ECO Stars expands as northen cities raise their profile

Growth in towns and cities in the North is prompting both public and private fleet operators to explore schemes such as ECO Stars Fleet Recognition in an effort to boost operational sustainability.

Jim Chappell (pictured), freight and fleet divisional manager at Transport & Travel Research, which heads up the ECO Stars scheme said: “We are seeing a direct correlation between ECO Stars’ expansion and the growth and the rise in profile of cities and wider urban areas in the North.

“As urban centres grow they need schemes such as ECO Stars, which deliver positive interventions to reduce environmental impact and give operators an opportunity to review their operations against industry best practice.”

Chappell will be taking part in a panel debate at next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit in Manchester that will discuss the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors to drive cleaner, safer, more efficient freight movements across urban areas.

He told Freightinthecity that local authorities could take the lead in driving collaborative fleet efficiency by first analysing their own community fleets and those of their supply chain: “Efficiencies in these areas will always be advantageous to the local authority, the contracted operator, and the wider community.”

Commercial fleet operators would also greatly benefit from working closely with local authorities and establishing a positive relationship with the relevant teams at the council.

Chappell explained: “The greater the co-operation, the greater the holistic benefit. If there is a positive relationship, activities such as those with an infrastructure implication (for example temporary rerouting or installation of electric charging points) can be discussed from a starting point of a positive relationship.

“This also applies to contracts between local authorities and commercial operators where cleaner operations are preferred, as there could be procurement considerations,” he added.

Freight in the City takes place at Manchester Central on 3 March and is a free-to-attend one-day event designed to explore opportunities for sustainable freight as part of the government’s Northern Powerhouse investment strategy. Why not sign up today!