Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has given its commitment to achieving a cleaner, natural environment by pledging to cut CO2 emissions by 25% over the next 5 years, as part of its new Carbon Management Plan. 

Launched on March 24, as part of Climate Week (March 21-27), at the new energy efficient Armagh Fire Station, NIFRS Carbon Management Plan 2011-2016 was developed as part of a collaborative project involving the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services and the Carbon Trust to reduce carbon emissions as part of the fight against climate change.  

Peter Craig, Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service told FIRE: "As a frontline public service, we believe in leading by example and in doing what we can to reduce our environmental impact. The link between carbon emissions and climate change is well documented and as a fire and rescue service we respond to emergency incidents related to extreme weather conditions such as flooding and wildland fires.  We see the impact these types of incidents have on the public and the natural environment and so it is important we focus on reducing our own environmental impact and work to improve our natural environment.      

"Good environmental performance also makes good business sense and in the challenging economic climate that we all find ourselves in, it has never been more important to look at ways of reducing our carbon emissions so that in the long run we can deliver real and lasting financial savings as well as contribute to the betterment of our environment. Our Carbon Management Plan gives us that focus over the next 5 years." 

Peter Murray, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, and Chair of the Chief Fire Officers Association Scotland (CFOAS) Environmental Group said: "It is a great privilege to be taking part in the launch of the NIFRS Carbon Management Plan. This represents a significant step in the progress that has been made since the CFOAS Environmental Group was formed in 2009. The coming together in a cohort of 9 Fire Services and the Scottish Fire Service College has created a momentum behind the fire services contribution to environmental protection. There is a tremendous amount of work which goes into creating these plans and I am extremely pleased that NI Fire & Rescue Service has been able to work with Scottish Fire Services in partnership to produce such a worthy product". 

Geoff Smyth, Manager, Carbon TrustNI said: "We commend NIFRS for the leadership and commitment they have shown in developing their 2011-2016 Carbon Management Plan.  The plan represents a best practice response to the carbon reduction targets set by the NI Executive in the Programme for Government and in the Sustainable Development Strategy.  We would encourage all other public sector bodies in NI who have yet to commit to a carbon reduction plan to follow the lead given by NIFRS.  The actions detailed by NIFRS will not only address the pressing need for carbon emissions reductions but they will also achieve substantial energy cost savings thereby delivering a win-win for the environment and the public purse." 


Posted: 12.14am, 25.03.11