York firms are being encouraged to sign up to a Defra-funded scheme which rates vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions levels by the city council
A rating scheme to encourage commercial operators of vans, trucks, buses and coaches to reduce emissions and help improve air quality has been announced by City of York Council today (March 4).
The council claims signing up to the scheme, which is being launched as part of National Climate Week from March 4 to 10, could save businesses up to £2,300 per vehicle through cutting down on fuel consumption.
Funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the ECO Stars (Efficient and Cleaner Operations) Fleet Recognition Scheme helps York’s fleet operators gain recognition for their commitment to improving the impact on air quality from their vehicles.
Each member of the scheme is awarded a star rating based on an assessment of how ‘clean’ their vehicle fleet is and whether they demonstrate good practice in: fuel management; developing driver skills; vehicle specification and maintenance; use of IT support systems; and fleet performance monitoring.
A bespoke ‘road map’ – an action plan to help businesses take steps to improve their star rating – will also advise businesses on how to combat emissions with alternative fuel or technology.
City of York councillor Dave Merrett, cabinet member for travel, transport and sustainability, said: “By signing up to this scheme businesses could cut costs of up to £2,300 per vehicle and improve environmental practice by cutting fuel consumption. Tailored support will be on offer for each individual company to guide them in taking steps to improve the way they run their fleet, and in turn help to improve air quality and reduce climate change emissions.â€?
Defra minister Lord de Mauley said: “We want to keep improving air quality and reduce the negative impact it can have on human health and the environment. Our Air Quality Grant funding is key to assisting local authorities in doing this and I am pleased to see it being used to support the ECO Stars scheme expanding as part of City of York Council’s work in tackling emissions and improving air quality.â€?
Already signed up to the scheme is the council’s own fleet, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and York-based haulage firm White Rose Transport. International food firm Nestlé have also signed up for the scheme and are the first five-star ECO Stars operator.
Graham Lyon, Nestle UK & Ireland own fleet LGV manager, said: “Nestlé UK & Ireland is proud to be associated with the Eco Star initiative and extremely delighted to have been awarded five stars. A central pillar of Nestlé’s thinking is continuous improvement and we recognise the need to look for ways to further improve our environmental credentials to maintain our position. We firmly believe being a member of the Eco Star scheme will help us to further improve our transport efficiencies.”