CSR report for FY 2017 

The AA president, Edmund King, is our spokesman on all issues related to motoring and our services.

 

 

Transforming our corporate responsibility

As president, I lead our campaigns on road safety and environmental issues, as well as heading up our Charitable Trust which feeds into our action on corporate social responsibility.

We’ve gone through a huge transformation this year, and continue to strengthen how we operate in a more sustainable and ethical way, including through our approach to governance, risk management, our people, and health and safety. We’ve embedded this deeply in our culture, business values and behaviours. Some of the main highlights have been:

Early development of a more formal approach to sustainability

  • The introduction of a new programme focusing on safety, supported by new technology that helps manage safety in our business.
  • A more environmentally focused approach to company car management.
  • A new approach to recruitment, using our culture as a core part of the process, and greater support for management in the development of people and culture.
  • A new code of conduct for suppliers, focused on the ethical delivery of service.

Concerns of drivers

Part of our role at the AA is to help address the current concerns of drivers and to guide them to a future where they can fully benefit from the new technology on the horizon. The car is in a state of transformation. There is much talk of connected cars, driverless cars, electric cars and/or on-demand cars. Despite all the buzz words, the concerns of drivers are still pretty much the same, with congestion, road conditions, costs and casualties still the main issues.

We gauge their views through the biggest dedicated motoring opinion panel in Europe, the AA Populus Driver Poll, which produces monthly state of the driving nation reports from 20-30,000 drivers. This polling helps us to address crucial safety and environmental issues.

The partnership we launched with Chargemaster, the biggest name in electric vehicle (EV) charging, will help our customers get to grips with some of their anxieties shown in our polls over electric cars. Hopefully, my “Living with an Electric Vehicle” blog will also help.

The AA app can save Members ten minutes if they break down and they can track their patrol. It also helps Members to find the cheapest parking or fuel.

Our 10,000 driver trial of connected car technology helps us and our customers to understand some of the future trends. In terms of road safety, our campaign to get double the number of lay-bys on “Smart” motorways without hard shoulders has led to a Government review of the situation.

The AA Charitable Trust uses innovative ways to influence driver behaviour over issues such as the use of mobile phones at the wheel and cycle/motorcycle safety. We are also funding Drive Motorway – a motorway safety course aimed at nervous drivers or those afraid of using “smart” motorways without hard shoulders.

Our patrols are our roadside ambassadors who often feedback to us what is happening on the front line, whether it is plagues of potholes, cones and congestion or great campaign ideas. They embody our culture of courtesy, care, expertise, collaboration and dynamism.

Despite all the talk about driverless cars, the majority of our members still enjoy driving and we aim to do what we can to enhance that pleasure. We will continue to look out for our Members because anything can happen.

Edmund V King OBE

AA president
AA Charitable Trust director
Visiting professor of transport, Newcastle University