In 2008, Kilbarrack Fire Station was 40 years old and was well overdue a complete refurbishment and had just lost 50% of its fire crew. Not wanting to see his work community fall apart and realising that Fire Stations have profound potential for 'Greening', Fireman Neil McCabe began thinking about ways to raise money for refurbishment. Starting small, he asked his fellow Firemen to save their old walkie-talkie batteries for recycling. He then took a further step and encouraged his colleagues to take home plastic and glass waste and put it in their recycling bins. As the Firemen became more invested, Neil developed a plan to overhaul every last part of Kilbarrack Fire Station. They then crowd-funded €14,000 and invested in renewable technology to lower the station's energy bill. Bolstered by the confidence shown by his peers, Neil went on to execute a comprehensive Greening plan for Kilbarrack; The GreenPlan, which resulted in Kilbarrack being certified as the World's First Carbon Neutral Fire Station in 2012.
Since then, six of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) Fire Stations have fully implemented The GreenPlan. In addition The GreenPlan has been implemented in Dublin City Council (DCC) Libraries and Swimming Pools and in The Lord Mayor’s residence, The Mansion House. The GreenPlan is now written into The DFB Business Plan, The Dublin City Development Plan and the annual DCC Business Plan. Its implementation has accrued €11M in savings over the past four years.
In June 2015, Mulranny village in Co. Mayo became the first Green Plan accredited village in the country. Neil and his team are now focused on supporting and empowering as many communities as possible around the country to take meaningful action to address climate change and implement the Plan.