the windows because some of my work colleagues said they were suffering headaches, tiredness and breathing problems due to the outdoor pollution,” said Roland Waller, who owns the dental practice. The surgery is located on the first floor of a building fronting onto one of Stockholm’s most exclusive retail streets, Sturegatan, which is exposed to heavy truck, car and bus traffic throughout the working week and much of the weekend. Traffic is a major source of PM2.5 particles that have been shown to be harmful for all humans, especially children, the el-
derly and people with heart and lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Roland Waller took the decision to install two Blueair 270E units. Almost immediately he and his four staff noticed an immediate improvement in the air they were breathing at work. “My assistant Assia had been suffering respiratory allergies for some time, but once the Blueair air purifiers had been running for a while she noticed her symptoms had gone while at work,” Roland Waller told Blueair Globe. “I am very pleased with the performance of the two Blueair units, which clearly do the job they promise to clean indoor air of the nasty stuff. Neither I nor my team can imagine a life without them now.”
‘If we cannot all swim together, we will sink’
U.N. SPOTLIGHTS CLIMATE CHANGE The United Nations in late September zeroed in on climate change at a special summit at the UN’s New York headquarters attended by the leaders of 125 countries. The aim was to encourage the member states to sign up to a comprehensive new global climate agreement at talks in Paris in 2015.
one-day UN Climate Change Summit in New York, the largest of its kind since the 2009 meeting in Copenhagen, ended with a general consensus from government leaders to commit to action on tackling the impact of global warming. Seen as a last-minute call to bring climate change talks back on track before global warming reaches a point of no return, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon sought to create political momentum behind the U.N. drive to negotiate a climate-change agreement in Paris by 2015. Ban Ki-Moon wants climate change to be at the forefront of every leader’s agenda and has warned ‘if we can-
not all swim together, we will sink’. He is pushing for concrete steps to drive cleaner sources of energy, prevent deforestation, and help vulnerable countries protect themselves from the damaging impacts of climate change such as forest fires and sea-level rise. With President Obama warning that climate change was moving faster than efforts to address it, some good news did come out of the session that Ban Ki-Moon hailed by saying "never before have so many leaders gathered to commit to action on climate change". China promised for the first time to take firm action on climate change, telling the summit that its emissions, the world's highest, would soon peak. And Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli also added China would make its economy much more carbon efficient by 2020, aiming to reduce its emissions of carbon per unit of GDP by 45 percent, compared with levels in 2005. 18
Substantial buzz was created around the summit at both a grassroots and business level. Over 2,000 rallies took place two days before the summit at 150 locations around the world from London to Bogota to set a tone for the gathering. While in New York itself around 400,000 men, women and children took to the streets to call for international action on climate change. On the business front, a skew of company chief executives from Apple’s Tim Cook to Ikea’s Peter Agnefjall announced a variety of carbon reducing voluntary measures. Niclas Wullt, managing director of Blueair sister company Bluewater, publicly appealed for more global action on dealing with the risks of contaminated drinking water. “From Swiss lakes to Canadian streams to aquifers deep underground, we see water increasingly being ‘poisoned’ by a cocktail of agricultural runoffs, hormones, antibiotics and other contaminants in ever growing amounts,” he warned.
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
WISE UP! Want to improve your indoor air? Here’s some concrete advice from all of us at Blueair. So you think your indoor air is clean? Detergents and household cleaners, aerosol sprays, shoe polish, hair wax, paints, and glues are just some of the everyday chemicals that can release air pollution into your home. This may come as a surprise, but even the water that pipes into homes can be a source of air pollution. Every time you heat water (on a stove, in a kettle, or when steam ironing clothes), you can evaporate VOC chemicals trapped inside and release them into the air. And that shiny new shower curtain could be releasing VOCs if it’s made from a type of plastic called PVC. Cut the chemicals Are you sure you need to spray an air freshener to make your home feel nice? OKAY, the perfume may smell nice, but you’re also choking your air with chemical pollution. Why not just open a window instead? Or turn on your Blueair indoor air purifier? How many chemicals do you really need to use? A tip is to try cleaning with microfiber cloths instead of using detergents. Don’t smoke indoors (preferably don’t smoke at all) Cigarettes contain an addictive chemical called nicotine, which makes you want to go on smoking them. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes cause all kinds of health problems and also cause very localized air pollution. By the way, did you know that one of the 20th century’s most famous ad campaigns was run by a tobacco brand (who shall remain nameless) who used a rugged, handsome man, almost always with cigarette in his mouth. Tragically, at least four actors who ‘played’ him in the ads are reputed to have died of smoking-related diseases.
