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History of Green Plan

The Green Plan in Kilbarrack Fire Station came about initially as a staff initiative to increase staff moral.  It started with the simple idea of battery recycling to reduce the amount of waste created in the station. Through the development of partnership in the station, the staff were able to discuss their ideas and came up with the idea of reducing the carbon footprint of the station. The concept of the Green Plan was established by FF McCabe and at that stage the first plan was drafted.

Vision of the Green Plan

The Vision of the Green Plan is to become world leaders of sustainability and be recognised for their championing of energy and water consumption reduction, waste prevention, biodiversity protection and impacts on society.  We intend to maximise our low carbon future and to empower people to effect change in our Fire Brigade and the local community itself. 

Kilbarrack Fire Station was named as the Flagship in the Sustainability Report 2010 for Dublin City Council and is fully aligned with the sustainability policy objectives as set out by the Corporate Plan and the draft Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017.  The Green Plan replicates the four principles of the Natural Step as a definition of Sustainability.

The implementation of the Green Plan would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of both the current and retired staff in Kilbarrack Fire Station. Firefighters and Officers have bought into the idea of a shared responsibility for their Fire Station and this ethos is reflected in the behavioural changes in the staff which has been a fundamental driving force in the success of the Green Plan.

The Green Plan is a means to secure a better understanding of sustainability and the production of green house gases. It is a comprehensive station plan outlining the problems identified, the actions taken and to be undertaken and the achievements attained to date under the following seven themes:-

  • Energy

  • Water

  • Waste

  • Biodiversity

  • Transport

  • Society

  • Procurement


The station used to produce 65 ton of CO2 emissions and the gas boiler was 68% energy inefficient.
A new heat management system has been installed with advanced controls in tandem with two new gas condensing boilers.
Electricity consumption in Kilbarrack Fire Station has been reduced by 80%.


Kilbarrack Fire Station used to consume 5,000 litres of water per day.
Rainwater harvesting system installed, which now provides the water for the fire engine.
Kilbarrack Fire Station now collects 14,000 litres of water per week from the rainwater harvesting system.


Kilbarrack Fire Station used to leak out over 10 ton of CO2 each year through its building fabric.  In addition 100% of consumables produced in the station were going to landfill.
The station has been retrofitted with sustainably sourced, certified wooden doors, doorframes, windows, window frames and window panels.
The Kilbarrack Fire Station retrofit has reduced the carbon emissions from the building envelope by 10 ton per annum.  We now recycle 40% of all station waste.


Kilbarrack Fire Station had four key land areas that were not utilised and were difficult to maintain.
A Biodiversity Action plan was developed and implemented for the station.
Kilbarrack Fire Station now has four dedicated gardens on site protecting the eco systems that they have helped to create and nurture.



  1. Dublin Fire Brigade’s fleet has been running on standard fossil fuel diesel
  2. The station staff primarily used private motor vehicle transport to travel to and from work

A report on Biodisel for Dublin Fire Brigade’s fleet was researched and produced.  This report recommends the recycling of used cooking oil on site, which is then blended off site to produce 30% Blend Biodiesel.
Kilbarrack Fire Station is currently piloting a trial of 30% Blend Biodiesel in its frontline emergency tender. 30% of staff now use a bicycle to travel to work.


In the local community Dublin Fire Brigade’s interaction has predominately been responding to emergencies and promoting fire safety awareness. Interaction within the internal community is usually geared towards serving members.
Kilbarrack Fire Station has expanded its role in the community utilising outreach projects and engaged the services of retired members in the biodiversity projects.
The successful interaction between retired members and station staff has enabled completion of Dublin Fire Brigade’s commemorative garden for deceased members.



  1. Emergency Ambulance equipment had previously been delivered to the Brigade excessively packaged.
  2. Station groceries were purchased adding to food mile production.

A green agenda has been incorporated into the tender process for Emergency Ambulance equipment. Station groceries are now sourced locally.
The Emergency Ambulance equipment is now delivered directly with less packaging reducing the volume of domestic waste created.  Local sourcing has in itself reduced CO2 emissions from food miles.

Download the Green Plan in Kilbarrack Fire Station leaflet. (PDF 2.8mb)


Green Plan Awards

The Green Plan has scooped up many National and International awards in the last 12 months; the first award was the National Green Leader Award. They have all given Neil McCabe and Dublin Fire Brigade the Platform to raise its profile and be seen as Genuine Sustainable Person based environmental Champions. This has brought unquantifiable added value to Dublin Fire Brigade. This has also helped to raise Neils profile and has encouraged him to push himself further to deliver and implement his research and application. The most recent awards are listed below:


The Green Organisation Logo International Green Apple Award for Individual Merit

Neil Received this award from the International Green Organisation for his commitment to the Green Plan and his quest to create the world’s first Carbon Neutral Fire Station. This is only the sixth time that this Global Award has been presented since its inception in 1984.

SEAI Logo The SEAI Energy Awards 2012

Energy Sustainability in the built Environment Highly Commended Neil McCabe Green Plan Dublin Fire Brigade

LAMA Awards Logo LAMA Awards 2012:

Best Environmentally Friendly Initiative: Green Plan Dublin Fire Brigade

Green Awards 2011 Logo The Green Awards Ireland 2011

National Green Leader Award: Neil McCabe, Green Plan, Dublin Fire Brigade

Green Awards Winner 2012 Logo The International Green Awards 2011 and 2012

International Green Leader Gold Award:
Green Plan Neil McCabe Dublin Fire Brigade

Local Government Logo 2011 Excellence in Local Government 2011

Winner of the National Irish Chamber of Commerce Awards: Green Plan Best National Green Business Plan

Green Apple Winner Logo International Green Apple Awards 2011, 2012 and 2013

Neil McCabe Dublin Fire Brigade Winner of the International Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage

Green Hero Logo 2011Green Hero Award Logo The International Green Hero Award 2011, 2012 and 2013

Neil was presented with this award in November 2011 by the Green Organisation in the British Houses of Parliament as recognition of his commitment to the Environment.

Lord Mayors Crest The Lord Mayor of Dublin Award 2011

Neil was honoured to have been selected by the Lord Mayor of Dublin as the winner of this unique award for his contribution to Dublin as a City and to its Environment with the Green Plan.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Hidden Hero Award 2011

Neil achieved this award during the Innovation Dublin Festival.