Neil McCabe

Ashoka Fellow
Ireland,
Fellow Since 2013
The Green Plan

Citation

This profile was prepared when Neil McCabe was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Neil has created The Green Plan, an initiative originally implemented in his first pilot within the Kilbarrack Fire Station, which became the first carbon neutral fire station in the world. Neil’s Green Plan is a clear methodology outlining strategies and procurement approaches to move towards sustainability, from using wastewater in fighting fires to setting up social ventures that manufacture retrofitting equipment. With an emphasis on the sustainability and replicability of the Green Plan, Neil prioritizes refurbishments that are cost-saving and channels those cost savings into further efforts in a virtuous cycle. Neil identified the power of local procurement as the most effective entry point into the problem of wasteful energy consumption, as locally sourced materials cut costs while also reducing the carbon footprint. In encouraging local production of previously difficult-to-source tools and parts, Neil seeded 20 new local businesses with guaranteed markets. Neil uses the fire station as an example for the communities that surround them, expanding green initiatives into homes and institutions through the fire house model and conducting educational workshops in communities and schools on fire safety, biodiversity and sustainable development. Working in conjunction with the city and corporations, Neil has designed the Better Energy in the Community programme, allowing fuel-poor households to utilize credits for greening technology while also providing a financial resource for government to realize their energy goals.

Neil’s Green Plan has become a template strategy for all fire stations in Dublin and is being applied to other institutions across Ireland, such as business parks, hospitals, and library systems. Integrating his work with fire stations to affect change at the policy level, Neil is working within the system to transform it in practice from the most local level of government through to the top. The Green Plan has become the basis for Dublin City Council and County Dublin’s sustainability strategy, is being applied across Ireland and in Scotland and is helping guide initiatives at the European Union level.

Neil has created the Green Plan, a strategy originally implemented in the model Kilbarrack Fire Station, making it the first carbon neutral fire station in the world. Neil’s Green Plan outlines strategies and procurement approaches--from using waste water to fight fires to setting up social ventures to manufacture retrofitting equipment-- to move towards sustainability, prioritizing those refurbishments that are cost-saving, and channeling those cost savings into further efforts in a virtuous cycle. Neil uses the fire station as an example for the communities that surround them, expanding green initiatives into homes and institutions through the fire house model and conducting educational workshops in communities and schools on fire safety, biodiversity and sustainable development. Neil’s Green Plan has become a template strategy for all fire stations in Dublin, and is in the process of being rolled out across Ireland. Neil is integrating his work with fire stations to affect change at the policy level, working within the system to transform it in practice from the most local level of government through to the top--his example and the Green Plan has become the basis for Dublin City Council's and County Dublin’s sustainability strategy, and his model is helping guide initiatives on the European Union level and in countries across Europe.Neil has created The Green Plan, an initiative originally implemented in his first pilot within the Kilbarrack Fire Station, which became the first carbon neutral fire station in the world. Neil’s Green Plan is a clear methodology outlining strategies and procurement approaches to move towards sustainability, from using wastewater in fighting fires to setting up social ventures that manufacture retrofitting equipment. With an emphasis on the sustainability and replicability of the Green Plan, Neil prioritizes refurbishments that are cost-saving and channels those cost savings into further efforts in a virtuous cycle. Neil identified the power of local procurement as the most effective entry point into the problem of wasteful energy consumption, as locally sourced materials cut costs while also reducing the carbon footprint. In encouraging local production of previously difficult-to-source tools and parts, Neil seeded 20 new local businesses with guaranteed markets. Neil uses the fire station as an example for the communities that surround them, expanding green initiatives into homes and institutions through the fire house model and conducting educational workshops in communities and schools on fire safety, biodiversity and sustainable development. Working in conjunction with the city and corporations, Neil has designed the Better Energy in the Community programme, allowing fuel-poor households to utilize credits for greening technology while also providing a financial resource for government to realize their energy goals.

Neil’s Green Plan has become a template strategy for all fire stations in Dublin and is being applied to other institutions across Ireland, such as business parks, hospitals, and library systems. Integrating his work with fire stations to affect change at the policy level, Neil is working within the system to transform it in practice from the most local level of government through to the top. The Green Plan has become the basis for Dublin City Council and County Dublin’s sustainability strategy, is being applied across Ireland and in Scotland and is helping guide initiatives at the European Union level.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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