Currently an honorary professor at the Adam Smith Business School, Glasgow University, Baird was also made chair of Macfarlane’s audit committee upon his appointment on 8 January.
He previously headed up Scottish and Northern Irish business for accountancy firm Deloitte before becoming its chief operating officer in Switzerland.
“I am confident that James’ extensive experience in the UK and Europe will prove to be a significant asset for Macfarlane Group and, alongside my fellow board members, I welcome him to the Macfarlane board,” said Macfarlane Group chairman Stuart Paterson.
At the same time the group's packaging division has added a number of new trucks to its roster of delivery vehicles. Supplied by Fraikin, the first of the trucks are set to begin work on 29 January with the complete replacement fleet in operation by April.
The fleet will include six 7.5-tonne DAF LF rigid trucks and three DAF CF tractors to replace older vehicles. Truck manufacturer DAF’s vehicles were selected to help reduce Macfarlane's carbon footprint. The vehicles will move the firm, headquartered in Glasgow, closer to the requirements of the Euro VI emission standard.
“DAF vehicles were selected because they most closely meet the specifications we require for our trucks,” said logistics director Tim Hylton. “They come with Masternaut – a tracking device which keeps tabs on driver behaviour, such as braking, accelerating, and idling.
“By monitoring these behaviours we will be able to feed back to our drivers and make sure they are driving these vehicles, which already run 13-15 miles to the gallon, in a more environmentally-conscious way.
“We are happy to make efforts that will make us more socially and environmentally responsible.”
Fraikin will also provide Driver Certificates of Professional Competence to all of Macfarlane’s drivers through training courses.
Macfarlane Group operates in the UK, Ireland, and Sweden, with 850 staff on 29 sites. Its more-than 20,000 customers worldwide include Argos, Lakeland and Selfridges. The truck fleet makes around 50,000 deliveries each month.