Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire councils and the Regional Transport Partnership, Nestrans are working with local commercial fleet operators to improve air quality across the area.
The ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme supports operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), vans, buses and coaches to run their fleets more efficiently.
This includes helping improve their efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions and make cost savings.
ECO Stars fleet specialists assess each fleet, award a star rating based on current performance and produce a â€˜roadmapâ€™ of recommendations to help operators reduce vehicle emissions while also reducing operating costs.Â Membership is free to all fleet operators.
Councillor Ross Grant, spokesman for Transport and Regeneration at Aberdeen city council, welcomed members and officials to the launch last month and said: â€œThe Aberdeen City and Shire scheme is the first ECO Stars scheme in Scotland to be run as a partnership across more than one local authority area.
â€œThis partnership is further strengthened by support from the North East Scotland Freight Forum and Nestrans for which we are grateful.
â€œParticipation in the ECO Stars scheme will help the city with its target of reducing carbon emissions by 31% and compliance with national nitrogen dioxide and particulate air quality objectives by 2020.â€
The ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme was originally set up in South Yorkshire in 2009, when local councils wanted to tackle local air quality issues caused by transport.
Seven years later, ECO Stars has 24 schemes in the UK and several more in Europe.Â In total, individual schemes have more than 400 members with over 45,000 vehicles.
Last month, five West Yorkshire councils signed up to the ECO Stars scheme (see letsrecycle.com story).
Mark Cavers, ECO Stars Scotland manager from consultants TRL, who deliver the scheme on behalf of local authorities, said: â€œThe Aberdeen City and Shire scheme means that all four main cities in Scotland have now joined the ECO Stars network and are working with their commercial fleet operators to improve air quality across Scotland.â€
Councillor Graeme Clarke, vice-chair of Aberdeenshire councilâ€™s Infrastructure Services Committee added: â€œWe hope that the north eastâ€™s fleet operators will take full advantage of this opportunity to make a difference to their local environment while at the same time improving their bottom line.â€