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#FleetHeroes - Meet our 2016 award winners

•   Green transport champions announced
•   Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP crowns 10 winners
•   Innovation and employee engagement highlighted

What do a police force, a farmer's market and a renowned car brand have in common? They were all crowned winners at the 11th Fleet Hero Awards last night. 

Let's take a look at the 10 businesses and organisations the judges thought were the best of the best in a range of sustainable transport categories. 

Best Public Sector Fleet: West Yorkshire Police

West Yorkshire Police Fleet Hero Awards 2016

It was the battle of the bobbies in this category, with those in blue from West Yorkshire, pictured above with Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP, edging out Essex Police and Kent Police for the force's work managing a large fleet across 150 locations and 3,000 square miles – making significant reductions in mileage and carbon footprint. 

Best Business Sector Fleet: Z-Tech Control Systems

ZTech Fleet Hero Awards 2016

The judges felt that continuous driver training, incentives for employees to choose green vehicles and upgrading to newer, lower emissions vehicles where possible contributed to a 'low emission ethos' at Z-Tech, pictured here with Robert Llewelyn. In the last year, the company has built on previous CO2 reductions and cut its miles per gallon by four per cent.

Ultra Low Emission Fleet: Farmdrop

Farmdrop Fleet Hero Awards 2016

A mindful approach to air pollution means the London online farmer's market only uses electric vans. It has impressively negotiated challenges such as a lack of market-ready refrigerated electric vehicles and got to grips with the complexities of route planning, making it a stand-out innovator. 

Grey Fleet Management: Gateshead Council

Gateshead Council Fleet Hero Awards 2016

Reducing emissions from employee vehicles used for work can be tough business, but Gateshead Council have prioritised reducing mileage for more than a decade. A range of measures including low-emissions pool cars and the installation of solar PV and charging points have brought about an impressive mileage reduction of over 33 per cent. 

Vehicle Manufacturer: BMW 

BMW Fleet Hero Awards 2016

BMW beat off strong competition from Toyota for its production of unique driver experiences and commitment to improving the sustainability of the manufacturing process. It also helps drivers make economical route choices with in-car innovation providing satellite assistance.

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Fleet Supplier: Magenta Technology 

Magenta Technology Fleet Hero 2016

This winner was noted for its efforts to reach small and medium-sized businesses without dedicated fleet management staff – a neglected part of the market. Low-risk, easily-implemented fuel efficient route planning and scheduling is what it’s all about for the firm, with client's miles generally reduced by 10-15 per cent.  

Fuel Efficient Driving: Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

Drive DeVilbiss Fleet Hero Awards 2016

Sustainable management of a growing fleet was the challenge taken on with aplomb here. Driver training and convenient location of service centres has been key, with tracking software proving useful too. The results are clear: from nearly 4,000 litres of fuel per vehicle in 2012, this year it's likely to be below 3,000. 

Air Quality Initiative: City of Bradford Council

City of Bradford Council Fleet Hero Awards 2016

With a pressing need to tackle air pollution in the UK, this is a key category, and a range of local partnerships in Bradford have resulted in some positive steps. Consideration of electric vehicle charging in new developments, fleet procurement taking into account whole-life costs, and investment in walking and cycling infrastructure are notable examples of the good work being done.

Innovation: WEGO Couriers and InterCity RailFreight

WEGO Couriers InterCity RailFreight Fleet Hero Awards 2016

Innovation is not just about going solo. Though WEGO Couriers have been using bicycles and electric vehicles as part of its deliveries since 2003, this new partnership has taken the business of creative, cost effective, eco-friendly zero tailpipe emissions delivery to the next level using high-speed, shared rail services from around the country into London. 

Unsung Fleet Hero: John Gorton, Essex Police and Kent Police

Essex Police and Kent Police Fleet Hero Awards 2016

Amidst the carbon savings and mileage reductions, you can't forget the human side of fleet management. John manages a large fleet of 1,778 vehicles over a large area, and does it well – making £5million in savings over the last two years. The secrets of his success? Re-working company car policies, telematics, reconfiguring fleets towards lower emissions and car pooling. He also leads by example, driving a sub 99 g/km CO2 vehicle. 

Congratulations to all the winners, shortlisted competitors, and indeed everyone who entered the 2016 Fleet Hero Awards – and thanks to the evening's host Robert Llewelyn (@bobbyllew), and keynote speaker, Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP (@AJonesMP).

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or tweet @EnergySvgTrust. Follow updates with #fleetheroes.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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