Posted: Tuesday 20th October 2015
What does sustainability mean to you? To me it’s thinking about how we as organisations can ensure our environmental longevity, making the most of the resources we have at our disposal and operating day-to-day in a more environmentally friendly way.
I believe that as a public body, the Police and my office have a duty to reduce our CO2 emissions as part of our commitment to long-term sustainability. This area of business is something that that I look at regularly and as a result we have already commissioned initiatives such as solar panels and a biomass boiler at Police Headquarters. We’re also progressing plans to have a wind turbine to help generate electricity for the Constabulary while continuing to focus on limiting emissions.
Earlier this year I encouraged members of my team to take part in the Big Commuting Challenge, by registering our organisation as a team. This is an annual initiative which aims to get as many people as possible across the South West commuting to work by walking, cycling, using public transport and lift-sharing. The journeys you make are then logged and you can collect points as a team. Throughout the duration of the challenge myself and members of my team made over 90 journeys, covering over 1200 miles and saving over 130kg of carbon emissions compared with making the same journeys by car.
However, this is something that we should all be thinking about doing on a regular basis and not just for a few months of the year. The Constabulary support this longer term view by hosting various Sustainable Travel Roadshows to raise awareness of and support individuals who are committed to being greener. I visited the Constabulary’s latest roadshow and found advice being offered in relation to public transport and alternative ways of commuting and how a bike can make a smoothie from pedal power alone.
Being more sustainable and environmentally friendly is also the focus of new electric bikes that are being introduced across the Avon and Somerset Police force area. The new bikes are being issued to local Neighbourhood Teams to conduct their policing business across the communities they serve, both day-to-day and at local events. I recently had the privilege of trying out one of the electric bikes, riding it into Bristol for a meeting I had with Bristol Mayor George Ferguson. I can honestly say I loved it and it’s something that’s definitely going on my Christmas wish list!
Whether it’s recycling your rubbish, driving an electric car or thinking of investing in a wind turbine there’s many ways that we can all get involved and do our bit to be greener. For the Constabulary and I, we’ll continue to look to identifying local opportunities to save energy and fuel and to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. This is our local community, on our planet and I’m sure you’ll agree that we want to look after it for as long as we can for generations to come.