The Award will be presented to the scheme which, in the opinion of the judges, constitutes the best contribution by a bus operator, authority, manufacturer or any group or individual within those organisations to one or more of the following:
- Further improving the environmental friendliness of the bus
- Improving the environment in which buses operate
- Improving the environment for bus users and potential users.
For the avoidance of doubt, environmental benefits in the context of this award are defined as:
- Changes to noise levels
- Changes to vehicle emissions, either in total or in the chemical content which would be less harmful to either public health or in reducing contributions to global warming
- Changes to air quality in specific areas (for example, depots, terminals or other places where vehicles and humans interact), including local authority designated Air Quality Management Areas.
- A reduction in waste products or in the environmental effects of waste products.
- Improved energy efficiency in either premises or on the road
The 2015 Results
Winner, Gold Award
Electrifying Nottingham - Nottingham City Council and partners
The Electric Bus Partnership began in September 2012. Forty-five fully electric buses are now being operated by partners trentbarton and Nottingham Community Transport. Thirteen more will be running by September 2016, bringing the total electric fleet to 58 vehicles - reportedly the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe. Significant reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants have been, achieved while cost savings on fuel and servicing has enabled Nottingham City Council to fully maintain its contracted bus network.
The judges were impressed by the extent of the electric bus operation, the coherence of the system, the sustainability of the solution and by good, strong partnership working.
Winner, Silver Award
Diesel into Hybrid - Ensign Bus Company and Vantage Power
Over the last three years, Ensign has worked closely with Vantage Power to bring to market the B320 System - a hybrid powertrain designed to retrofit existing double-decker buses. The B320 allows operators to upgrade older buses to the latest emissions standard while reducing fuel consumption by over 40%, and at a quarter the cost of buying new hybrid vehicles.
The judges noted Vantage's role as the inventor and developer and that of Ensignbus in taking on the commercial risk to expand the system and in marketing it.
Winner, Bronze Award
To planet Reading and beyond! - Reading Buses
Building on investments in bio-gas and electric-hybrid vehicles, improving air quality, modal shift and customer growth, Reading Buses has launched its 'planet Reading' environmental and sustainability strategy. The company says it lives and breathes environmental awareness right across its business and shares its learning across the UK and Europe. So far, carbon emissions have been reduced by 20% at teh same time as increasing customer numbers by more than 10%.
Investment in gas buses and hybrids, and the strong commitment of the company to the environment greatly impressed the judges who remarked on the extent of its achievements as one company - a shining example to the rest of the industry.
Electric buses and New Poppleton Park & Ride - First York and York City Council
In partnership with Yrok City Council, First Bus operate two fully electric Park & Ride routes at Poppleton Bar (opened in June 2014) and Monks Cross in York, using a fleet of 12 electric buses. Free parking, and low emission Optare Versa electric buses running frequent journeys into York, have helped cut congestion and emission levels along the routes into the city centre.
Delivering a greener fuel blend - Stagecoach Group
Across the UK, three-quarters of Stagecoach's bus fleet now uses a greener fuel blend of 30% biofuel and 70% standard diesel, helping to significantly reduce the company's carbon emissions across its fleet of 8,000 vehicles and help deliver greener travel for customers. In 2011 Stagecoach became the first UK bus operator to install a bio-blender at its Kilmarnock depot, which enabled the company to blend its own mix of fuel.
The judges were impressed by the fact that Stagecoach has rolled out its bio-blend across the whole group and has shown a strong group-wide commitment to the environment.
Who could be nominated?
This category was open to industry suppliers, operators and authorities either separately or in conjunction with one another.
… and by whom?
Nominations were welcomed from all eligible organisations, and self-nomination is acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
Decisions were based on the quality of the submissions made and the extent to which they address the criteria. Nominations were therefore required to provide information on:
- The nature of the project(s) and its intended effect on the environmental impact of the bus
- The extent of technological innovation
- Where the nomination concerns a new product or service, the extent of its commercial success
- Deliverability on an industry-wide basis (this would include the practicality and affordability of the idea).
- Where the nomination concerns a new product, the degree to which the product has proved reliable in everyday service and delivered the benefits intended.
- The extent to which customer and market research was employed in the development of the product
- The involvement of other partners in the industry in the development of the project or product.
Products or services entered for consideration did not necessarily have to be exclusive to the bus industry, but entrants needed to demonstrate that their product or service had widespread application within the industry.