The freight industry was recognised for its commitment to reducing noise pollution during the 16th annual John Connell Awards in London this week.

Dubbed the ‘noise Oscars’, the awards champion advances in reducing the negative impact of unnecessary noise on the general public.

Winner of the John Connell Quiet Logistics Award was a partnership between forklift manufacturer Hiab and retailer Pets at Home.

Deliveries to Pets at Home’s 1,400 UK stores in the evening and at night were generating complaints from residents, mostly concerning noise emitted from diesel-powered forklift trucks.

To continue its efficient out-of-hours delivery movements, Pets at Home had to find a solution that came in the form of Hiab’s first all-electric truck-mounted forklift with a lift capacity of 2,000kg, which was completely silent.

Gloria Elliott, Noise Abatement Society chief executive, said:"‘NAS applauds Hiab and Pets at Home’s investment in quiet delivery technology which will benefit residents and colleagues alike."

Highly commended in the same category was Whitbread, which owns popular food and hotel outlets such as Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.

Whitbread was recognised for its high standard of quiet delivery and servicing operations, which had brought efficiency gains into the business from responsible retiming.

Elliott said: "Whitbread is to be congratulated as a great example of showing care to the communities in which it operates by exercising quiet policies and investing in low-noise technology."

Scooping the Innovation Award was Brigade Electronics for its work on developing a ‘Quiet Vehicle Sounder’ to put the noise back into near-silent electric vehicles to enable them to be heard by pedestrians and cyclists when in close proximity.

The noise reacts to the ambient background, is not invasive, and dissipates quickly.

Also Highly Commended for innovation was Aecom for working closely with TfL to create a visual matrix of ‘Quiet equipment and vehicles: making the right choice’, using case studies to demonstrate their benefits.

The matrix is now published on the FORS website to help operators stay well informed about the positive benefits of quiet technologies in their supply chains.

Highly commended in the Soundscape Award was operator Martin Brower.

An early adopter of quiet technology and staff training in its delivery to McDonald’s restaurants, the operator was commended for its understanding of the “holistic spirit of soundscape principles” shown through a variety of sustained best practices to enable efficient servicing without causing noise disturbance.