WARRENVILLE, Ill. — School bus contractor National Express Corp. (NEC) is celebrating Earth Week, which began on Tuesday and culminates with Earth Day on Monday.
The NEC companies of Durham School Services and Petermann Bus in the U.S. and Stock Transportation in Canada make it a priority to protect the environment all year long, officials said. For example, NEC has a company‐wide idling reduction program consisting of driver education and ongoing oversight by managers.
“Promoting clean air is a responsibility National Express takes seriously,” CEO David A. Duke said. “With more than 20,000 buses on the road every day, we understand that even small adjustments to our operations can have a substantial positive impact on the environment.”
Working with its customers, drivers and managers in 32 states and four provinces, NEC has significantly reduced unnecessary idling across its operations. Officials said those efforts have decreased fuel use and vehicle emissions, and therefore have provided “tangible benefits to the environment.”
“We will continue our efforts to be environmentally friendly,” Duke said. “I hope everyone pauses during Earth Week to think about how they can play a role in helping our planet.”
In other news, NEC is also working to promote employee wellness. The company recently launched its second annual “Slim Down Challenge” that has employees losing weight and having fun with fitness.
The 10‐week competition involves groups of four to seven employees aiming to score the best in percentage of weight lost. Each team designated a team captain and chose a team name.
“When you can have fun while making an improvement to your life and to your job, you’re more likely to be successful at it,” said Michele McDermott, senior vice president of human resources. “The health and safety of our employees is enhanced through personal fitness, which contributes to the vitality of our organization.”
Every Friday, the team captains submit their group’s cumulative weight loss, and the statistics are tracked, leading up to the late‐May conclusion of the contest. Members of the winning team get reimbursed for a one‐year health club membership, and one grand prize is awarded to North America’s top team.
Last year during the rollout of the program, more than 1,500 NEC employees throughout the U.S. and Canada lost 8,610 pounds. A Durham School Services team from Independence, Kan., won that 2012 competition by losing 11.1% of their combined weight.
“A healthy employee is a more productive employee, so our customers see the benefits as well,” McDermott said. “The Slim Down Challenge delivers positive results for everyone.”
Other news on National Express subsidiary Durham School Services:
• Durham School Services raises $6,400 for Special Olympics