EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard has visited Kilbarrack Fire Station in Dublin because it is the only carbon neutral fire station in Europe. In order to become carbon neutral, a range of measures were implemented at the station to reduce energy consumption. These included installation of a high efficiency gas boiler with heating controls, light upgrading, pipe replacement lagged to the highest standard, and solar panel installation.
Kilbarrack Fire Station has implemented a ‘Green Plan’ to highlight the importance of sustainability and their social responsibility. Having reduced their energy consumption by 80 per cent they have now become an inspiration for all of Dublin.
“The whole story of the Green Plan started with the recycling of batteries in Kilbarrack fire station. We realised there was a green and moral conscience to take part in this project,” says Neil McCabe (pictured), firefighter and Green Plan manager.
The success of the Green Plan has allowed the fire station to complete over 354 individual and renewable projects that has saved energy while cutting costs. These include a rainwater harvester that collects 14,000 litres of water every ten days. By drawing on the other expertise among its staff, the station installed their own wind turbines, introduced a vegetable patch and now recycles almost 40 per cent of all waste.
The saving potential for Europe through improved recycling is huge; currently, well over 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are being saved through recycling activities each year.