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South Yorkshire ECO Stars Newsletter                                                       Issue 10 - September 2013


DEFRA and DfT officers in ECO Stars fact-finding visit in South Yorkshire

September saw a visit from representatives from two Government departments to learn more for themselves how ECO Stars has developed since its launch in South Yorkshire in 2009.

Officers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Transport spent a day fact finding which included a site visit to ECO Stars member Sheffield Community Transport. They provide local communities with services including Dial-a-Ride, Wheels 2 Work (a scooter loan scheme) and 14 local bus routes across the city. Their General Manager Ian Jenkinson outlined how ECO Stars acted as an incentive to take action, “Over the last year  we’ve seen a 10% improvement in fuel consumption . We’ve achieved this through a number of initiatives but driver training has proved to be very effective – Supported by recommendations from the scheme, we monitor fuel consumption much more closely, and have made much greater use of bio-diesel.”

National ECO Stars Manager Ann Beddoes from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council was delighted to meet the visitors. "Following the launch of the first ever ECO Stars scheme, we’ve seen scheme numbers multiply across the UK. With many of these receiving funding from DEFRA or the DfT, it’s a privilege to be able to show them where it all started.”


Symphony Groups's Marketing and Export Director Simon Collyns recieving their plaque The latest Five Star members – Symphony Group and Senior Architectural Systems were presented with plaques to mark their achievement. Symphony Group produces and fits bespoke kitchens from its base in Barnsley with their national distribution centre home to a fleet of 74 vehicles which distribute across the UK. Marketing and Export Director Simon Collyns said, “We’re dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment and we are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint including making improvements to our fleet and optimising our routes”. 
Presentation of plaque to Jonny Greenstreet of Senior Architectural Systems Senior Architectural Systems is based in Doncaster and produces aluminium glazing systems for commercial and residential customers. Business Development Manager Jonny Greenstreet said, “We take our environmental impact very seriously in all parts of our business, so it was an easy decision to join the ECO Stars scheme to benchmark our current operations. Not only are we very proud to have been recognised as a Five Star operator, but the road map provided to us by ECO Stars gives us a great idea of how to make further improvements to our fleet in order to lessen our impact on air quality.“


FREE Places at Commercial Motor Live!   But be quick –  it takes place on 2/3 October

ECO Stars has teamed up with Green Freight Europe who are offering two free tickets (normally £35 each) per member to visit one of the leading freight industry events – held at Milton Keynes at the beginning of October.

Green Freight Europe Logo

Green Freight Europe is running a seminar as part of the Commercial Motor Live programme – which we highly recommend to our freight members.  Green Freight Europe is an industry led association including household names such as TNT, Ikea, Proctor & Gamble and FedEx - who aim to increase the “green”  procurement of transportation, drive reduction of carbon emissions and  promote collaboration between carriers and shippers. More info can be found at

The free afternoon seminar – on October 2 – will cover more of Green Freight Europe’s work and also look at best practice in vehicle aerodynamics, reducing the weight of trailers, measuring carbon emissions across modes of transport and features case studies from Heineken and TU Delft. Places are limited - to reserve your space- email Green Freight Europe , or contact your ECO Stars scheme manager Mark Fell for more information.

 How to register for your free tickets:  Just visit and when registering, enter the Green Freight Europe promotional  code - JAT40058 for your two free tickets.


ECO Stars shortlisted for SEE Awards

ECO Stars Europe was shortlisted for the prestigious Sustainable Energy Europe (SEE) Awards  which recognise and promote outstanding projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and clean transport. 

Ann Beddoes - ECO Stars Manager

ECO Stars was considered to be one of the top five shortlisted projects in the category of “Clean Mobility Schemes – Travelling” - from a total of more 220 award applications across Europe. The winners were announced during the EU Sustainable Energy Week in June when we heard that ECO Stars was beaten as a car-sharing project in Bremen, Germany took the top spot.

ECO Stars Manager Ann Beddoes said: "Even to be on the shortlist from more than 200 applications is a great achievement. It reflects the spectacular success of the ECO Stars schemes in the UK and Europe and is testament to the keen engagement of fleet operators."



New Members since May 2013

4 Star Logo Amey (Sheffield) - Amey is a contractor for Sheffield City Council, running street cleaning operations with a large fleet of 213 vehicles.  
3 Star Logo Fosters Bakery - Based in Barnsley, they run a fleet of 15 vehicles. See feature below.
3 Star Logo Sheffield Community Transport - With a fleet of 62 vehicles, Sheffield Community Transport serves residents across the Sheffield and Barnsley areas with services including Dial-a-Ride.
4 Star Logo J.G. Pears Ltd JG Pears specialises in rendering animal by-products and manufacturing animal feeds and tallow, which is used in the chemical industry and as a fuel.  They are based near Sheffield and run a modern fleet of 29 vehicles.
5 Star Logo Symphony Group Plc - Symphony Group produces and fits bespoke kitchens. Based in Barnsley, their national distribution centre is home to a fleet of 74 vehicles.
5 Star Logo Malcolm Logistics Services - Malcolm Logistics is one of the UK’s leading providers of third party logistics services, offering fully-integrated national road, rail and warehousing services . Their fleet of more than 300 vehicles are based at ten locations throughout the country including depots in North and West Yorkshire.

