The objective of the Police Service Northern Ireland is to Keep People Safe and our Sustainability Strategy helps the organisation play a responsible role in the community, and reduce environmental impacts as we deliver a world class policing service.
Every organisation has an impact on its environment and the community. For a large organisation like the Police Service of Northern Ireland these can be very significant over time and they affect both our local community and contribute to global effects. There are over 9000 staff travelling to and from work,154 buildings and sites, 950 photocopier/ printers and around 3000 vehicles. An organisation of the this size consumes a significant volume of resources such as water, energy, vehicle fuel, we create emissions, produce hazardous and non- hazardous waste, and waste water which needs to be processed.
There are legislative requirements which mean that increasingly the Police Service must be able to identify and manage our environmental impacts, but as part of our community it is also the right thing to do and it makes sound business sense for us to manage our resources effectively with reducing budgets set to continue.
The Police Service Northern Ireland Sustainability Delivery Group (SDG) has been working for some time, jointly chaired by the Director of Finance and Support Services and ACC Operational Support to identify, manage and reduce impacts in a way that supports our business objectives, reduces our environmental impact and helps reduce financial pressures.
There have been significant successes, this year the organisation achieved a Silver Award at the Arena Network Environmental Benchmarking Survey, and appointed a new Sustainability Manager. The Police Service Northern Ireland uses social clauses in contracts so that our suppliers must offer jobs and apprenticeships to those who need them most as part of the delivery of our major contracts. The Police Service Northern Ireland has reduced water use year on year and by 70% since 2005, the energy used by police buildings is reducing steadily and has come down by 18% since 1999.
The Sustainability Delivery group is currently developing an Environmental Management System (EMS) to systematically manage our environmental impacts responsibly , ensure we comply with the law and help us save money.
The first step in creating an EMS is to conduct a baseline review or Initial Environmental Review (IER). The IER is now under way.
The primary purpose of the IER is to:
- Understand the environmental impacts of the Police Service Northern Ireland;
- Identify and understand the environmental legislation which applies to the Police Service Northern Ireland;
- Highlight areas of good practice, bad practice and any legal non-compliances;
- Understand how the EMS could best be introduced; and
- Identify associated cost savings in resource management.