Les Boîtes à Vélo
Les Boîtes à Vélo, based in Nantes, impressed the judges with its unique business model for sustainable delivery methods. In 2012 the business decided to move away from using gas delivery vans and switched to a more environmentally friendly alternative: a simple bicycle with a box attached to it.
Rather than slowing down sales, the ‘bicycle boxes’ enable flexible and fast delivery of goods and services, while members of the collective, from couriers to caterers, support each other by acting as a cross-referral network.
Les Boîtes à Vélo has made a solid impact, taking 21 trade vehicles off the streets of Nantes and helping to demonstrate the true potential of cycling in the city. The business is growing, and members of the collective are also taking their message to other towns and cities in France.
The Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel, now in their fourth year, celebrate the achievements of pioneering travel initiatives in the UK, France and Belgium. The winners encourage people to adopt more sustainable ways of travelling and help to improve quality of life while reducing congestion, pollution and CO₂ emissions.
‘Yet again we have been very impressed by the high calibre of entries. We’re delighted to crown Tapazz and Les Boîtes à Vélo as joint winners for their pioneering initiatives which pave the way for sustainable travel.
‘We hope that by celebrating the most innovative sustainable travel initiatives across the markets we operate in, we encourage more people to adopt environmentally friendly modes of transport, and really put sustainable travel in the spotlight.’
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar
In addition to prize money, winners are offered a package of benefits including a platform to promote their work, a short film showcasing their sustainable travel scheme, introductions to policymakers, potential funders and investors and access to the prestigious Ashden Alumni network.
The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel is part of Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme to reduce the business’s impact on the environment and encourage people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport.
Since 2007, Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme has made substantial progress towards a ‘ten-point plan’ to reduce consumption, source responsibly and recycle, and has successfully reduced CO₂ emissions per traveller journey by 15%.
Click here to view all this year’s Ashden Award winners. More about Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme can be found here.