Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a new ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme this month to help operators improve environmental performance and drive down running costs.

The scheme will help TfGM in its aim to halve carbon emissions across the city region within the next four years.

ECO Stars is a free, voluntary scheme providing recognition and support on reducing fuel costs and environmental best practice to operators.

Upon joining the scheme, operators are given a star rating out of five, with personal guidance on how to improve upon this initial score and drive further efficiencies in their fleet operations.

TfGM head of logistics and environment, Helen Smith, said: “We’re working very hard with our partners to improve Manchester’s air quality and taking part in the scheme helps the city on its way to reducing its carbon emissions by 48% by 2020.”

The scheme launched this month and hopes to work with operators in pollution hotspots in Greater Manchester, such as Trafford Park.

Many major operators in the area have already signed up, including retailers Nisa and Superdrug.

ECO Stars is being managed on behalf of TfGM by transport consultant Transport and Travel Research (TTR).

Morag White, TTR deputy programme manager for ECO Stars, added: “The scheme is free to sign up to, the process is simple and by following our advice, businesses could improve their fuel efficiency by up to 5%.

“We hope that Manchester’s fleet operators, whether one-man bands or larger operators, will take full advantage of this opportunity to make a difference to both their bottom line and their local environment.”