Three Kent businesses have been recognised for their work to reduce vehicle emissions and tackle air pollution in Swale.
DS Smith, EH Nicholls Jnr Ltd and Firmin have each scored highly in the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme.
Swale Borough Council is the first local authority in Kent to take part in the scheme, which offers advice and support to help fleet vehicles operate more efficiently and reduce fuel and general operational costs.
Businesses receive a star rating that rates individual vehicles and overall fleet operations to recognise levels of operational and environmental performance.
The scheme, which is free for businesses to sign up to, also helps raise awareness among operators of commercial vehicles of the role they can play in helping to improve local air quality, through improved fleet environmental performance.
David Simmons, cabinet member for environmental and rural affairs at Swale Borough Council, said: “It is great to see so these local companies scoring highly in the ECO stars scheme.
“If we want to tackle air pollution, we need to work together to reduce emissions. The companies are leading by example, showing that they take the issue seriously.
“They understand the benefits for their own businesses, as well as the local community, and I hope this encourages even more businesses to join the scheme.”
Mark Abbey, UK logistics manager at DS Smith, said: “Being part of one of Europe’s largest packaging company’s, DS Smith Logistics sees the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme Award as a natural fit for a business who’s model is based on a closed loop recycle process.
“As a local employer DS Smith occupies an important place within the Swale community, taking seriously both the benefit and impact we have locally and on the wider general public.
“DS Smith Logistics has always set itself challenging performance targets and is pleased to have been recognised to be in the forefront, with this prestigious ECO five-star Award for Fleet efficiency, contributing to improved environmental air and road user quality.”
Maggie Nicholls, from EH Nicholls, said: “We are conscious of our environmental impact and make every effort to reduce our carbon footprint. ECO stars is a straightforward scheme that highlighted a few areas that could be improved.”
Stuart Joyce, head of fleet and compliance at Firmin, said: “Being planet aware is one of the Firmin core values and being awarded the top five-star rating by the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme is testament to our ongoing commitment to creating a sustainable future.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement as recognition of our commitment to maximising fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, which we have accomplished through a regular fleet renewal programme, investment in technology and continuous driver development.”