A South Yorkshire scheme that works with local businesses to improve transport related air quality marked its fifth anniversary this month at a commemorative event which also saw sign-up of the county’s 75th member.
The government-backed ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme, originally established in South Yorkshire in 2009, encourages businesses that operate heavy vehicles – including LGVs, HGVs, buses and coaches – to improve driving efficiency, and reduce fuel consumption and emissions, by awarding them with a Star rating based on an assessment of how ‘green’ their fleet is.
The free scheme has grown into a national and international success story with programmes now expanded across the UK and Europe.
The occasion was marked with the sign-up of the 75th member to the ECO Stars in South Yorkshire – Sheffield based heating and air conditioning company, Airmaster.
The local business received an initial three star rating and is keen to progress to the maximum five star rating. There was also recognition for the very first member of the scheme, Clipper Logistics Group, specialists in providing high value logistics across Europe.
To commemorate this special occasion Cllr Roy Miller (Cabinet Spokesperson for Development, Environment & Culture for Barnsley MBC) and Dan Jarvis MP (Barnsley Central) presented awards to both Airmaster and Clipper Logistics.
Dan Jarvis MP, said: “ECO Stars is a brilliant example of the public and private sector working together to bring about genuine and sustained improvements in both working practices and the environment. It’s a scheme that we can be rightly very proud of in South Yorkshire.”
Cllr Roy Miller, said: “The ECO Stars scheme has been a huge success in encouraging business to manage their fleets more efficiently and more effectively whilst helping to improve the air we breathe in the local area. This is serious work, and it shows the great things that can be achieved through genuine partnership. ”
Ann Beddoes ECO Stars Scheme Manager, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating the South Yorkshire ECO Stars fifth anniversary with our first member Clipper and our 75th member Airmaster. The scheme continues to grow and develop and we look forward to celebrating further successes in the future.”
Lisa Pogson, Airmaster Director – who was also recently appointed to the board of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: “We were first introduced to the scheme through discussions with the team from Inmotion! We were looking at ways that we could continue to make improvements to our fleet operations and do things in a more sustainable way.
“We are very committed to boosting our businesses performance as well as lowering our carbon emissions and impact on the local environment. ECO Stars has been invaluable to this process. We’ve learnt a lot already, and are extremely proud to become the 75th member of the scheme in South Yorkshire.”
Nigel Hinds, Clipper Operations Director, said: “We are extremely proud to have been the first member to join ECO Stars in 2009. As a business we are conscious of our environmental impacts and strive to be as green as possible. Through this scheme we have been able to put in place best practice measures which will continue to reduce the impact we have on local air quality.”
The ECO Stars scheme is part-funded by the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). The LSTF scheme in South Yorkshire, delivered through the Inmotion! team, helps local businesses to make better use of travel time, reduce fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, encourage more environmentally-friendly and healthier ways of getting to work.
The partnership is made up of representatives from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Councils.
The ECO Stars scheme is free to sign up to. For more information call the Inmotion! team on 01709 51 51 51 or email firstname.lastname@example.org