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Pioneering 'green' government transport agency wins national environmental award

15 October 2008

Government Car and Despatch Agency's success in creating an environmentally-responsible transport service has been recognised this week by the judges of the Energy Saving Trust's prestigious Fleet Heroes Awards.

The awards celebrate organisations that show their commitment to minimising their impact on the environment by cutting carbon emissions from business travel.

At the third annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 14, held at Covent Garden's London Transport Museum, the Agency was rewarded by the Fleet Heroes judges for its innovative driver training policy, which focuses on both road safety and environmental responsibility, and which has dramatically cut the Agency's fuel consumption. GCDA's Nigel Bennett, Director of Core Services was presented with the award by Secretary of State the Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP.

The Agency constantly monitors fuel consumption and promptly offers re-training to drivers whose fuel consumption is excessive. This, coupled with a driver training scheme which has been developed in partnership with the Qualification Curriculum Authority and the City and Guilds awarding body, and backed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, persuaded to judges to name GCDA as winner of the Fleet Heroes 2008 Smarter Driving Award.

The Agency was also runner-up in the Fleet Heroes 2008 Leadership Award in recognition not only of its bold approach to cutting its own carbon emissions, but also for leading the business transport industry by example and being in the vanguard of the sector's efforts to make their services sustainable.

Green Cars, GCDA's taxi service for government and public sector clients, uses hybrid fuel cars and produces half the carbon emissions of traditional black cabs, and now runs the biggest low-carbon taxi fleet in London. Where contractors provide the same service for the public sector on GCDA's behalf in the regions, they are being strongly encouraged to switch to greener, low-carbon vehicles. Finally, where carbon emissions are unavoidable, GCDA offsets them through the government's Carbon Offsetting Fund.

"For a small Agency like ours, competing with national players, this is a truly remarkable feat," said Roy Burke, Chief Executive of GCDA. "This is recognition of the work the whole Agency has done over the past two years in making significant changes to the fleet and reducing our environmental impact."

The awards are sponsored by the Department of Transport's Energy Saving Trust, the Guardian, the Observer and Fleet News.

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