Fire service launches latest environmental sustainability strategy

Fire service launches latest environmental sustainability strategy

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched its latest environmental and sustainability strategy to build on the success of its previous plan and respond to the ongoing ‘climate emergency’.

The strategy, which launched on Tuesday (4 January 2022) focusses on five key areas including:

  1. Reducing waste
  2. Reducing energy usage
  3. Improving air quality
  4. Being more sustainable during operational incidents
  5. Generating more green space

The previous strategy, launched in 2011, aimed at environmental protection and led to an increased awareness of environmental issues and focussed on good practices such as turning off lights and increased recycling.

This latest plan aims at achieving change in line with the government’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

It is hoped that the strategy will have a positive impact across three distinct areas:

  1. Environment – by reducing pollutants
  2. Social – by improving air quality and work environments
  3. Economic – by reducing carbon footprints

As well we see improvements in our buildings and infrastructure, vehicles, incident prevention and mitigation as well as our culture in respect of our green spaces.

For example, during active fire-fighting in the case of wild-fires - we will now look to understand new tactics to extinguish fires more quickly, consider environmental protection as part of our plans and include this in training, as well as use more innovative equipment.

The service has already seen a marked decline in its carbon footprint from 3,898 tonnes per annum in 2011 to 2,300 in 2019.

Now, the service aims to achieve the following:

  • Reduce the amount of waste it incinerates from 85 percent to 35 to 50 percent
  • Review electricity and gas usage at all its sites – reducing the use of electricity by 10 percent and gas by 20 percent by 2030.

The service will also identify a number of ‘Green Champions’ to help colleagues to work towards these aims in the next five years.

Speaking of the latest strategy, Jim Bywater, Director of Response for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “As a fire service, we are committed to ensuring we are doing all we can to reduce our impact on the environment.

“This includes anything from turning off lights and making sure we recycle as much of our waste as we can, to bigger commitments.

“Operational firefighters work tirelessly to protect people and their property from the devastating damage that fire can cause, and so it makes sense that we should be concerned about protecting our environment too.

“By working together we plan to continue to reduce our carbon footprint and energy usage by investing in more environmentally-friendly vehicles, equipment and buildings as well as promoting green spaces and generating further sustainability ideas from all our staff.

“I look forward to working across the service and with our Green Champions to meet these ambitious, but achievable, aims.”

To read the strategy, visit: https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/media/dgclztpj/sfrs_environmental_strategy_2022-2027.pdf

To find out more about the work of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in our community, visit: Your Safety (staffordshirefire.gov.uk)

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