It’s now one year since the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme in Falkirk received funding from the Scottish Government. The free scheme was commissioned by Falkirk Council to encourage fleet operators – of all sizes – to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions – to help improve local transport related air quality.
In its first year, over 1500 vehicles have been signed up to the scheme representing 19 companies. From fleets delivering food to McDonalds and the weekly shop at Morrisons and Asda, Falkirk ECO Stars also counts among its diverse members – international logistics companies, small haulage operators, local family bus companies and the public sector.
Cllr Dr Craig Martin, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson on Environment said: “It a very positive sign to see so many local operators sign up for the ECO Stars project that aims to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
“We’re fully behind its aims and we hope to see many other organisations get involved as soon as possible to improve the local environment.”
When joining, members have their vehicles and overall fleet rated by industry experts to assess their current performance – both operational and environmental – and achieve an ECO Stars rating between 1 and 5. A bespoke “road map” is then produced containing tailor-made guidance to help improve the efficiency of their fleet.
Falkirk ECO Stars’ very first member was JW Suckling Transport based in Grangemouth. Regional Business Manager Alex Mc Phee praised ECO Stars for raising environmental awareness in the freight industry. “We were delighted to be awarded the top Five Star rating as it recognised our commitment to clean freight operations . But there’s always room for improvement. We constantly review our scheduling and route planning to minimise fuel consumption. ECO Stars really helped to focus our minds – I think it can help any fleet operators run more efficiently.“
The latest members to join are NHS Forth Valley and Bryans Coaches.
NHS Forth Valley received a Three Star rating for their 31 vehicles operating in the Falkirk area. They serve hospitals and health centres with patient meals, collecting laboratory specimens and waste and deliver of equipment, mail and pharmacy supplies.
Transport & Waste Manager Gerald Ferrie, NHS Forth Valley was keen to participate in the ECO Stars scheme, “It provides a benchmark which can be developed over months and years as we follow the ECO Stars recommendations to improve our fleet efficiency”
Bryans Coaches is a family owned bus and coach company based in Denny. They run several local and school bus services and offer a full range of coaches for hire – from 16 to 70 seats. Their 11 vehicles are mostly modern coaches resulting in the company being awarded an overall Four Star rating in the ECO Stars Scheme – the best for a bus and coach company in Falkirk ECO Stars. Owner Willie Bryans is delighted to achieve Four Stars, “We take a real pride in our vehicles – and the service we provide to our customers. We believe it’s important to reduce the impact we have on the environment, and we believe that ECO Stars can help us to achieve this”