12. May 2020 | Press release

The level of harmful airborne particles in Madrid dropped by 40% during the lockdown

  • While the city had previously exceeded the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), levels have now fallen to below the annual target set by the organisation. Hot spots outside the Madrid Central zone have also been reduced.
  • This information could be key in implementing potential environmental policies aimed at preventing the impact of PM2.5 on public health.

Madrid, 12 May 2020 – After almost two months of lockdown, it’s time to take stock of what this “pause” has meant for society. In addition to its effects on the general population and the economy, this stoppage of almost all activity has also had a number of beneficial impacts on the environment.


One of the most significant data points has been provided by SEUR, through an air quality monitoring programme implemented in Madrid by its international parent group, DPDgroup. The company has compared data collected from 9 March to 27 April with that obtained over the same number of weeks prior to the COVID-19 crisis, and the results are clear: a 40% reduction in PM2.5 particles has been detected in the capital during this period. Due to their microscopic size, these airborne pollution particles can be breathed in and are therefore harmful to humans.

According to the limits set by the WHO, many levels recorded before the State of Emergency were above the maximum daily limit (of 25 μg/m3) and slightly below the annual target (10 μg/m3), indicating a relatively high level of PM 2.5 pollution, both in average and peak values. However, during lockdown, levels have largely remained below the annual average target, and very few have exceeded the limit set by the WHO. What’s more, a drastic reduction in hot spots has been detected in the centre of Madrid, particularly outside the Madrid Central zone. However, there is still room for improvement, as despite the significant reduction in traffic, these particles are also produced (although to a lesser extent) by diesel and coal-fired boilers.

The air quality is measured by sensors installed in the company’s Pickup stores, urban hubs and delivery vehicles, which use Pollutrack laser technology to measure the amount of breathable PM2.5 particles in real time, street by street. SEUR has continued to operate during the State of Emergency, allowing it to continue collecting data on a regular basis.

The delivery company has made the tool available to its customers and recipients after receiving a shipment, as well as to public authorities. Having already implemented the initiative in cities such as Lisbon and Paris, DPDgroup will be expanding it to a total of 20 European cities over the coming months. Society demands cleaner air and DPDgroup is uniquely positioned to help.

The data collected during these weeks in lockdown could be used as a pilot test to assess the implementation of regulations aimed at preventing the impact of PM2.5 particles on public health.

As part of its DrivingChange programme, SEUR has been reducing and offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions over a number of years to mitigate its impact on the climate. The company has also decided to take concrete action to minimise air pollution and improve air quality for the community and its citizens, particularly in urban areas where the need is greatest.


About SEUR

Our 75 years of history have allowed us to be pioneers in the urgent transport in Spain, and the work of our 8,000 professionals lead the sector with three main areas of business: international, e-commerce and B2B business. We provide services to companies of all sizes and sectors, and as part of DPDgroup, one of the largest international urgent transport networks, we deliver all over the world.
SEUR constantly invests in innovation to be closer to our customers and offer them greater flexibility through solutions such as Predict, interactive system to arrange delivery, or Now, for super urgent deliveries in one or two hours.
SEUR commits to sustainable logistics with the integration of alternative delivery systems in large cities such as the use of ecological vehicles, our network of Pickup points with more than 2,300 local stores or the use of lockers and urban hubs.

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For more information

SEUR Communication and Brand department

Maite Garaycochea / Rocío Fraile


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