SERVING INDIA THE WORLD’S BEST INDOOR AIR PURIFIERS
INDIA IN BRIEF India is a big nation. With 1.24 billion citizens, India ranks the second most populated country on the planet and the world’s largest democracy with power shared between central government and 28 states. The diversity of climate, culture and language is huge, while India’s civilization predates that of Europe. Modern India has a fast-growing and powerful economy, although it is still tackling huge social, economic and environmental problems. Since the late 1980s, India has achieved huge strides across a wide spectrum of industries, not least information technology where a skilled workforce makes the nation attractive to a host of international companies. Evidence of India’s technology prowess came with space program that has seen it send a spacecraft to the moon in 2008 and in September, 2014, successfully sent a probe to Mars, sending back stunning photographs and prompting a deal with NASA for joint missions to the red planet. India’s cultural heritage is rich and as diverse as its people, dating back several millennia and reflected today by a massive cinema industry producing the most widely-watched films in the world.
BLUEAIR GLOBE, OCTOBER 2014
Anyone who has visited India’s most populated cities will know how bad air pollution can get. Now Blueair has established its own wholly-owned subsidiary in India to bring its health and wellbeing enhancing premium indoor air purifiers to the country’s city dwellers. Blueair Globe explores the people, the culture and the pollution issues of the world’s second most populous country. And we get the insights of the man charged to drive Blueair’s India entry, Vijay Kannan. How big is the indoor air purifier market in India? Air pollution is as big a concern in India as it is globally. And although the indoor air purification industry in India is still in its early stages, there is growing awareness of the problem, which means there is a potentially good marketplace for delivering people cleaner, healthier air at home or work. We can be a real force for good because India has an estimated 15-20 million asthmatics. Another alarming fact is that there is evidence that 10-15 percent of 5-11 years old kids have asthma!
How big is India’s air pollution problem? WHO has said that New Delhi is the worst city in the world for air pollution. Other big Indian cities also suffer major air pollution, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. The growing demand, urban population, per capita income, institutional sector and foreign investment will surely fuel the growth of the air purification industry over the coming years. potential and have started foraying into India.
How will Blueair appeal to the Indian consumer? Blueair officially started its India operations in July 2014 so we are still creating our national infrastructure. Blueair is a premium Swedish air purifier brand globally and this is what we will promote in the local Indian marketplace as well. Globally, we have been serving the best air purifiers in the world, which puts us in the position of having the best knowledge about how to tackle indoor air purification.
What is the roll-out plan? We have started our operations in Delhi for now and then will move into the Mumbai and Bangalore markets. We are clear in our strategy as premium brand and will market in a right way to access our premium end-customers, who are positioned in these highly populated metro cities. We want to pamper our premium customers with high quality after services.
India has not a tradition of big name retail stores (Harrods, Bloomingdales etc), how will you overcome this? The retail industry in India always has been tricky due to past unfavorable policies and tax structure. However, we have seen things improving in recent years and with the new stable government in place, we have high hopes that retail will open-up more going forward.
What is your background and what makes you tick as a market builder? I have been technology savvy since my childhood, which saw me graduate from university with B.Tech in Electronics and Telecommunications. I started my career in research and development, but soon I realized my real interest was sales and marketing, with a focus on engineering industrial products. I worked as a management consultant for a decade supporting a wide spectrum of Swedish technological companies who wanted to enter and expand their businesses in India, mainly within IT, Telecom/MVAS, retail, MedTech, HVAC, automotive, furniture, environment and many other luxury brands.
What I think about Blueair
VIJAY KANNAN Favorite music: I often miss my college days when I could play my guitar when I wanted. Ah! I simply love music. It keeps me balanced in life, which is a great stress-buster. I like slow romantic Bollywood songs over the weekend, hard rock, jazz, blues and trance when driving and, when home alone, it’s jazz instrumentals!
