First green vehicles drive into Forrest

The first carbon efficient vehicles in Forrest’s £1.7m fleet update have now been delivered, as the social housing regeneration specialist looks to strengthen its commitment to the environment.

Vicky Lee - Forrest fleet updateMore than 30 new vehicles – incorporating 20 Ford Transit vans, nine Ford Fiesta 1.6 Ecotec Cars and six Fiat Doblo Cargo Maxi 1.6 Multijet – were introduced for the customer care team, site managers and contractors in the first phase.

In total, a mixture of 130 cars and vans will be added to the fleet over the next two years. Phase two for the next 40 vehicles is set for delivery in September 2013.

Forrest took the decision to update its fleet following an internal review which showed a switch to newer, more environmentally-friendly models would produce considerable cost and emission savings.

Each new vehicle will be fitted with Green Road, a measurement programme that scores drivers’ performance against more than 100 categories. By highlighting good driving behaviour through a traffic light system, Green Road aims to create safer, more carbon-efficient driving that also reduces road risks.

Following a trial run in 2012, all 10 staff involved in Forrest’s test programme received the highest rating when using Green Road, in comparison to just one at the start of the trial. The overall score of drivers undertaking potentially hazardous manoeuvres dropped from 40 to 11 in just one week.

When all vehicles have been rolled out, the intention is to introduce a regular incentive scheme to reward those drivers receiving the best scores.

Vicky Lee, quality and environmental manager at Forrest, said: “Sustainability may be a buzz word for some companies but for Forrest it runs through everything we do, from the environmental building works we provide to how we physically deliver our services. With the first intake of vehicles we’re making a strong start to revitalising our fleet and creating a truly efficient operation.”