It's a pivotal time for road transport sustainability. Recent statistics from the European Environment Agency showed that while European emissions in all other sectors fell by almost a quarter, cars, vans and lorries have seen a 17 per cent increase.
The fleets of vehicles operated by private and public sector organisations will need to change significantly if we're to meet emissions reduction targets, and industry leaders will have to play a strong role to make that happen.
Energy Saving Trust's Fleet Hero Awards recognise those sector leaders that are pushing things forward – and 2016's edition is now open for entries.
There are prizes in ten categories available, from best business fleets, to local authorities doing the most to tackle air quality, to those taking the very necessary step of bringing more electric vehicles to the front line of enterprise and public service.
This year's prize-giving includes an open award for innovation, in which fleet managers, vehicle manufacturers and fleet service suppliers alike can make their cases. This award will take account of imagination, employee engagement and a willingness to overcome barriers, and will also factor in employee and client feedback.
It's a two-phase application, and the first is very simple: those interested in competing need to go to the Fleet Hero Awards website and submit 250 words explaining exactly why their work with fleets is ahead of the rest. From there, those getting through to the next phase will need to provide some more detail to back up their case. Full judging criteria is also available.
The awards celebrate individuals working to make a difference and help spread best practice in fleet sustainability. An award can also give your business a competitive advantage. With companies and public bodies increasingly conscious of the wider sustainability agenda and setting individual greenhouse gas emissions targets, picking up a gong can highlight the green credentials to put a company ahead of the rest when it comes to picking up contracts.
Last year's winners included Carlsberg, for its achievements on eco-driving and West Yorkshire Police, for efforts to cut costs and carbon across its fleet. This year, applications are particularly welcomed from the small and medium-sized organisations striving to play their part in Britain's sustainable transport future and cleaning up the air in our towns and cities.
The awards, always a major event on the fleet transport calendar, will be presented on 24 November 2016 at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. The deadline for first round applications is 30 July 2016.