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Fleet Heroes: How do we find our heroes?

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Now in their 14th year, the Fleet Heroes 2019 awards will once more celebrate organisations delivering a cleaner and more efficient future for transport. Energy Saving Trust, which runs the awards and accompanying conference, looks at how winners are chosen.

This year’s Fleet Heroes Awards & Conference will take place on Thursday 28 November at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

Energy Saving Trust’s transport programme helps many organisations transform their fleets, finding sustainable vehicle alternatives and solutions to help the UK achieve a net-zero future and tackle harmful air pollution.

We also celebrate these advancements: now in its 14th year, our Fleet Heroes Awards & Conference has recognised over 100 organisations and individuals for their efforts in creating a cleaner and more sustainable future for transport. The award categories have changed over the years to reflect the industry and cover most aspects of sustainable fleets, from integration of low emission vehicles, to innovation in fleet technology and management.

Supported by the Department for Transport and sponsorship from industry partners, Fleet Heroes has always been free to enter and attend, making it accessible to all organisations. Removing the barrier of cost means that newer SMEs breaking into the industry or public sector fleets have an equal chance to take the spotlight as larger and more established organisations.

This year’s ceremony takes place on 28 November at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. This year’s sponsors include Go Ultra Low, Highways England, Fleet World and Alphabet.

Fleet Heroes is an opportunity to learn, in addition to the awards ceremony. Conference sessions and panel discussions feature leading experts in the field, including speakers from government, local authorities, and organisations of all sizes. In light of the Government’s 2050 net zero target announced this year, 2019’s conference will focus on ‘driving net zero’ through the electrification of fleets and cities.

Who judges Fleet Heroes?
Our judging panel brings together independent experts from across the sector with extensive knowledge of fleet electrification, best practice in fleet management and an eye for truly promising innovations and technologies. This year’s judges are editor-at-large of Fleet World, Alex Grant, the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO) chair Caroline Sandall and Alex Lewis-Jones from Delta-EE, with Energy Saving Trust’s Ian Featherstone leading the panel.

How does the judging work?
After a fortnight to review all the applications, the judging panel meet in the Energy Saving Trust offices. Taking each award category in turn, the judges select a highly commended and winner from a final shortlist. Where organisations attach evidence of their achievements, this helps make the case to the judges and helps with their deliberations.

While a consensus often emerges, applications can provoke debate. As we encourage applications from organisations of all sizes and types, the judges are mindful of the diversity of resources and management buy-in that each organisation can harness to transform their fleet. The judges’ experience working alongside countless fleets over many years enables them to recognise truly exceptional entries and worthy winners.

The finalist shortlist is announced on 5 November and the awards presented on 28 November at the National Gallery, London. Previous winners include HMRC, The Stobart Group, British Gas and Dundee Council.

What does it take to be a Fleet Hero?
Any organisation can become a ‘Fleet Hero’ but there are a few aspects which unite outstanding entries. Primarily, organisations must have implemented significant changes which reduce vehicle emissions, and ideally, attach some evidence to back up their claims.

Strategic plans and targets positively demonstrate ambition but winning applications describe how they have taken the leap and successfully put these plans into practice. The judges are always keen to hear how entrants have overcome challenges and used out-of-the-box thinking and persistence.

A commitment to embedding long-lasting change also contributes to a winning entry. For example, this could be shown through several years of marked improvements, undertaking actions to coordinate teams or working with peers to share best practice and ideas.

The judging criteria gives specific pointers for each award category, and we recommend that applicants take a look at these when preparing their application form.

To book your place visit fleetheroes.org.uk/book-now.

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