Favorite artist: I love Bollywood numbers of Lucky Ali, Shaan and Sonu Nigam. On the western side, I like Bryan Adams, Enrique Iglesias, Ville Valo, Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Pitbull, Bob Marley, AeroSmith, AC/DC; oh, the list can go endlessly :)
Photo: Oskar Bakke
What does your job involve? Blueair has just launched in India and my job is to build the company and team as well as manage day-to-day business activities from sales and marketing to making sure our products are correctly perceived to deliver high quality performance.
What is your impression of Blueair as a company? Blueair is a forward-thinking company with very committed people who work hard to deliver great air cleaners with the best design and technology for purifying indoor air of just about every known pollutant. It’s nice to be able to tell people that I can help them live healthier lives.
What is so great about the job you are doing today? In my past job with the Swedish Export Council I have brought many Swedish brands to India, mostly from established industries. But now with Blueair the role is even wider as I need to not only launch a product, but also educate people and boost awareness about the problem of bad indoor air quality, something that has not been on their personal agenda. It’s very exciting to open a new business category. In a way, I see it as bringing a special gift to my own country, India… giving people the chance to breathe air as clean as nature intended.
Finally, what is your favorite color of Sense — and why? Sense is our designer category of air purifiers, which are very appealing to people looking for design that is modern and ‘cool’. My personal favorites are the blue and pink colors, which I believe clearly define modern Indian youth attitudes.
is published by Blueair AB, Sweden, Editor under Swedish Law: Henrik Fernsund, Layout and illustrations: Matilda Hübinette, written by David Noble, Copyright Blueair AB, Stockholm, Sweden
WHO LUNG DISEASE WARNING Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, WHO predicts. COPD is the umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow and includes 'chronic bronchitis' and 'emphysema'. The main causes are tobacco smoking, indoor air pollution (such as biomass fuel used for cooking and heating), outdoor air pollution and work-related dusts and chemicals (vapors, irritants, and fumes). The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, or a 'need for air', excessive sputum production, and a chronic cough. However, COPD is not just simply a "smoker's cough", but an under-diagnosed, life threatening lung disease that may progressively lead to death.
INDOOR MOLD THREAT Damp and mold in homes could pose a significant health risk to people with asthma says a new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Reviewing the findings from 17 studies in eight different countries, the research was carried out by a team at the UK’s University of Exeter Medical School. It is said to be the first time all of the information relating to mold and asthma has been gathered and analyzed together.
FLOUR IN THE AIR CAN CAUSE ASTHMA Flour has been identified as the main cause of workplace asthma in France, closely followed by cleaning products. In the largest study of its kind undertaken in France, research carried out by a team at University Hospital Strasborg revealed that women were more likely to be diagnosed with occupational asthma (43 per million compared with 29 per million seen in men). The highest incidence rate was seen in people working in the manufacture of food products and beverages (279 per million) compared with those working in agriculture (160 per million).
TRAFFIC POLLUTION LINKED TO HIGHER LEVELS OF OBESITY HORMONE Older people exposed to high levels of black carbon – the fine particle air pollution from traffic – may have increased levels of leptin, a hormone linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, a new study suggests. Although the research doesn't establish a cause-andeffect relationship between black carbon exposure and leptin levels, the study authors said their findings could help explain the association between traffic-related air pollution and the risk for heart disease. Based on analysis of levels of leptin in the blood of 765 older adults living in Boston, USA,, the study, led by Gregory Wellenius of Brown University, revealed a strong link between exposure to black carbon and leptin levels.
AIR IN U.S. CITIES GETTING CLEANER The air in American cities is getting safer to breathe, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports. Significant progress has been made in reducing levels of harmful substances in urban air in recent decades, the agency said in a news release. Since 1990, there has been a nearly 60-percent reduction in mercury from human sources such as coal-fired plants, a 66-percent decline in benzene, and an 84-percent fall in lead, which harms brain development in children. About 3 million tons per year of pollutants such as particulate matter and sulfur dioxide have also been reduced from cars and trucks, the EPA said. There has been a reduction of about 1.5 million tons per year of hazardous air pollutants such as arsenic, benzene, lead and nickel from stationary sources, and another reduction of 1.5 million tons per year of these pollutants from mobile sources, according to the agency.
-60% MERCURY -66% BENZENE -84% LEAD