We aim to be a leader in sustainable development in the UK’s fire and rescue services. Our Sustainable Development Strategy defines social, economic and environmental aspects as areas to be covered.
Sustainable Development Strategy 2016-20
We have targets on key areas including carbon reduction and spend with Small to Medium Enterprises. Performance against these areas and more is published in our Sustainable Development Annual Reports.
Our Responsible Procurement policy sets out how we deliver sustainability through the goods, services and works we source and our supply, including apprenticeships and the London Living Wage.
We operate an Environmental Management System for the whole Brigade, with certification to ISO 14001 covering our management functions and 10 fire stations that represent our highest risk sites.
We have a target of 45% reduction of CO2 against 1990 levels and have an aspiration to achieve carbon neutrality by 2100. We continue to make energy efficiency improvements across our sites. We have achieved savings of over £5m since our work in this area began some 10 years ago.
Water is an important resource for us. Our programme of station energy efficiency improvements includes water efficiency measures such as low flow taps and waterless urinals.
We are one of the first organisations to have been awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status in recognition of our move towards 100% of our fleet cars going electric in 2016. We are looking for further opportunities to move more of our fleet to low emission vehicles. Our Travel Plan outlines actions to support this and our approach to supporting staff to make more sustainable travel choices.
We consistently achieve a recycling rate over 95%. We also recycle uniforms and fire hoses. The fire hoses are made into belts and handbags for sale. We have joined WARP-it to increase our re-use of office furniture and equipment between our sites .
Our Biodiversity Action Plan focusses on how we can protect the natural environment in the way that we respond to incidents; and manage our estate and procurement to protect and enhance the natural environment.
We run a ‘Green Champions’ programme to encourage and support some 180 staff to take environmental actions, encouraging teams to work through a workbook of actions as part of the National Union of Students Green Impact programme, and we recognise their efforts through our annual awards. We aim to have at least one green champion per building.