Balfour Beatty has become only the fifth company in the UK to be awarded the coveted Van Excellence Accreditation, an industry-led initiative that aims to enhance standards of van operator compliance, celebrate success and represent the interests of the industry.
Van Excellence is centred on the Van Excellence Code, which sets demanding yet achievable standards for fleet operators, and addresses many of the issues frequently cited by the public and government in criticism of the stereotypical ‘white van man’ image. A governance group of 17 organisations came together to address the challenges faced by van operators and took the initiative of creating a self-regulatory approach to establishing standards for the responsible operation of vans. Businesses are invited to register and seek accreditation to the standards of the code through an independent chargeable audit.
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions is a member of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which runs the accreditation, and has therefore been committed to working with the FTA to get the initiative up and running, along with other blue chip companies from across a variety of sectors.
Upon passing the audit, the companies are enrolled and presented with a Van Excellence Accreditation certificate and given permission to use the Van Excellence logo on their collateral. Audits are repeated annually, but accreditation status can also be reviewed in the event of serious deviation from the standards of the code.
Fleet operations manager, Adrian Wanford commented: “Ensuring our fleet operates to the highest standard is important to Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions. The team is extremely proud of this accreditation. It is the result of a lot of hard work and effort, and has been very worthwhile.”
This accreditation comes during the company’s 2011 fleet replacement programme, seeing the company purchase over 600 new vehicles including its second wave of Mercedes Sprinter vans, which were chosen for their superior safety standards compared to other models. This year's purchases mean that in the 12 month period up to June 2011, the company received around 1100 new commercial vehicles, making around three-quarters of the Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions fleet less than 15 months old.