Sustainability

Here, Danielle Taylor, Sustainability Manager for the force, writes about the force’s continued focus on sustainability and about how she’s working to implement several energy saving schemes.

Sustainability affects much of what we do here at South Yorkshire Police; we have a legal and moral obligation to be environmentally responsible. Alongside our duties to keep the public safe, we aim to embed sustainability throughout all we do, and that’s why I’m in my role as Sustainability Manager. 

In partnership with Humberside Police, we have seven commitments to reduce our negative impact on the environment – these focus on waste and recycling, water, energy, IT, materials and products, transport and pollution prevention. I must consider all of these commitments on a day-to-day basis and have around 30 different projects underway at any one time. 

I’m currently working to implement several ongoing energy saving projects, and there are many more schemes in the pipeline, which I’m planning. These schemes range in size - from installing greener lighting and encouraging switching off equipment in our offices, to changing the way we heat the force’s buildings by joining District Heating Networks (DHNs) and installing solar panels. These are just the energy schemes - I tend to be very busy and have my hands full most of the time!

This autumn, we’re changing the way we heat our Snig Hill base in Sheffield city centre, in order to make significant energy and financial savings. In the coming months, Snig Hill will be linked up to the Bernard Road incinerator, which takes household waste from across South Yorkshire and uses it to create heat energy. 

This means Snig Hill’s existing gas boilers have been removed, helping to reduce the force’s carbon footprint by an estimated 238 tonnes per year and making estimated financial savings of more than £8,000 per year. Last week I was negotiating the heat price and finalising the contract ready for sign-off.

Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for Attercliffe Police Station in Sheffield to connect to another DHN next year, with the building’s existing coal fired boilers being removed as the station switches to biomass heating. The station’s heating supply will be linked to Blackburn Meadows power station, which uses waste timber to create renewable heat energy. 

It’s expected that this change will help the force to save £100,000 in replacement boiler costs, and 122 tonnes of CO2 per year. This week I’ve been working with our facilities management technical team and the energy provider to start a programme of works to remove boilers, and to agree a ‘heat-on’ date.

We also have three solar schemes in progress - at Attercliffe, Maltby and the new Shepcote Lane Custody suite development - and I’m about to commission further feasibility studies to identify more viable sites. I am passionate about the savings and income we can make by investing in solar panels and making the most out of our roof space.

The panels will help the force make savings of more than £12,000 per year. Currently I’m negotiating the lease agreement to rent our roof space at Attercliffe, working on a schedule of works for the installation at Maltby and arranging vetting checks for our contractors. 

Following a number of energy audits carried out earlier this year, I am now planning the implementation of a number of different invest-to-save projects in various buildings. This includes the viability to heat our training centre - Robert Dyson House - via a new low carbon mine water-heating project.

These schemes I’m working on and many others in place will help us to achieve our carbon reduction and renewable energy targets, increase energy efficiency throughout our estate and ultimately achieve further cost savings while improving our green credentials. Energy saving makes perfect sense, and although we have already implemented more than 70 energy saving schemes in the past few years, there are still so many opportunities for improvement, particularly in terms of behaviour change. 

I‘m extremely committed to developing and implementing new sustainability initiatives across all seven commitment areas, while maintaining environmental awareness and engagement across South Yorkshire. As a force, we are committed to sustainability because it’s the right thing to do and it helps save money and protect the planet, without compromising the force’s ability to complete its duty of keeping people safe in the county.