Commercial vehicles that operate regularly in West Yorkshire can now benefit from free advice and support to help them improve their fleets’ operational and environmental performance.
ECO Stars, the fleet recognition scheme, first developed in South Yorkshire, has been adopted by the five local authorities of West Yorkshire. HGV, van, bus and coach fleets are already benefitting from the free advice and support available to all local commercial fleet operators.
The ECO Stars concept originated in South Yorkshire and was born out of discussions on how to mitigate the region’s air quality management issues. The consortium of local authorities, together with the transport consultants Transport and Travel Research Ltd, developed and launched the scheme in 2009 and the scheme continues to advise and support fleets today. The success of ECO Stars has continued and there are now 23 schemes across the UK, with a number of others in Europe.
ECO (Efficient, Cleaner Operations) Stars concentrates on fuel management and members are guided to a more sustainable operation. By improving their fleet’s operational performance, businesses will reduce their fuel consumption, leading to a reduction in harmful emissions and a positive impact on their bottom line: good news for both business and the environment.
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council was one of the first organisations to join the new West Yorkshire scheme. Bradford MDC, as one of the host authorities, is thus leading by example by signing up and having their own fleet’s performance assessed. Simon Worth, Bradford’s fleet compliance manager commented:
“Bradford City Council are pleased to be associated with the ECO Stars scheme and proud to have been awarded 4 Stars for our approach to fuel efficiency/vehicle emissions. Your award recognises our commitment to maintain a fuel efficient and low emission fleet and also our strong operational procedures. The consultation with ECO Stars has enabled us to identify areas we can improve upon to look towards a 5 Star rating. Overall, a very worthwhile exercise.”
Craige Richardson, Associate Director of Facilities Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, is in no doubt of the value of membership to the hospitals’ fleet:
“As one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, we are constantly striving to make our fleet more sustainable to help us reach our targets for reducing CO₂ emissions and costs. We are thrilled to have been awarded 4 stars for our current transport operation; ECO Stars has enabled us to benchmark our fleet vehicles and management systems, and has made recommendations for further improvement.”
Signing up to the scheme is straightforward, free and open to all operators, irrespective of size of fleet – the only proviso is that the vehicles must be operating regularly within the West Yorkshire region.
The ECO Stars fleet expert will visit the fleet manager to review the organisation’s fleet management, including fleet composition, fuel management, driver training and vehicle specification. Members are awarded a rating of between 1 Star and 5 Stars, based on an assessment of their current operational and environmental performance. Following the fleet review, the new member will receive a ‘Road Map’, detailing the key points from the review, acknowledging the good practice already in place and highlighting steps that could be taken to further improve the fleet’s performance.
Typically, ECO Stars members can achieve at least 5% reduction in fuel use in their first year by adopting the recommended improvements. J G Pears, a member of the South Yorkshire scheme, found that their average miles per gallon increased by 10% through addressing the key recommendations. Click here to find out more about this case study.
Radical Travel, an Edinburgh based tour operator, also achieved significant operational efficiencies and regard their 5 star certificate as ‘a badge of honour’.
Click here to find out more in a video case study.