Hero of the Month: Respire
In honor of surpassing 1M Lime Hero trips and donations exceeding $450K, we are thrilled to introduce a new monthly series called “Hero of the Month!”
Hero of the Month is a new series launched in November 2023 that aims to bring awareness and visibility to one of our global Lime Hero partners each month.
This month, we are spotlighting Respire out of France. Respire is the leading national NGO working on air pollution in France. Respire leads a national campaign against air pollution in schools.
We spoke with Tony Renucci, Executive Director, from Respire for a fireside Q&A.
Can you give us a brief overview on what you do?
I manage all the operations regarding Respire's activities: management of the employees and activists, communication campaigns, mobilizations, studies about air pollution and health effects, trials, paperwork and contractors, fundraising… literally everything that helps to raise awareness.
How does Respire measure its impact on France?
We do a lot of media so we can assess how our message is progressing thanks to our media coverage. Also, we advocate and engage with the government and the MPs so when the law is evolving positively, we see concretely how our work is going through.
What is your favorite part about Respire?
I love going to meet with grassroots movements throughout France to support and highlight their fight for cleaner air. I think it is also our role to give them strength and media audience as they are mobilizing with a minimum of means.
What is the biggest obstacle Respire faces?
Our biggest obstacle is the lack of political will. They are still the last one making a decision and we can’t change it. Sometimes, they will rather do something detrimental to public health to protect their own interests or some electors.
How did you get involved in Respire?
I was an activist and knew the previous director. When he decided to change jobs, he offered to take over and I accepted the challenge.
What was the biggest project you worked on in 2023? What was the impact?
We got the enforcement of the two wheeled technical inspection after suing the government, which didn’t want to respect the European directive. This technical inspection is important to check out the motorcycles and make sure they are safe and don’t emit too many pollutants. It was a long fight but we finally won and the decree was published. The inspection will start in April.
What's ahead for Respire?
We will launch a new campaign to restrict the use of SUV cars in the cities as they pollute more than other cars and are very dangerous on the road. We want to send a message to car makers in order to reverse the trend and build lighter vehicles.
Anything else you want to share?
Thanks to Lime donations, we can finance our structure costs like salaries and rent, so we are more comfortable and secure to work on our different projects and get the momentum that we had in 2023. Let’s keep it going!
Rapid Fire Questions
E-bike or E-Scooter?
Both :) but would use more an e-bike.
Favorite place to take a Lime in France?
Paris of course
Favorite part about partnering with Lime?
Partnering with a company which stands for the same values as ours, so we don’t feel guilty to own up to it.
Three words that describe Respire?
Freedom, public health, commitment
If Respire had a superhero mascot, who would it be and why?
Zoro, because sometimes I feel like we have to fight so much only for social justice.