FirstGroup annual Safety and Environmental Awards

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FirstGroup CEO, Tim O’Toole, speaking at the company’s annual Safety and Environmental Awards
FirstGroup CEO, Tim O’Toole, speaking at the company’s annual Safety and Environmental Awards

On April 24, FirstGroup hosted its annual Safety and Environmental Awards. The awards recognise the achievements of its people and companies throughout the UK.

“Injury Prevention underpins everything we do at First,” said Naveed Qamar, FirstGroup’s Safety Director. “The lives of 125,000 employees are in our hands, as well as those of the 2.5 billion passengers we move each year. Our approach to safety is relentless and while we can point to a good safety record across the Group, we must continue to improve and do better.”

Naveed explained that the Awards Ceremony and the Safety Conference the following day (April 25) augmented the aim for zero safety related incidents across the Group. “We want all our depots, stations and offices to achieve zero injuries and zero preventable incidents.

“Our Awards and Safety Conference re-enforced our company mantra: ‘If you cannot do it safely, don’t do it.’“

Graham Thurstan, Environmental Manager at FirstGroup, commented: “FirstGroup is committed to reducing the impact of our operations and have made great strides in the last year increasing recycling and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. We are also very proud of achieving the Carbon Trust Standard this year, which provides tangible proof of actual reductions in FirstGroup’s carbon footprint.

“The Environmental Awards reward those individuals and companies which demonstrate commitment, enthusiasm, innovative thinking and go the extra mile to help limit our environmental footprint.”

Winner of the coveted ‘Best Large Depot’ for UK Bus in the safety category was First Aberdeen. In the Environmental category, Halifax’s Skircoat Bus depot scooped the Best Bus Depot award after transforming the way it manages waste – the depot has the highest recycling rate across the Group (97%).

The awards dinner was attended by around 200 senior management from FirstGroup and included representatives from each of First’s UK companies and a number of employees from FirstGroup America. Amongst special external guests were Rick Haythornwaite, Chairman of Network Rail, Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council and Simon Posner, Chief Executive of the CPT.

Safety award winners received around £6,000 in total from FirstGroup to donate to local charities of their choice. Individual winners were rewarded with a weekend away courtesy of First.