Councils are sending out the message to contractors that they must have a clean fuel policy if they expect to be awarded deals to provide services.
The London Borough of Camden last week organised a seminar for its contractors to discuss working on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and King's Cross underground station redevelopment on how they can contribute to improving air quality in the area.
The seminar was organised to encourage service providers to adopt environmental policies on particulates and nitrogen dioxide, and Camden Council says fleet clean fuel policies will play a greater role in deciding which companies to award contracts to in future.
Quentin Given, manager of pollution projects at Camden, said: 'The environmental conditions for the rail link project are laid down in legislation so we have no powers over companies involved in that.
'But we are reviewing our waste contract next year and there will be air quality conditions in that, and we already have similar conditions in our highway maintenance contract.
'We are not just looking at service providers meeting the minimum requirements, but those who have invested in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Recently we brought our housing maintenance contract in-house, and have bought 100 LPG vans to work in that department. We are showing that we take the environment seriously and we expect our contractors to do the same.'
Given added that companies can expect to find air quality conditions to be imposed more frequently when dealing with local authorities with large urban areas.