Environment

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

Judges' Verdict

Another very good batch of entries even if there was a preponderance of new bus initiatives, perhaps an inevitable consequence of Green Bus Fund and its encouragement to operators to acquire electric, hybrid and gas buses. Bus companies and local authorities are also much more aware of environmental issues and their impact on passengers. Judges were pleased that the more enlightened operators are now looking at the environment and sustainability in a wider context and there were a number of good entries reflecting this. Some of these could have been much stronger if there was more evidence of outcomes, assuming of course outcomes are being measured!

Promoting the green image - Lothian BusesWinner 2013: Lothian Buses – Leading The Way For Greener Transport

Winner of several environmental awards already, Lothian Buses has a reputation for providing a first-class service for the public in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The company has shown a determination to build on its environmental credentials by investment in Scotland’s first diesel-electric hybrid buses as well as a pioneering initiative to retrofit forty-four buses with ultra-low emission SCRT exhaust systems. In addition to its bus policy, the judges were impressed with the company’s joined-up thinking relating to wider environment and sustainability issues both within its business and to the public at large, a model for all bus companies to follow, and its partnership with its local councils and other stakeholders.

Joint Runners Up

Reading Buses – A Breath Of Fresh Air

One of Reading's environmentally friendly fleetThe judges were extremely impressed with Reading Buses’ comprehensive approach to the environment and sustainability. 38% of the company’s fleet is now very environmentally-friendly with thirty-one hybrid diesel-electric and twenty gas buses – and all other buses use bio-diesel fuel and an additive to improve consumption and reduce emissions. The depot roof has photo-voltaic cells to reduce electricity use and the staff are involved in a variety of smaller initiatives, ensuring that the commitment to sustainable transport is implemented across the whole organisation and not just focused on the buses. The company produced over 2,500 less carbon tonnes over the past year.

Stagecoach Group – Sustainability Success

Campaigning for green awareness at StagecoachStagecoach Group is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its business. It has the aim of leading the way in investing in green measures and has achieved its five-year sustainability targets one year ahead of schedule. The judges were impressed with the comprehensive nationwide approach, and how it has involved the staff in its ambitions, not least with the Sustainability Strategy information that has gone to all employees. From major initiatives like its annual Group Green Week down to little things like saving energy in depots at times when buses do not run, Stagecoach has demonstrated that sustainability is at the heart of its business objectives.

Highly Commended

First Group – Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle Programme

Explaining the FirstGroup campaignThrough partnerships and by using the latest technology, FirstGroup has introduced projects to further reduce, reuse and recycle waste. The Group has avoided 105,000 tonnes of hazardous wet-waste, improved its waste recycling by a further 13%, and now recycles 63% of its general waste. Also, a significant proportion of vehicle parts are re-used, resulting in estimated savings of over £0.5million per annum. The judges were impressed by the effort at all levels within the Group that had gone into building on First’s previous success, and by the examples demonstrating how projects to achieve environmental best practice had been carried through.

Transport For London – NOx Abatement Programme

Cleaning emissions - TfL's NOx abatement programmeDespite significant improvements, London’s air quality remains the poorest in the UK with levels of Nitrogen Dioxide still too high, and above EU limit values. TfL’s NOx reduction programme aims to bring the London bus fleet up to Euro 4 engine emission standards for NOx as well as particulate matter by 2016. This abatement programme provides the UK with an ideal bus retrofit model for improvements to air quality in busy metropolitan areas served by large bus fleets. In London, it is targeted to achieve a 20% cut in 5,500 tonnes of NOx emitted by the 8,700 bus fleet when comparing 2016 with 2012.

Travel De Courcey And Partners – Coventry Park & Ride South Electric Vehicle Project

One of the electric vehicles in service in CoventryAn excellent example of committed partnership between Coventry City Council, Centro, Cenex (Centre of Excellence for Low-Carbon Technologies) and Travel De Courcey, the prime aim of the Coventry Park & Ride South project was to reduce carbon emissions in a polluted city centre environment, and increase patronage and modal shift through the operation of the UK’s first large, fast-charging electric buses. The judges were impressed with the project and its potential and, not least, how it seems to have had a transformational impact on the company operating the service.

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.

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