ECO Stars’ practical workshop at Freight in the City Expo will help boost fleet sustainability

ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme will be holding a practical workshop at this month’s Freight in the City Expo to help both public sector and private sector fleets become more efficient and sustainable in their daily operations.

The initiative is a free-to-join scheme that aims to help fleet operators improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption, slash emissions, and make cost savings.

It was launched in South Yorkshire in 2009 when four local councils – Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham – wanted to tackle local air quality issues caused by transport, focusing on HGVs, buses, coaches and vans.

They quickly realised that many fleet operators were already making progress in reducing their environmental impact, and wanted to recognise their efforts, but at the same time provide expert and practical advice on how to make improvements. As a result, ECO Stars was created.

The scheme now has more than 400 members, representing 14,000-plus vehicles. It has been adopted by many local authorities across the UK and several cities in Europe, as well as private sector fleet operators across all industries.

For local authorities, ECO Stars can provide fleet managers with industry best practice ideas, help review fleet composition and activities identifying savings opportunities.

An ECO Stars spokeswoman said: “It is important to remember that local authorities manage very complex and diverse fleets and many of the vehicles are not driven by vocational drivers and may have an alternative line management structure.”

She added that by adopting the scheme on their own fleets, local authorities can lead by example and ‘walk the talk’ by getting their own house in order before asking private fleets to get involved, which can give them more credibility.

“Local authorities have air quality targets and ECO Stars is increasingly one of many tactics the councils use to try and achieve challenging air quality targets,” the spokeswoman told freightinthecity.com.

For operators in the private sector consdiering joining the scheme, membership benefits include a free review of fleet composition and fuel efficiency measures from an independent consultant, who is able to discuss and share best practice and introduce technologies that the operator may not have considered relevant. Savings opportunities will be discussed and agreed during the membership application and an agreed plan of progression developed.

Visitors to Freight in the City can talk to ECO Stars representatives during the day at stand B11 to find out about the straightforward application process and the tangible benefits for their own, individual operations.

The free-to-attend Freight in the City Expo takes place on Tuesday 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace. It comprises a full seminar programme and an exhibiton focused on the challenges of urban logistics.