Companies and organisations have been making significant strides forward in improving their transport sustainability credentials for well over a decade – so it stands to reason that Energy Saving Trust’s Fleet Hero Awards is now in its twelfth year.
With the 2017 awards looming, a shortlist of 28 fleets have just been announced for the coveted trophies, across nine categories. They include technology firms, NHS ambulance trusts, local authorities, an airport and a university.
There are some familiar names from previous years, but also plenty of newcomers hoping their efforts will be recognised in front of their peers at the awards event on Thursday 9 November, held at the Museum of London Docklands.
London Borough of Hackney leads the way in terms of number of nominations, shortlisted in three categories: best public sector fleet, ultra-low emission fleet, and ultra-low emission infrastructure – a new category for 2017, and a timely one, too.
With increasing numbers of Ultra low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) arriving on the UK’s roads, getting the support infrastructure right is central to making a low-carbon transition a success, whether that means refuelling at work, at home, or en-route.
The awards judges have marked Heathrow Airport and Hydrogen Hub, as well as Hackney, as leading organisations for getting drivers fuelled up.
Energy Saving Trust's Chief Executive, Philip Sellwood, acknowledged both the shift towards greener vehicle choices across organisations in recent times, but also the need for a special award for infrastructure.
"The standard of applications this year is higher than ever, with our shortlist highlighting the extent to which fleets all around the country have adopted ultra-low emission vehicles, cutting vehicle emissions with forward-looking transport policies and fleet efficiency.
“This year we have included an ultra-low emission infrastructure award recognising fleet managers and transport planners who are showcasing best practice when planning and installing charging equipment for plug-in vehicles and refuelling for other technologies – a vital step to ensuring efficient and reliable operation as these vehicles become more widely available.” Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust
Robert Llewellyn, star of Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge and possibly the UK’s biggest electric vehicle (EV) enthusiast, is hosting the evening’s festivities. He’s also got a new series of videos full of EV information and tips on the way for the Energy Saving Trust YouTube channel, so keep an eye out for that.
Before the prizes are dished out there’s a daytime conference, which offers industry speakers and networking opportunities, helping to spread best practice and build contacts across a growing area of interest. The keynote speech is from Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association.
With air quality an issue being pushed higher up government policy priorities, and companies and organisations seeking out economic efficiencies where they can be found, it’s good to have the best of the best in fleet management providing examples of how it’s done. Best of luck to all the fleets shortlisted.