Posted by Tony Flynn on 3rd July 2012 at 02:28 PM
Green efforts by GMFRS recognised with award
More efficient fire engines and fitter and healthier staff have led to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service being recognised for its efforts to be greener for the second year running with a Ways2Work Big Tick award.
Greener fire engines, reductions in fuel consumption - which have made GMFRS a saving despite cost increases - and initiatives like the cycle-to-work scheme have helped scoop the award for the fire service.
A BigTick recognises inspirational programmes that are making a positive impact on the community, the environment or wider society and is awarded by Business in The Community - a business-led charity focused on promoting responsible business practice.
The award was given to the service for its Green Travel Programme which has been reducing the carbon footprint the service its staff leaves while at the same time saving money and encouraging them to be fitter and healthier.
GMFRS was awarded the BigTick for the first time in 2011 and has just been reaccredited for 2012.
Sam Pickles, Environment Manager for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This is a fantastic achievement - it shows that not only did we do the hard work once to get this recognition but we are building on that success with a long-term commitment to working smarter.
"We are looking at everything we do to be more environmentally friendly - from how our staff and firefighters get to work, what vehicles we use to get to emergencies and how people drive when they are out working for us."
GMFRS was given the BigTick for a number of sustainable travel initiatives. An on going programme to use new fire engines with reduced weight, engine management systems and automatic speed limiting has shown significant success in terms of fuel savings.
Fuel costs have increased by around 11p per litre (10 per cent) in the last year but the service has actually managed to save £19,000.
More than 30 per cent of staff have bought a bike through the cycle-to-work scheme (up from 20 per cent when GMFRS was first awarded a BigTick).
Staff have been driving some of the ideas themselves through a new scheme to offer resources to support staff-suggested sustainability ideas with a clear business case.
This has resulted in nine new sustainability projects / technology trials including micro-wind turbines, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting.
GMFRS has also exceeded its own ambitious target of a five per cent annual decrease in direct CO2 emissions.
If the target of 25 per cent reduction across five years is met, then (by 2014) the service will have achieved a saving of more than 1900 tonnes of CO2 emitted, with a cost saving of more than £950,000 from fuel alone.
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