Green Fleet Recognition Scheme Opened to Taxis in South Lanarkshire
A scheme which helps commercial vehicle operators deal with air quality has proven so successful that it is being opened up further to assist taxis.
The ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme’s purpose is to increase awareness among companies who operate buses, vans, HGVs and coaches of the important role they play in helping to improve the local air quality and other relevant environmental issues by further enhancing the performance of their fleets.
The scheme, which is voluntary and free, is open to businesses of all sizes to take part in, from just single vehicles to huge fleets, providing guidance of best practices and giving recognition to the achievements and participation of those involved.
It has proven to be such a big success since it started in South Lanarkshire back in 2014 that the council is to launch the new ECO Stars Taxi and Private Hire Scheme.
Councillor Jake Andrews, Community and Enterprise Resources Chairman, and Sheree McLelland, Fleet and Environmental Services Manager, recognised the success with a presentation to member number 200 of the Fleet Scheme, which was NHS Lanarkshire and to Wellman Cars, which was the first member of the new Taxi Scheme.
Mr. Anderson stated: “ECO Stars is very easy to join and their team will even visit a firm to complete their application on behalf of the company.
“It rates the individual performance of vehicles and fleet’s operation overall with star ratings and every member receives a bespoke ‘road map’ to make sure their vehicles are running as economically and efficiently as possible to help them progress on to higher ratings.
“It is an amazing scheme for all of the companies involved and for the environment too. I take great delight in congratulating NHS Lanarkshire on being our 200th member of the Fleet Scheme, which clearly demonstrates how popular it’s been with the operators and Wellman Cars on being the first firm to sign up as we launch our Taxi Scheme.
“I look forward to seeing the benefits it brings them an all others involved, as well as the tremendous advantage to the quality of air breathed by the people of South Lanarkshire and beyond.”
Shirley Clelland added: “When we marked Clean Air Day recently, we saw many ways that a variety of schemes are helping to improve air quality and benefit the environment and ECO Stars is another great example of this.
“For example, by implementing the key measures recommended by the ECO Stars Scheme, a typical HGV could see its annual output of carbon dioxide fall by six tonnes a year.
“In addition, the same measures could also save operators up to £2600 per HGV in a year – for an operator with 10 vehicles this equates to a saving of one whole tanker of diesel – or up to £300 per taxi or private hire vehicle.
“Companies can promote their green credentials by displaying ECO Stars logo on their website, reassuring everyone that they are doing their part in helping the air they are breathing.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone and I would urge all commercial vehicle operators to follow the example of NHS Lanarkshire, Wellman Cars and all our other members and get involved with ECO Stars as soon as they can.”
Marie Porteous, Head of Sustainability & Environment Manager from NHS Lanarkshire, was delighted to receive a plaque commemorating becoming the 200th member of the ECO Stars Fleet Scheme in South Lanarkshire, and said: “We are continually working hard towards greening our fleet, and the benefits through sustainable transport and low emissions ensure that our fleet has minimal impact on the environment.
“We are thrilled to receive 4 stars within the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition scheme and will continue to improve our vehicle and overall operational efficiency.”
A plaque was also presented to Blair Welsh, from first taxi-scheme member Wellman Cars, who said: “We are so pleased to be the first ECO Stars Taxi and Private Hire Scheme member and to achieve 4 stars. The advice we were given from the ECO Stars team was tailored to our operations and we look forward to working with the team to move forward to a 5-star rating.”
ECO Stars is operated in this area by Transport Research Laboratories Ltd on behalf of South Lanarkshire Council, and is open to any company whose fleet is based in, or operates regularly in, South Lanarkshire.
Paul Wilkinson, Program Manager from ECO Stars, said: “We are pleased to welcome NHS Lanarkshire to the ECO Stars scheme. It was clear from the assessment that NHS Lanarkshire have a clear vision and ambition with regard to their environmental goals and are setting a good example of transport operational practices. We are also delighted to welcome Wellman Cars who are on the first to step forward to show their commitment to improving their local air quality.”