How Leicestershire Police manages its environmental impacts
Leicestershire Police is actively managing our impact on the environment and identifying opportunities to reduce our adverse impacts.
The environmental portfolio is led by our Finance Director, Mr Paul Dawkins. His role is to:-
- Lead the environmental agenda on behalf of our Chief Officers,
- Contribute to the Force achieving our environmental objectives,
- Ensure that funds are made available to further improve our environmental performance,
- Chair the Strategic Finance and Infrastructure Board to facilitate debate on environmental issues,
- Champion the management of key environmental issues at the Strategic Finance and Infrastructure Board,
- Ensure that the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Officer Team are kept fully informed of our environmental performance and factor environmental issues into their decision making process.
Energy usage in buildings
The force uses a significant amount of electricity and gas to run its buildings. This can make a significant contribution to the emission of climate change gases as well as the consumption of non-renewable resources. There are also significant costs associated with the use of these utilities including the climate change levy. These costs divert funds away from policing activities.
Energy usage continues to fall within the force estate. The carbon emissions associated with our use of electricity and gas have fallen as follows:-
- 2014/15 – 5,712 tonnes
- 2013/14 – 5,766 tonnes
- 2012/13 – 5,856 tonnes
The carbon emissions associated with building energy use have fallen by 28% in four years, this means we were close to reaching the target that we set as part of our carbon management plan which aimed for a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by the end of March 2015 compared to a baseline set in 2010/11.
We have continued with our estates strategy during the year and have carried out a number of refurbishments and building replacements. Where new buildings have replaced old buildings we have included arrays of solar panels so that we’re able to generate our own energy.
IT upgrades associated with the force agile working initiative has allowed us to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the use of static IT systems.
The use of vehicles for business and operational purposes
The force fleet drives a significant amount of miles each year for policing activities. The Force uses both its official vehicles and the grey fleet (members of staffs’ personal vehicles). This also contributes to climate change through the emission of exhaust gases and uses non-renewable resources. Driving for work also creates risks for staff safety, particularly since a lot of this driving will involve responding to emergencies.
The number of miles driven in operational vehicles has fallen from 7,346,598 miles in 2013/14 to 5,328,537 during 2014/15.
The number of miles driven in hire cars has fallen from 929,556 miles in 2013/14 to 834,258 miles in 2014/15.
The number of miles driven in personal vehicles has fallen from 593,364 miles in 2013/14 to 589,881 miles during 2014/15.
We are also looking to further improve our approach to staff commuting during the next year to ensure that the environmental impact and risks associated with driving to work are minimised.
Agile working has been rolled out as an initiative during the last year. This includes the use of Microsoft Lync which enables meetings to take place remotely rather than staff having to meet face to face. The initiative allows for better use of space, thus reducing pressure on the capacity of our buildings. In addition, due to the fact that staff can work in buildings which are closer to their home addresses, there should be a significant positive effect on commuting mileage.
Improvements have been made to our vehicle tracking systems which will allow for better deployment of our vehicles reducing wasted miles. Pool vehicles have been made available at force headquarters which are easier to book than fleet vehicles. This should reduce the number of miles driven in personal vehicles.
Generation of waste
The force generates a large amount of waste from its activities but takes significant effort to try to minimise these. The waste generated can also contribute to climate change if taken to landfill sites. It also can cause pollution if it is not disposed of correctly.
We have reduced our generation of paper which then needs to be disposed of by introducing ‘follow me printing’. This ensures that staff are less likely to print documents for meetings. This is supported by the agile working initiative as staff have access to laptops to refer to rather than needing to print out paper.
E-payslips have been developed to further reduce the amount of paper which is generated and sent out.
We have found innovative ways to divert waste away from landfill sites. We supplied Twycross Zoo with lighting and heating equipment from a cannabis farm recently which has allowed them to run their butterfly farm.
Improvements have been made to our waste contracts which means that, while we dispose of more waste than before – 414 tonnes of waste as opposed to 309 in 2013/14, over 88% of our waste is recycled.
Water usage in buildings
The Force uses water in running its buildings. This water is becoming more and more of a scarce resource and again there are implications for climate change.
During 2014/15 we used 30,502 cubic metres of water, which is a slight increase on previous years where we used 30,398 cubic metres during 2013/14.
Management of pollution
There is a risk of pollution from the oil we use for buildings. This could cause significant pollution if it spilled. We have significant controls over this taking place and minimise these risks.