20. September 2021 | Press release

DPD Ireland launches unique Air Quality Monitoring initiative

DPD Ireland uses their fleet to track Dublin Air Quality in the capital


DPD Ireland is today launching its Air Quality Monitoring programme, which uses smart sensors on buildings and delivery vans to track Dublin’s air quality in real-time. The information will be shared for free with leading universities, local authorities, the Asthma Society of Ireland, and the public, as part of a new sustainability initiative by the company to support awareness around Dublin’s air quality.

The parcel-delivery company has partnered with Pollutrack* to install air quality sensors on 22 buildings and 102 vehicles in the capital. They are working closely with universities and Dublin City Council, and have installed sensors in libraries, DPD depots, leading universities, schools and a fire station.

The laser sensors capture Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 levels in real time at breathing level, and transmit the data every 12 seconds via GSM to a database developed by the air quality monitoring company, Pollutrack. PM2.5** is generated in particular by the burning of fossil fuels and can be harmful if it enters the lungs or blood stream, especially for people with asthma. 

DPD Ireland chief executive Des Travers said the company is installing the sensors across Dublin city as an act of faith, using its existing fleet for a social good.

He said,

“If we put the right information in the right hands, we hope to make a positive influence on people’s lives in Dublin. Our vans are gathering incredible data about Dublin’s air quality, which we will give to universities and city authorities. It is our gift to Dublin, because information inspires action.”

With urban mobility accounting for 40% of all CO2 emissions of road transport and consumers becoming more concerned by air quality, he said that transport companies “have a responsibility to act in a sustainable manner and to measure and continually reduce their impact on the environment by innovating and adapting their processes.”

The data produces air quality maps and hotspots - areas which detect higher than average PM2.5 levels most of the time. Anybody can check the quality of their own street by logging onto Air Diag*** - a portal to see how much PM2.5 is in the air at your doorstep.

DPD Ireland is working in liaison with Dublin City Council and the Environmental Protection Agency**** on this project. Dublin City Council has supported the installation of sensors at multiple sites including libraries, a bring centre and a fire station. The project also sees DPD sharing the data with leading Dublin universities DCU, UCD and TCD, each of which hosts a sensor on their campus.DCU researchers at the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics are providing analysis on these sensor datasets to aid in better decision-making by stakeholders.

Scoil Úna Naofa and Oatlands Primary School and St. Andrew’s College Secondary School are also involved and each host a sensor on the school grounds. The Asthma Society of Ireland, Irish Doctors for the Environment, Children’s Health Ireland, Smart Dublin and UCC will also receive data from the project. All project partners will use the data to support studies into the impact of PM levels on health and society, aiming to ultimately improve our understanding of Dublin air quality. 

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland commented:

“Air quality is becoming a bigger problem in Ireland, and in particular Dublin. We commend DPD Ireland for taking concrete steps which will help us all understand the causes of air pollution in Dublin city so we can put plans in place to address it”.

Part of a wider project

This air quality monitoring programme has already been rolled out by DPDgroup in 15 European cities including Paris, Madrid, London, Berlin and Glasgow.

DPD Ireland is also leading the charge towards electric vehicles as part of a €2m fleet decarbonisation programme. The parcel delivery firm has already deployed 30 new electric delivery vehicles in 2021 and it plans to have 250 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2025.


About DPD Ireland

DPD Ireland has 37 depots nationwide and currently employs over 2,000 people. DPD Ireland is part of DPDgroup - the largest international parcel delivery network in Europe. They have 500 pickup points and delivered 36 million parcels in 2020. DPD Ireland has developed the best technology to provide the best delivery experience.  DPD has the only fully automated parcel sortation hub in Ireland and it is growing. In 2020, DPD Ireland invested €2m in increasing its sortation capacity in Athlone, bringing the total investment to €38m. As the company prepare for future growth, a further €1M worth has been invested in depot and hub equipment, as well as making changes in terms of infrastructure to the Network.  


About DPDgroup

DPDgroup is Europe’s second largest parcel delivery network.

DPDgroup combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers. With its industry-leading Predict service, DPDgroup is setting a new standard for convenience by keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery.

DPDgroup aims to be a reference in sustainable delivery and become a leading enabler of e-commerce acceleration. With more than 97000 delivery experts and a network of more than 58000 Pickup points, DPDgroup delivers 7,5 million parcels each day through the brands DPD, Chronopost, SEUR and BRT.

DPDgroup is the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, which posted sales of €11 billion in 2020. GeoPost is a holding company owned by Le Groupe La Poste.



*About Pollutrack

Pollutrack, the very first mobile tracking system of fine particles PM2.5 was originally conceived and tested in Paris during the COP21. Having successfully proven the heterogeneity of air quality across the streets of Paris, hundreds of vehicles from the national electricity operator Enedis were then equipped with Pollutrack laser sensors and deployed nationally.

The European deployment with DPDgroup is a major step forward for this innovative way of monitoring air quality at breathing level, to the direct benefit of all citizens. 



**PM2.5 is Particulate Matter measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter. PM2.5, whether primary (directly from the exhaust pipe and other endogenic sources (street works, heating...)) or secondary (due to gas recombination outside of the vehicle), is the ultimate expression of all pollutants, especially secondary PM2.5 that results directly from the combination of NO2/NO3 and NH3 (diesel AdBlue + agriculture). Fine monitoring of the ultimate by-product, PM2.5, allows a fair estimate of its main precursor’s whereabouts, especially nitrogen dioxide NO2 and ammonia NH3.

 *** AirDiag is a website where anyone can enter their street address anonymously to check what the average PM2.5 levels are at their doorstep. Click the link below to access the site: https://www.dpdgroup.pollutrack.net/?token=356ca33fd99e5664475aa0afe1dce07247c9cbe25a4f32bea4b4b7f03faf1937fe8279fab3c296afce57d18dd709d7123483ca8e1e9d1889d3b4016184323366&lang=ie-dub_en

Shortened URL: https://bit.ly/3BUw92j                                

**** The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have fixed location monitoring stations across Dublin and Ireland which record real-time air quality data (PM2.5, PM10, NO2, ……), the data from the EPA stations is available at airquality.ie

World Lung Day is September 25th.

For further information, please contact

Jacqueline O'Hanlon