As companies’ air pollutant emissions are regulated by governments who require mandatory reporting, many companies disclose their air pollutant emissions in their annual CSR/Sustainability report.
When analysing the emissions of air pollutants of a business, you should look to report the yearly, absolute quantity of pollutants emitted.
Make sure to describe the scale of the impact by taking into account:
1/ The breadth of the impact
Is the impact local, national, or global? Where are the air pollutants emitted?
How many people are concerned? Thousands? Millions? Billions?
2/ The depth of the impact
Is the life of people concerned deeply affected, or does the issue just marginally impact them?
Are the changes brought by the issue profoundly changing society or the planet?
3/ The persistence of the impact
After reporting the company’s overall air pollutants and the scale of the impact, you should benchmark these emissions. This will further help readers assess the scale and value of the impact. How significant are they?
How can you do that?
Then compare the company’s emissions with the industry average, or a close competitor if that number is not available.
If company or industry comparison is not available, then you may compare it to the country's emissions of pollutants. The OECD stats website is a helpful start: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=AIR_EMISSIONS#.
Avoid comparing the company’s year-on-year release of air pollutants as this leads to writing about remediation measures. Always remember to give the broader impact first.
In your analysis, make sure you add value to your readers and go beyond the company’s CSR report by not merely reporting data from the company’s report, but going the extra mile of providing additional metrics, studies, and sources to make your analysis robust and the impact value and scale are clear.