Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association works strategically for the environment

Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association decided to advance their environmental work and, after several years working to implementing an environmental management system, they have been environmentally certified in accordance with the ISO 14001:2015 standard since 2019.

“We want to be a good role model for our municipalities with our environmental work,” says Froukje Bouius, environmental strategist at Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association.

A certification in accordance with ISO 14001 entails strategic work with established environmental targets. For Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association, one of the goals was to reduce the use of fire-fighting foam in extinguishing work. The reason is that fire-fighting foam contains PFAs which, even in small quantities, can contaminate water sources.

“PFAs contaminate both soil and water, but primarily water sources worth billions to municipalities,” explains Froukje Bouius.

In 2018, Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association used fire-fighting foam on ten occasions, which is to be compared with the 121 occasions the Gothenburg fire department used fire-fighting foam in approximately as many fires as Södertörn.

“In 2019, we got the number down even further, where we were down to six occasions,” explains Froukje and continues:

“In providing rescue services, it is important that we engage in active environmental work both in providing rescue services and preventative work. To this end, we have a chemicals list which helps us keep track of the chemicals we use and a procurement portal which ensures that we only order what has been approved in environmental terms in accordance with applicable procurement routines, and that we consider the environment in all of our purchasing,” explains Froukje Bouius, environmental strategist at Södertörn’s fire protection association.

As a certification body, SBSC has assisted in certifying the environmental management system after it was implemented in the organisation.

“The effort put in by Södertörn’s Fire Protection Association in the environmental certification was impressive. It is genuinely fantastic to see that they actually succeeded in reducing the use of fire-fighting foam to the great extent they did. What is left is to congratulate them on a job well done and hope that they inspire others to work strategically for the environment,” says Mårten Wallén, Managing Director of SBSC.

SBSC is Sweden’s leading certification body within the areas of fire safety and security and offers the market’s most sought after certification within the area. In addition to issuing certificates and performing audits, we also actively work to ensure that certification is used as a selection factor in procurement and to create an understanding of the value of choosing products and services of very high quality. We are continuously disseminating our knowledge regarding the benefits of certification – to standards authorities as well as insurance companies and governmental authorities, purchasers such as municipalities and county councils and end customers on the corporate and private markets.

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