Environmental

Total emissions

The AA’s aim is to manage our operations and delivery of products and services in a sustainable way. We seek to reduce emissions, waste and make efficient use of resources. We comply with legal requirements and aim for best practice in our industry to minimise our effect on the environment. This involves our facilities departments, internal communications teams, marketing teams and procurement teams and the use of advancements in technology to address our issues.

Our main focus is on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our operational fleet of vehicles accounts for 78% of our market based GHG emissions while our buildings account for 18%; the remainder comes from our company cars. We also minimise waste and recycle and reuse where possible.

Certification

To demonstrate commitment to effective management of our environmental risks, AA Road Services, Home Services and AA DriveTech are externally certified to the International Standard ISO 14001 for their Environmental Management System. This covers roadside repair, recovery, fuel and key services, home services and AA DriveTech fleet driver checking and training.

Managing our fleet of vehicles

We have several initiatives in place to help manage the impact of our fleet on the environment:

  • Advanced telematics helps us monitor driving style. As a result of this programme, it reduced our fuel expenditure by more than £1m in the first year and cut vehicle emissions. In addition, all vehicles are fitted with speed limiters.
  • Vehicle efficiency is a key factor in the selection of our vehicles. Zero-emission options are considered when replacing vehicles but their suitability is currently limited. AA patrols have trialled electric scooters and vans in London but neither were successful due to operational constraints.
  • We are minimising waste through the reuse of vehicle equipment whenever possible. The tools and equipment used by patrols are refurbished and reused and we are actively identifying additional equipment which can be reused.

AA DriveTech, our driving training business within Driving Services, supports eco-driving. It includes eco-driving components in all core AA DriveTech training courses it conducts as part of its relationship with the Energy Savings Trust.

Energy use at our buildings

The 2015 ISO 14001 external audit noted that the AA has achieved a significant level of detail in energy reporting for the portfolio as a whole and for the larger sites in particular. This enhancement allows us to see where our major energy consumption occurs and where to focus on reducing it.

We actively manage energy use within our buildings which accounts for 18% of our market based GHG emissions. The AA has a dedicated Energy Manager to manage energy consumption and identify potential savings at all sites. In the 2016 financial year we improved our energy usage through an upgrade of our Building Management System at a major site. As a result our energy consumption profile has improved significantly; overnight base loads have reduced; plant control has improved; and building systems are responding better to external factors such as the weather. We have also improved the tuning of Building Management Systems in other sites to manage energy consumption.

Waste

We have reduced waste going to landfill to zero at our main sites by working closely with our Facilities Management partner and their waste contractors.

Water and paper usage

All of our print suppliers have certifications to ISO9001 and ISO14001 for Quality and Environmental Management and the paper used is accredited to either of the two sustainability standards FSC™ – Forest Stewardship Council™ or PEFC – the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. However, as part of our IT systems transformation, we will increase the number of Members that we can contact via email, allowing us to switch more of our marketing to digital channels and reduce our reliance on print. To minimise our paper usage, we have installed more sophisticated printers at our main sites.

Our offices do not use water beyond basic needs and we measure and monitor water use as part of our practices.

Greenhouse gas table

In accordance with The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report & Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013, we publish annual Group performance data for our greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions. Our GHG footprint boundaries identify the scope of the data we monitor and are deemed material to our environmental impact. The 2015 financial year is used as our baseline year for measuring our GHG footprint.

The Group’s total GHG emissions for the 2016 financial year were 50,844 tCO2e (market-based) and 49,781 tCO2e (location-based). See table below. This primarily comprised of operational fuel consumption from our operational fleet, representing up to 80% of the total footprint.

Absolute emissions have been reported here, for both Market-based and Location-based emissions. Overall, there has been a 1.55% reduction in market-based emissions (2.33% reduction for location-based emissions) from the 2015 financial year.

Assurance

The AA recognises assurance and verification as a component of a responsible reporting approach. While there is no statutory requirement to have GHG environmental information audited in the Directors’ report, we strive to ensure best practice on environmental issues and are planning for verification reporting in future reporting years. The AA has engaged CBRE’s Energy & Sustainability team to assist in compiling the GHG calculations, including developing a best-practice data management programme, and assisting in determining the scope of what is material for inclusion in the environmental report.