4 Star Logo

4 Star Logo


Noble Foods - Poultry Processing division (5*) & Egg Products & Milling divisions (4*) - Noble Foods is the UK’s biggest egg supplier, providing fresh eggs and egg-based products including desserts to many of the country’s major supermarkets. Their Milling division also supplies poultry and pig feed to livestock producers.

In South Yorkshire, three divisions of Noble Foods across four depots have joined the ECO Stars scheme with a total of 88 vehicles.

3 Star Logo Courier Logistics Ltd - Rotherham-based Courier Logistics has come a long way since 1994 when they started with 2 small ageing vans and a “big ambition to succeed”. They now run a fleet of more than 50 vehicles, employ more than 100 people and offer a variety of services including Sameday deliveries, Overnight parcels and pallets, storage, haulage and Pick ‘n’ Pack.
4 Star Logo A. Davies Transport - A. Davies Transport is a family-run business offering a  range of 24/7 transport and haulage services to clients including small businesses and multi-national 'blue-chip' companies.  They run a modern fleet of 16 trucks based at their offices in Barnsley.
5 Star Logo Senior Architectural Systems - Senior Architectural Systems provides a wide range of high performance aluminium glazing systems for commercial and residential customers. With projects including schools, hotels, public buildings and even Weston-super-Mare Pier, the company has grown to become a major supplier throughout the UK and Ireland. A fleet of six vehicles serves South Yorkshire from it’s headquarters in Doncaster.


Fosters Bakery in the Spotlight!

Foster Bakery Frieght Image

Our ECO Stars members are a diverse bunch - this issue we’ve put family–owned Fosters Bakery based in Barnsley under the spotlight.  

We interviewed Logistics Manager Craig Finnerty.

Tell us about Fosters Bakery? 
We‘re a bit bigger than the average bakery - we produce more than a million products a week, including bread, rolls and confectionery  which are supplied  to airlines, sandwich makers, hotels, food manufacturers and supermarkets  across the UK but also in Europe as well. The company was started in 1952 by Emily Foster and has grown to employ some 210 people today.

Is the environment an important issue for you?
Yes – Fosters Bakery is committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible way – from reducing fossil fuel use and waste to actively recycling. Our membership of ECO Stars is part of our environmental commitment.

What about your fleet of vehicles?
We have 22 drivers and 15 vehicles – a mix of Class 1, Class 2, 7.5 tonne and 3.5 tonne - they deliver fresh and frozen goods.

What’s your biggest challenge as a medium-sized fleet operator?
Well, one of the challenges of any fleet operator is that as vehicle get older, they lose efficiency – and much as I’d like to, we can’t replace vehicles just like that. So, it’s about making what you’ve got work as efficiently as possible – flexible daily route planning, utilising vehicle capacity before introducing another delivery van  - all designed to reduce mileage. When we do buy new vehicles, fuel consumption is a key consideration. For example, when we recently replaced a freezer van, we specified that the vehicle height was reduced to decrease wind drag.

Why did you join ECO Stars?
Simply - we were recommended. Aside from flour, the cost of fuelling the fleet is one of the biggest expenses in our total production, so I was already looking at ways to improve our efficiency. And with the price of diesel just going up, it makes sense. Plus we like the fact it was local and we could potentially talk with other fleet operators.

What is the best thing about ECO Stars for you?
I was already focussed on reducing fuel consumption and was initially disappointed to get “only” a Three Star rating – but the Road Map neatly summarized what we needed to work towards, and gave us credit for what we already do. It also opened my eyes to the types of technology and telematics that can be used.

Have you made any changes as a result?
Yes, we have – we always checked mpg per driver, but we didn’t record it formally. Now we do and we publicise the results weekly to our drivers. We can start looking at how to improve the worst performing, and recognising the best. Overall we’ve included the drivers in this whole process – which is a good thing.

Any message to anyone considering joining the scheme?
Short and sweet – it’s well worth it.


Things can only get better

ECO Stars is not just about achieving Five Stars straightaway. Our ultimate aim is to see each member  develop their rating no matter what it is currently– each star gained will make an improvement to air quality. Here’s two members that have improved their ECO Star rating recently:

Stagecoach Hybrid Bus


Bus operator Stagecoach Yorkshire has become the first transport operator in South Yorkshire to achieve a Four Star rating after being upgraded from Three Stars. Stagecoach has improved the fuel efficiency of its fleet of 315 vehicles and reduced carbon emissions with the use of a fuel additive, EnviroxTM, and a hi-tech GreenRoad 360 eco-driving system. Paul Lynch, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We are extremely proud to see that our hard work and commitment to the environment has been recognised with the award of Four Stars.


