A business in Hull has embarked on a drive to become the UK’s first zero-emission company in its sector and to encourage other small firms to promote a greener business agenda.
A new Tesla car is the striking symbol of the commitment by AA Global Language Services to upgrade its company vehicles to all-electric. Other moves include installation of LED lighting at the firm’s premises and a reduction in the use of paper and plastic.
AA Global is also spreading the environmental message internationally to the thousands of translators and interpreters who work with the company’s clients worldwide.
Andrei Sparling, Director of Operations at AA Global, said: “The new car is a symbol of what we want to achieve – we have had hybrid cars in the past but this is the first electric vehicle and there will be more in the future.
“We have had discussions in our management meetings about what is happening in the Humber region and its recognition as the energy estuary, committed to recycling and renewables.
“Some of the biggest companies in the region have already established their net-zero carbon policies and we decided it is important for us to do what we can and lead the way for other small businesses who are working towards reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency.”
AA Global was founded in Worcester nearly 30 years ago and expanded to Hull ten years ago. Most of its team of around 25 are based at the office in King Edward Street, Hull, which also supports a worldwide network of nearly 15,000 translators and interpreters who between them can cover more than 500 languages.
The zero carbon drive extends across all of the company’s activities and is supported by AA Global’s significant investment in technology over the last two years to support remote working.
Andrei said: “Wherever possible we offer clients the opportunity to work with us remotely unless the particular job really needs a face-to-face meeting, whether that’s for a business discussion or a session with one of our linguists.
“It means less time travelling between jobs and commuting and it helps us cut costs and protect resources. If we do have to make a journey we have the option of using hybrid cars, and now an electric car.”
Carol Jones, the company’s Quality and Procurement Manager, said: “We set a target of becoming the first net-zero emission language company as part of our work on ISO 9001 and we have recently renewed our objectives with a five-year plan that includes electric vehicles and bicycles for travel, LED lighting and reducing all usage of plastic and unrecycled paper in our offices. We are also communicating with our 15,000 strong workforce of linguists in order to encourage them to do their bit.
“Greater use of technology for online meetings has become a key part of our approach because events of the last 15 months have shown people that businesses can function very well without relying on face-to-face gatherings, and the environmental benefits are clear.”