Focuses on all environmental impacts on the atmosphere at both the local and global levels (e.g. greenhouse gases/climate change, mercury and other emissions).

Airborne byproducts from firm activities can include greenhouse gases (GHG’s) and air pollutants (e.g. particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, etc.).  GHG’s such as carbon dioxide and methane contribute to climate change, a major threat to ecosystems, natural resources, human health, and infrastructure. While the changes in average temperature and sea level seem modest, some regions are already more likely to experience extreme temperatures, extreme humidity, storms, or droughts.  Air pollutants such as sulfur oxides, radon, heavy metals, and particulates can cause direct harm on public health and ecosystems on a more local scale. 

Responsible firms manage the emissions of their direct operations, the use phase of their products, and have high standards for their suppliers.  The majority of GHG emissions are related to the production and use of fossil fuels, but many other industrial or agricultural processes also cause emissions.  Air quality contamination comes from a variety of sources including factories, power plants, and smelters.  In addition to using more efficient processes, firms can install devices that filter out pollutants.