Dubai Police is measuring and reducing its emissions, with a goal to become carbon neutral by 2020 – the first police force to achieve this feat globally. The City of Dubai is strongly committed to become the world’s lowest-carbon-footprint city by 2050, and Dubai Police have expanded its operational objectives and strategies to help meet this goal. Examples of actions taken under the strategy include green procurement, and transforming the police fleet into hybrid vehicles.
The initiative permeates every aspect of Dubai Police’s work and creates a strong link between core duties and achieving carbon neutrality. The secret of this success is setting up a strong framework to implement the initiative and raising employee awareness. Dubai Police has created an internal culture of energy conservation through the appointment of the ‘Carbon Champions’, a group of individuals within the police who are responsible for spreading awareness and drive implementation across the entire 22,000+ workforce.
- Green procurement is transforming its police fleet into hybrid vehicles, with 10 vehicles purchased in 2016 and 100 more vehicles to be purchased by 2018;
- Water and electricity consumption in buildings witnessed a reduction of 22.5%, and fleet fuel consumption by 19.6%, leading to a total of AED 35.8 million savings and 14,893 tons of carbon emissions reductions since 2013 to date;
- Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of police station buildings with plans to expand the solar rooftop project to all 400+ building by 2020;
- Technological advances are transforming Dubai Police into a smart police, wherein all services will be provided electronically, ultimately diminishing customers’ visits to police stations. Smart transformation has avoided an estimated 119,849 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2014-2015.
The Paris Agreement sets out the objective to limit climate change to well below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Science tells us that in order to achieve this objective, global society needs to achieve net zero emissions, i.e. climate neutrality, by the second half of this century.
In 2009, Dubai Police started to reduce their energy consumption, and in 2014, decided to pursue the goal of a zero carbon police force. Dubai Police is committed to achieving this goal, as well as building a culture within the community to reduce carbon emissions through a city-wide approach.
Taking 2013 as a baseline, Dubai Police has reduced its electricity consumption, exceeding the pre-set target beyond Dubai Police operations. Owing to Dubai Police smart transformation efforts and resulting services, an estimated 119,849 tonnes of carbon emissions were avoided in 2014 and 2015.
Measures implemented by Dubai Police include setting up a strategy and a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality through: the adoption of energy-efficient appliances (such as LED lights); conservation measures to reduce electricity and water consumption in buildings; expansion of a solar energy initiative to include solar water heaters; a pilot study on the manufacturing and use of a solar boat, installation of solar rooftops across Dubai Police buildings with plans to expand solar rooftops across all Dubai Police buildings by 2020; utilization of electric vehicles; and route optimization platforms for police patrols to reduce fuel consumption.
Helping the planet
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions combats climate change. Switching to renewable energy not only reduces carbon emissions from fossil fuels but also reduces the environmental impacts of fossil fuel extraction.
Dubai Police aims to empower the community to implement long-term transformational change through efficient practices and pursuing carbon offsetting. The initiative is a powerful tool to build capacity and empower different community members to reduce carbon emissions through a city-wide approach. Knowledge sharing takes the form of participation in public exhibitions, and capacity building is carried out through awareness raising sessions, certified training, and higher education along with voluntary guidance and mentoring programs.
The community empowerment and participatory approach have allowed the Dubai Police to gain public support in promoting sustainable practices and coordinating joint actions and awareness raising between public authorities and the communities.
Dubai Police was established in 1956 with only one building to run its operations. Today, the Force owns over 400 buildings and manages more than 3,000 vehicles of its fleet to run its operations. The growing demands of the Emirate of Dubai and the expected increase in population size over the years, Dubai Police Force’s growth will continue. The initiative is designed in a way that the carbon emissions are controlled through the adoption of best practices despite the expansion plans. Scalability in this context is both internal to Dubai Police and external, extending to other police forces and security entities across the world. The designed approach of the zero-carbon initiative is tailor-made to the Dubai Police but can also be scaled up as a best practice to other larger sector organizations, such as civil service bodies. Dubai police aims to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint through energy and resource efficiency initiatives, then begin carbon offsetting in 2020 to offset the unavoidable carbon emissions to achieve a carbon neutral profile by 2020.
The initiative was set up to meet local, national and global climate change directives and the methodology follows standards that can be amended to fit any organization regardless of its size, operations, or geographical location. The targets used allow for flexibility within the first years of implementation, as they consider the challenges encountered and the learning curve in the first stages of implementation. The success of replicating the initiative stems from the basic foundational principles that consider the principles of relevancy, completeness, consistency, transparency and accuracy. With a solid foundation in place, the initiative can be tailor-made to suit any environment and sectors across the world.
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