The Platinum Award is given to the outstanding entry across all 12 categories in the MCA Management Awards 2009. The winner of all winners took the award in the Environment category.
Many millions of tourists flock to London each year, but few come for the quality of air. Pollution in the capital exceeds UK and EU limits and affects the lives, and life expectancy, of Londoners. It's reckoned that air pollution causes about 1,000 premature deaths and another 1,000 hospital admissions each year in the city. So when, in 2005, the mayor asked Transport for London (TfL) to tackle the issue with a low-emission zone (LEZ) that would deter people from driving the most polluting vehicles into London, he wanted it done urgently.
Deloitte had already worked successfully with TfL on the capital's congestion charging scheme, but the complexity, scale and timetable of this new programme were daunting. The mayor wanted it to cover the whole of Greater London and to apply to diesel-engined lorries, buses and coaches. Not only would it be the first scheme of its kind in the UK; it would also, at 1,500sq km, be the largest in the world.
In the first phase of the project, Deloitte reviewed the original feasibility study conducted in 2003, then developed a business case, operating model and implementation plan. It also created a model that could estimate the health benefits of the scheme. Deloitte's technology team worked out how to build a database and certification system that could identify and hold information for all vehicles in the UK on whether or not they complied with LEZ requirements.
From August 2005, Deloitte set about implementing the scheme. The project had nine workstreams, a programme management office that oversaw these workstreams, and a weekly project board meeting with TfL managers - an opportunity to flag up and resolve problems quickly. By conducting readiness reviews ahead of the go-live date, managers were able to focus on critical areas of the project.
The LEZ project relied heavily on third-party suppliers. Deloitte had to work closely with, for example, Capita, which was providing the operational and systems infrastructure for the LEZ contact centre and website, to help design and assure their systems and services. Deloitte had to partner with the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency to create the vehicle inspection and certification regime that, when linked to Capita's systems, would automatically register vehicles that passed the emissions tests.
Key challenges included managing the many stakeholders - some of whom, such as the freight industry, felt they were being unfairly targeted by the mayor. Deloitte worked alongside TfL's stakeholder team and vehicle emissions experts to address those concerns.
As the go-live date approached, it was important to get a feel for whether vehicle operators were taking action to comply with the forthcoming requirements. Thanks to Deloitte's vehicle compliance database, TfL was able to crunch data from its monitoring cameras and assess the compliance status of all vehicles - something that had not been possible before in London.
The scheme was launched, on schedule, on 4 February, 2008. It had an immediate impact, reducing dramatically the number of polluting vehicles entering London. In fact, within four months, more than 95% of affected vehicles were compliant.
'The LEZ launch was not just successful,' says Graeme Craig, director of congestion charging and traffic enforcement at TfL, 'but almost entirely painless.'
Tasked by the London mayor to cut traffic-induced air polution across the capital, TfL turned to Deloitte to construct a database to help monitor vehicle emissions compliance. In the run-up to the go-live date, the consultancy worked with third-party suppliers and kept the freight industry on-side. The scheme had an instant impact: after four months, 95% of affected vehicles were compliant.
- Create open and collaborative relationships on long projects, using team-building and social events;
- Keep key consultants involved from feasibility stage to go-live day;
- Set up a strong governance framework to keep tabs on every element of the project.
Environment award sponsored by Atos Consulting