Car sharing company is a UK winner

Posted: 15 July 2004

Liftshare.com has been selected, out of 27 entries,as the 'Example of Excellence' for the Shields Environmental Award 2004, as part of the British Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence.

The award recognises company performance that has a positive impact on both the environment and the business.

With only eight employees, liftshare.com has succeeded in transforming the concept of car sharing into a convenient, workable and realistic transport alternative.

For the first time, car sharing can be arranged via a national on-line scheme that enables users to find matches anywhere in the country. The national database is free to individuals - while businesses, local authorities, universities and community groups can pay to put their own branding on the system and use it for their own car travel needs.

With the UK having the worst congestion, longest commuting time and second highest road use in the EU there are clear environmental and personal benefits to using the service. Liftshare.com encourages and enables more efficient use of the car, enabling society to cut down on CO2 emissions.

Since October 2001 liftshare.com has provided car-sharing schemes to more than 300 clients and has succeeded in recruiting more than 54,000 members. Liftshare.com estimates it has saved around 14 million car-miles per annum and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 5,800 tonnes per year.

The Business in the Community Awards for Excellence are the leading awards in the field of corporate responsibility.

This year's Awards are organised in association with the Financial Times, sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), supported by Carillion plc, Company of the Year 2003 and independently assured by Arthur D Little.

The judges also awarded Toyota Manufacturing UK and Kent Art Printers Highly Commended status. Toyota set the challenge of reducing waste to landfill generated per vehicle from 8.5kg in 2001 to zero by 2005. As a result of activities such as reusing water extracted from paint sludge and using dried residue in the production of cement, general waste was reduced by 2.1 kg per car, paint waste was reduced by 4.7 kg per car, and hazardous waste was reduced by 1.7 kg per car. In total this activity has eliminated 1818 tonnes of waste committed to landfill per year.

The Kent Art Printers, a small printing company based in Chatham Kent, eliminates 2 tonnes of airborne solvent (VOC) emissions per year, improving the air quality both for its employees and the local community. In 2003, its waste reduction and maintenance programme resulted in a 25 per cent saving of water used - equivalent to 250,000 litres. Renewable wind-powered energy is used to power the factory site and the company uses vegetable inks as standard on 100 per cent of its litho presses.

Gordon Shields, Founder and Chairman of Shields Environmental Plc, comments: 'Looking after the environment has business benefits. We are trying to show companies that they can grow and differentiate their own businesses by being innovative with regard to the environment." These award winners are doing the same, and every company can add to its business potential and inspire its people by caring for the environment.'

Three other finalists (ScottishPower, Irish Polymers and Workspace Group) all received the Big Tick which demonstrates the measurable impact that an organisation has had on the environment and society.

Further information about Business in the Community can be found at the website www.bitc.org.uk.