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Safety-focused 'Business Champion' Fleets win 'Oscars'.

18 March 2010

FOUR ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign ‘business champions’ were among the winners at this year’s Fleet News Awards - known as the industry ‘Oscars’.

The awards from the leading fleet industry publication were presented at a glittering ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Wednesday, March 17, 2010.

The Government-backed ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign, which is delivered by RoadSafe, has more than 40 ‘business champion’ fleets, which are used by the campaign to promote the financial, legal and moral reasons for organisations across the public and private sectors to invest in at-work driving safety.

An estimated up to 200 road deaths and serious injuries a week result from crashes involving at work drivers, and more employees are killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other work-related activity.

The roll of ‘business champions’ that collected Fleet News’ awards was:

  • Tesco.com, which operates a fleet of 2,200 vehicles delivering goods to online customers across Britain, and employs 8,000 drivers, won the Fleet Initiative of the Year for its focus on fleet safety and its occupational road risk strategy.
  • Leading leasing, fleet and fuel card management company Arval won the Safety Award in the suppliers’ category for its promotion of occupational road risk management to customers.
  • CGG Veritas was named Fleet of the Year in the sub-50 vehicles category.
  • Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant company with brands such as Premier Inn, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Costa Coffee, was named Fleet of the Year in the 251-500 vehicles category.

Commenting on Tesco Dotcom, the awards’ judges said the company had ‘made a significant investment into a comprehensive and clear occupational road risk management initiative’ and added: “Tesco enjoys an enviable and deserved track record and reputation for safety, training and duty of care. This initiative further underlines that commitment.”

In presenting the Safety Award to Arval, which deals with more than one million drivers and has 40,000 customers, the judges said: “Arval’s initiative is really making a difference to fleet operators. It is putting safety at the centre of fleet culture by providing an environment where companies can share best practice. It is refreshing to see a leasing company take an altruistic approach - it’s not selling a service, it’s giving something of value to fleets.”

Crawley-based international geophysics company CGG Veritas and its car fleet manager Louise Claydon demonstrated commitment to fleet management by undertaking a series of formal training programmes funded by the company, according to the judges. They added: “She demonstrated a firm grip on all the key issues of her fleet, especially risk management, and has clear targets and a strategy for cost reductions.”

Finally, in relation to Whitbread, the judges said: “The research and procurement team have grasped hold of a new management discipline after the redundancy of their fleet manager. The most outstanding aspect is their understanding of the connection between the challenge, the causes, the solution and the outcome. They’ve achieved in excess of their targeted savings.”

Caroline Scurr, director of the ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign, said: “It is fantastic that our ‘business champions’ have been recognised with such prestigious fleet industry awards.

“All four companies are committed to reducing the risks faced on the roads by those who drive for work and are in the vanguard of spreading the safe driving gospel to all other public and private sector fleets across Britain.

“More and more public and private sector fleets are realising that managing at-work driving safety makes good business sense.”

Full details on each of the companies’ occupational road risk management strategy can be found here.

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