In the Summer of 2020, the Service published our third 5-year Sustainability and Environmental Strategy 2020-2025 which layout the commitment to sustainable practices over the next 5 years.
Over the last number of years, the Service has taken huge strides forward and achieved a number of environmental goals and objectives outlined within the Sustainability and Environment Strategy 2015-2020 including:
- Community engagement in relation to arson and wildfires;
- Sustainable procurement;
- Renewable energy initiatives and utility monitoring;
- Improvements in waste and recycling Service-wide;
- Introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles fleet and electric charging points;
- Services first Biodiversity Action Plan 2020-2023
Over the past year, the Service has not recorded any contravention of environmental legislation nor has been responsible for any pollution incidents.
What we're doing about it
The Service utilises supported business frameworks such as the Value Wales Furniture framework and are currently working with Ministry of Furniture to utilise recycled furniture and as an example the offices at Service Headquarters, Carmarthen have been kitted out with recycled furniture, as was the Llanfair Caereinion Fire Station internal refurbishment project.
As well as the sustainable procurement conditions, our Suppliers and Contractors are requested to declare their own environmental credentials and to confirm their understanding of our expectations of the Service.
The Service has a legal obligation to consider the waste hierarchy when handling waste. The hierarchy sets out, in order of priority, the waste management options to consider. It ranks the waste management options according to what is best for the environment and places emphasis on waste prevention before reuse and recycling and only after these options are considered should waste be disposed of through landfill.
The Service re-purpose and re-use surplus materials internally and externally where possible and in particular to the below organisations:
- The Service has donated a large amount of surplus used office furniture to Enfys Foundation (furniture upcycling for disadvantaged persons)
- All worn Large Good Vehicle (LGV) tyres are sent back to ATS who inspect and then recycle the tyres as pitches and area coverings on children’s playgrounds
- Ministry of Furniture provide the Service with office furniture from upcycled and damaged stock.
The Service has been working with Business Wales and their predecessors for around 14 years in terms of breaking down barriers to enable small to medium enterprises (SME’s) to tender for public sector work. This includes ‘Meet the Buyer’ events for large projects to allow SME’s to bid for sub-contracting opportunities.
The Service includes contract clauses that encourage Suppliers to develop a proactive approach to equalities, ethical and environmental issues and procurement personnel receive sustainability training.
The Service stipulates environmentally friendly products within specifications where possible e.g. stationery and janitorial supplies frameworks.
The Service has a number of environmental aspects and impacts relating to our everyday operations.
Environmental aspects are the elements of Fire Service activities that could cause an impact on the environment.
A Register was developed from the Initial Environmental Review and from consideration of the Service’s activities and operations. Those with significant impacts are addressed in the Register of Environmental Aspects document.
An overview of the significant aspects is reviewed annually to ensure they are still relevant and to ensure no new significant aspects or impacts need to be included.
There is a mixture of aspects within the Register which are considered to have a Service wide impact including areas of Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Waste Management and Energy. The Service has 5 significant aspects which are considered to be high risk which are covered under the following:
- Water Pollution and Site Drainage
- Energy consumption and CO2 production
- Fleet Vehicles and business travel
- Potential pollution during Firefighting.
The criteria used for evaluation are described in more detail within our EMS. The criteria for the significant environmental aspects and impacts are determined by the following:
- assessing the scale of the aspect and impact
- determining if the aspects are controlled by any legislation
- determining if the aspect poses a threat to corporate reputation and
- determining if the aspect effect the carbon emissions or the organisation.
The Aspects and Impacts Register is included within the remit of the Annual External Green Dragon verification which ensures compliance.