The Environment Award 2010

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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.

Winners:The ADL hybrid bus, which uses technology from the BAE Systems programmeThe Low Carbon Vehicle Programme, BAE Systems

Since 2007 BAE Systems have been working with Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) to develop a family of hybrid diesel-electric buses, which define new standards in environmental performance. With both double and single deck versions now in service in cities across the UK including London. Each bus saves in the order of 30% fuel costs and CO2 emissions per year as well as reducing particulates and noise.

The judges were impressed by the way in which BAE Systems are building on their success in the North American market, where there are over 2,000 buses in daily revenue service. By aligning their expertise with Alexander Dennis Limited’s (ADL) knowledge and experience in the UK market, the company has made excellent progress towards its aim of delivering the premier hybrid bus solution to the UK.

Runners Up: Cutting back on Carbon, Go-Ahead Group

Go-Ahead CEO Keith Ludeman with a low emission busGo Ahead is certainly demonstrating its commitment to delivering solutions to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in the UK, a fact that clearly impressed the judges.

The Cutting Back on Carbon initiative was launched after a Group Energy Forum was established, the Forum’s remit being: to review energy usage across all the group’s locations and set a strategy and target for reducing energy use. During the first year the target reduction of 10% was exceeded.

Involving all 11,000 employees has been key to the success of the various initiatives introduced led by Energy Champions who were appointed at each company to drive forward the programme.

The project has already led to Go-Ahead becoming the first UK transport operator to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing carbon emissions and for the fourth year in a row they have achieved a gold rating in the Business in the Community Responsibility Index which includes an assessment of the way businesses minimise their impact on the environment.

Highly Commended

Greening the bus - the technology behind FirstGroup's fuel-saving schemeDriveGreen Scheme, FirstGroup UK Bus

Forming part of First’s Climate Change Strategy the DriveGreen Scheme has seen the introduction of eco–driving technology across its entire UK bus fleet of 8500 buses. Designed to improve the fuel efficiency of its bus fleet results have been immediate with a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency recorded.

The judges were impressed how the company had dealt with the huge logistical challenge of fitting equipment on all buses and then training up managers and staff to understand and then use the scheme, the project being completed three months ahead of schedule no mean feat for such a large fleet.

The project is backed up with a comprehensive coaching and training programme to continuously improve green driving skills.

DriveGreen is assisting First to achieve its 2012 climate change target to reduce co2 emissions by 8% in the UK Bus Division as absolute emissions have now fallen by 5.3% since 2006.

The Drivewell Project, Transdev London

John Pike of Transdev London

The Drivewell Project is a trial eco-friendly fleet management technology on 150 vehicles at one garage prior to a roll out of the 950 vehicle company fleet.

The objectives of the scheme were: to improve fuel consumption and bring about a reduction in the carbon footprint.

Involving staff at an early stage has been an important feature of this project. Communicating via posters, a regular four-page bi monthly newsletter and scoreboard showing driver results, to encourage competition for “best driver” among the staff.

Whilst recording up to 13% fuel economy improvements there has been the added benefit of a large reduction in accident numbers and claims.

Switch to Efficiency Campaign, Translink

Making the switch to efficiency in Northern IrelandTranslink operates a fleet of over 1400 buses and responsible for the operation of bus stations and repair facilities at over 40 different sites.
To reduce the environmental impact of these operations Translink have developed an energy management campaign to deliver significant CO2 output reductions.

Under the direction of a full time Energy Team one of their initiatives is an energy awareness campaign ‘Switch to Efficiency’ the key objectives to raise awareness of energy efficiency and carbon impact among employees and encourage employees to reduce their carbon impact both at home and in the workplace.

The use of a focussed communication strategy incorporating regular staff briefings and a variety of posters displayed across all sites have led to impressive lists of outcomes and achievements.

Lothian Buses, Zero Waste

A load of rubbish... from Edinburgh's buses, ready for recyclingAfter a detailed waste composition analysis from the litter left on buses revealed 95% of this waste was recyclable, all waste from buses now goes for recycling saving tonnages to landfill and subsequent Greenhouse gases as waste products decompose.

This scheme supported by the companies waste contractor has resulted in over 500 tonnes of waste from entering a landfill site. The next step of the project is to actively work find ways to reduce the waste being generated.

Coupled with rainwater harvesting and transforming the existing fleet to be even more green, Lothian Buses continues to strive to make bus travel in Edinburgh even greener.

Judges’ Overall Verdict

For the first year of this revived award, the judges were very pleased with the encouraging number of entries received. It is clear that operators are taking the environment, and their responsibilities towards it, very seriously indeed.

A number of schemes were in the early stages of development, and consequently suffered in the scoring because there were no outcomes as yet, but the judges look forward to seeing them again in 2011 when their effects can be measured more effectively.

Defining Environmental Benefits

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

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 was 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 therefore needed 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.

Entries were required to address each of the above criteria to assist with the judging process, and should also set the entry in the context of the entrant’s overall approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Products or services entered for consideration did not necessarily have to be exclusive to the bus industry, but entrants needed to demonstrate that the nominated product/service had widespread application within the industry.

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