The university was nominated in the ‘Grey Fleet’ category and was highly commended for cutting its business mileage by 32%, resulting in a 16% reduction in carbon emissions.
The university implemented a number of innovative green initiatives to achieve these impressive results, which included:
- Implementing a travel hierarchy to reduce unnecessary travel, supported by a car club and rental vehicles.
- Issued over 200 personal travel plans to help staff make more environmentally sound travel choices.
- Incentivised car sharing and offered reduced parking rates for ultra-low emission vehicles.
- Provided students with Stagecoach passes to discourage car use and developed a partnership with Virgin Trains for free first class upgrades for university staff.
The awards ceremony was held at the Institute of Directors in London on Thursday 27 November and the award was presented by Quentin Willson, ex presenter of Top Gear.
Quentin Willson said, “I was delighted to present the University of Cumbria with their award. The judges saw the University as the clear winner in this category, having implemented a range of innovative ideas to help reduce their business mileage and impact on the environment. Having been a runner-up two years ago, it was great to fully recognise what they've achieved."
The Fleet Heroes Awards are organised by the Energy Saving Trust and identify organisations that proactively reduce fuel bills and cut carbon emissions through innovative transport policies, improved fleet efficiency, or the provision of cost and fuel saving products or services to fleets.
Ian Rodham, Travel Planner for the University of Cumbria, attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the university.
He said, “It’s just fantastic that the University of Cumbria has been recognised and held up as leading the way by the judges. It was a huge cross-organisational effort to achieve these impressive results and I am very proud of the fact that the university is doing so much to reduce its impact upon the environment."
The University of Cumbria beat off stiff competition from Sussex Community Trust and Portsmouth City Council to win the award.