Craneleigh Freight Lorry

Featured in our last newsletter,Cranleigh Freight Services has made a number of improvements to their fleet including the introduction of comprehensive driver efficiency performance management system. This was put in place earlier this summer and is structured around the new driver/vehicle performance telematics system they have in place. Their fleet has also seen a major upgrade with almost all Four Star vehicles and of course the first DAF XF Euro VI tractor unit to grace UK roads that we mentioned last time. They are now proud Five Star members.



ECO Stars Success just rolls on

Since our last newsletter , we’ve seen the start of four more ECO Stars schemes:

  • Warrington
  • Dundee
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Sefton

This brings the total to 11 schemes in the UK. It’s early days yet as we’ve only just started recruiting members and official launches are yet to be planned – but we’ll let you know how they are progressing in the next newsletter.


Thurrock ECO Stars in the News!


  LTT 630 06 September - 19 September 2013 height=

Did you catch ECO Stars in a recent edition of Local Transport Today? (shown on the left) It was featured as part of Thurrock Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) activities.

Thurrock was also acknowledged in the Department for Transport’s first year’s LSTF report which highlighted station travel plans for Grays and Chafford Hundred, the ‘walk to school month’ initiative and their Freight Quality Partnership.  

Thurrock’s Andy Smith, said: “It is very satisfying to know that the work we are doing in Thurrock is being recognised nationally.”



Fuel Champions

Jim Chappell - ECO Stars Programme Manager

Jim Chappell, ECO Stars Manager explains why fuel champions are so important.

As the cost of fuel increases so do the pressures on commercial vehicle operators to be more fuel efficient.  You will be familiar with fuel efficiency activities such as accurate recording and reporting of individual driver and vehicle mpg,  training and incentive schemes for drivers to be more economical in their driving style.  However, fuel management and activities designed to reduce fuel consumption should really be co-ordinated and overseen by one person: the Fuel Champion.

A Fuel Champion does not necessarily have to be a manager, they can be a supervisor or senior driver.  What they do need to be is someone in the organisation who makes sure that all the actions undertaken to manage and reduce fuel consumption are co-ordinated, constantly reviewed and that results are communicated.

Sometimes this work is undertaken by people under other titles such as fleet administrator: But the title of “Fuel Champion“ elevates the profile of fuel efficiency in an organisation and helps fuel efficient operations become natural part of the way work is carried out.

Boots Logo

Retailer Alliance Boots has fully embraced the concept of a Fuel Champion, following an ECO Stars recommendation. Their nominated Fuel Champion now organises weekly meetings to discuss potential routes for further improvement, including driver feedback, active tuning regime for vehicles, reducing speed limits and collaborating with other operators. The Fuel Champion has driven fuel economy improvement and taken Alliance Boots beyond the measures outlined in their Road Map.


Measuring the ECO Stars effect - Update

Last time we told you about the work of the University of the West of England (UWE) which is developing a “tool” to measure and track the ECO Stars impact on air quality. This is progressing quickly with six South Yorkshire ECO Star members about to pilot the tool – including fleets from freight operators, passenger transport companies and local public sector.

Based on Microsoft Excel, the tool will allow an operator to calculate the carbon and air pollutant impact of their fleet, track improvements over time, and also estimate possible fuel savings and associated emission reductions of changing vehicles and adopting new operational efficiency practices.

The tool has been developed by Jo Barnes and Dr Rose Bailey from UWE who said, “The tool will help the scheme to evaluate the overall impact of the support given to members as well as a useful tool for each member to use by providing them customised reports of their environmental performance and information on the impact of potential improvements and measures.”

Once the pilot phase is completed, we will of course let you more.


Driver Training Scheme

Often one of the key ways to improve efficiency can be through training your drivers. The ECO Stars schemes in Nottingham and Thurrock have embraced this and offer free SAFED (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving) training to their members – with more than 100 drivers already benefitting.

ECO Driving Logo

Now, there’s a new free scheme starting in South Yorkshire which may help you. Eco-Business Driving  is being run by the South Yorkshire Safer Road Partnership. The driver training and support package aims to help organisations to reduce their fuel and accident related costs, while also improving road safety. The 3 hour training course is aimed at company car and van drivers, and includes a workshop session and practical in-car training.

There are 4000 free places available, and 100 companies can further benefit from an Eco-Safe Plan.

Eco-Business Driving is being launched at an event in Rotherham on October 30 – to book your place or for more information, contact 0114 3600484,  email or visit


Keep in touch

We hope you enjoyed our new-style newsletter. Let us know what you think, and get in touch if you have any suggestions for future articles (T: 01543 416416 or E: If you are the only person in your company that receives this newsletter, pass it on. It would be great if we could have more than one contact to make sure all our members are kept up-to-date.




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