Environment and sustainability

Discover more about our commitment to the environment and understand our environmental strategy.

Environment & Sustainability at Avon Fire and Rescue Service 

As a public sector organisation serving our communities, it’s important that we lead by example, showing how we are addressing climate change and following environmental best practice. We have a responsibility to protect the environment throughout our activities and operations, whether mitigating pollution at incidents, or by using energy and fuel in a sustainable and efficient way. 

Embedding environmental best practice and being climate-responsible also presents us with many opportunities, and enables us to build resilience to climate change risks and rising energy costs, and demonstrate innovation in adopting new technologies and approaches. We aspire to be a positive example and catalyst for change too as we work with our colleagues throughout the fire and rescue and wider emergency services sector, our contractors and our partners.

We are proud to be an active member of the national Emergency Services Environment & Sustainability Group (ESESG), and a signatory to the ESESG Sustainability Charter. 

Our key commitments

Our key principles

Whilst we do not have all the answers or solutions yet, these will be developed and assessed as part of the strategic process, outlined in the below key principles.

An efficient and effective estate

We want to develop an estate that embeds sustainability best practice and acts as an example to others. We will follow the energy, waste and water hierarchies to ensure our estate is developed and run efficiently, effectively and with the well-being of our staff a priority.

Renewable energy generation

Clean energy from on and off-site generation forms a significant element of our Net Zero Carbon commitment.  In line with the energy hierarchy, we aim to maximise renewables from on-site generation, which will provide cost savings, a source of income and ensure greater resilience against the rising energy costs. 

Cleaner transport and travel

The shift towards more sustainable travel options and low carbon transport plays a significant role towards meeting our Net Zero Carbon ambition and our commitment to Clean Air Zone requirements, also providing cost savings and greater resilience against fuel price increases. This will help ensure we are ready for the government’s proposed phase out of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 and can meet Bristol City Council’s goal for 30%+ of all public sector fleets in Bristol to be non-fossil fuelled by 2026.

Best practice in environmental protection

AF&RS has a legal duty to protect the environment and prevent pollution at operational incidents, in training and on our sites, such as managing fire-fighting foam run-off, preventing damage to ecologically vulnerable habitats and correct storage of hazardous materials. We aim to follow best practice by aligning with the National Operational Guidance (NatOG) on appropriate strategic actions and control measures for Environmental Protection.

Sustainable procurement in practice

We are integrating sustainability into our procurement policies and practices, to make sure that environmental, social and economic factors are considered across the procurement cycle. 

Ambitious environmental management

Our Environmental Management System was launched in 2023 and is aligned to the internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems ISO14001. It is a structured approach to manage our environmental risks and opportunities effectively, provide resilience to change and ensure compliance with legislation. The system covers all our activities and operations, including all buildings, fleet, workshops, procurement, business decision-making processes, training and incident response. 

Read our full Environmental Strategy here. (2MB pdf)

Performance highlights

AF&RS has made significant achievements in our environmental performance over the past few years. Some of our recent performance highlights include:

You can read about our environmental performance and achievements in our annual reports here:

Fire Peer Challenge Report 2015 pdf 1844 KB (2MB pdf)

Energy Environment Annual Report 2019-20 pdf 2 MB (2MB pdf)

Annual Environmental Report 2020-21 (2MB pdf)

Annual Environmental Report 2021-2022 pdf 4.2 MB (4MB pdf)

Environmental Report 2022-2023 (1MB pdf)

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