THURROCK firms are being encouraged to “go green” with their transport fleets and lead the nation on looking after the environment.
The ECO Stars (Efficient and Cleaner Operations) Fleet Recognition Scheme – launched on Wednesday (6 February) – is a free, voluntary programme funded as part of the designed to provide recognition and guidance on operational best practice to operators of goods vehicles, buses and coaches whose fleets spend a significant proportion of time operating in the borough.
It is funded from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund as part of the Travel Thurrock programme which is continuing to introduce a range of measures aimed at improving and promoting sustainable travel.
ECO Stars is one of the activities of the Thurrock Freight Quality Partnership (FQP) and each member signing-up will receive tailor-made support to ensure their fleet is running as efficiently and economically as possible.
It will help Thurrock’s HGV, LGV, bus and coach fleet operators gain recognition for their commitment to improving efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and reducing emissions – all helping to improve local air quality.
Cllr Andy Smith, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “Thurrock already has a major transport industry, something that is growing quickly and an integral part of the borough’s regeneration.
“The Thurrock Freight Quality Partnership will provide operational efficiency measures – particularly in relation to operating cleaner vehicles and managing fuel use – and can lead to financial savings and improved environmental performance.”
He added: “The scheme will provide recognition as well as support, for the operators implementing operational efficiency measures, and signing-up can help raise the profile of a company’s commitment to operational and environmental performance.
“However, more to the point, in these days when money is tight in all areas, reducing fuel consumption means reducing operating costs and environmental impact, through reduced vehicle emissions. It is estimated – using Department of Transport figures, that an operator could save as much as £2,300 a year per vehicle.
“This leads to financial and environmental savings – something for us all to boast about to customers, competitors and local communities.”
The scheme’s Effective Fuel Management Programme, comprises of individual component measures such as monitoring and targeting fleet fuel use, driver training and use of supporting equipment and systems, lie at the heart of operational efficiency.