Green First for NHS in Eco Emissions Project

NHS Forth Valley has become the first organisation to improve its standing in Falkirk ECO Stars, a scheme that encourages fleet operators to reduce their fuel consumption and lower vehicle emissions.

All 31 of their vehicles were reassessed along with their operational procedures, which resulted in their standing being raised from a three to four star rating (the second highest possible) after joining the scheme in May 2013

The Falkirk ECO Stars scheme was commissioned by Falkirk Council and is available to all operators of commercial vehicles that are based or operate in the local area. NHS Forth Valley is the first operator to improve their assessment level.

The scheme has 37 members locally who operate just under 2,500 vehicles.

Councillor Dr Craig Martin, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for the Environment said: “The ECO stars scheme has made a huge impact in helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality locally since it started.

“It also means by having more efficient vehicles on the roads, operators can lower their fuel costs and reinvest the money saved into their businesses.”

Gerald Ferrie, Transport & Waste Manager for NHS Forth Valley said, “Our fleet participating in the ECO Stars Scheme has increased and we replaced some of our older fleet at the same time.

“The biggest difference has been the introduction for the first time of in-cab telematics on almost half of the fleet. These electronic tracking devices help us to monitor the location, speed and driving patterns of vehicles. This information will make a tremendous difference to fuel management and driver behaviour in the future.”

ECO Stars Scotland Manager Mark Cavers said, ““Credit where credit is due: NHS Forth Valley’s update of their fleet with newer, cleaner vehicles shows a responsible procurement policy, and the addition of vehicle telematics provides more detailed information on driver behaviour than ever before, allowing any spikes in fuel usage to be identified and quickly addressed – which will lead to a reduction in their local vehicle emissions – the driving ambition of the ECO Stars scheme.”

ECO Stars was originally set up in 2009 in South Yorkshire and has since expanded across the UK and Europe. When joining, members have their vehicles and overall fleet rated by industry experts to assess their current performance – both operational and environmental.

They can achieve an ECO Stars rating between one and five. Once assessed, a bespoke plan is then produced containing tailor-made guidance to help improve the efficiency of their fleet.