Sustainable GLH

We talk about sustainability as a journey, one that started almost 50 years ago. We are a responsible business; this means we are committed to our and our clients’ sustainability journey. We only provide our clients with the most sustainable, greenest and lowest emission vehicles.

Our brand of sustainability>>
For us being a sustainable business is being a responsible business, meaning sustainability is more than just doing the right thing because it makes commercial sense, it means doing the right thing because it makes sense morally and ethically. Our belief in operating with morality and behaving ethically stem from our embedded values, purpose and principles. These remain at the forefront of every employee’s mind and ensure we make good decisions that create shared value.
Our sustainability is inextricably connected with the concept of corporate citizenship, meaning we have rights – our license to operate and thrive commercially, as well as responsibilities and duties that extend to engagement with stakeholders – our community, employees and clients, as well as our duty to address the societal and environmental impacts we have. For us it is critical that sustainability is really embedded into your business, meaning it guides our planning and strategic and operational decisions and important is the responsibility of every GLH employee.
Action on sustainability.>>
For us sustainability is broken down into four issues: our supply chain, local community, employees and the environment. These issues form the framework for managing our environmental and social impacts and for engaging meaningfully with stakeholders.
Our supply chain>>
Our clients and suppliers are critical to our sustainability.
We have great clients, many of whom share our passion for and commitment to sustainability. We understand that we are part of their supply chain and their own sustainability. This understanding means we work hard to ensure their transport related carbon footprint is minimised and reduced as much as possible. We also account manage all of our clients, meaning they have a dedicated customer relations executive looking after their account and providing them with their carbon reports and reduction advice.Our strict sustainable procurement policy means we only provide our clients with low and zero emissions vehicles. These are either sourced, or increasingly leased from a number of trusted and vetted suppliers who are also able to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and who comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct. Since the policy’s adoption we have seen emissions cuts of over 30% and a financial saving of over £400,000. For our clients this means they save on average a substantial 40 tonnes of CO2 per year, around 58% compared to a Black Taxi.

“With an excellent management structure, dedicated customer service team, environmentally friendly fleet and caring drivers, we have become very reliant on the excellent service GLH provide our organisation.”
Ridha Gabsi, Transport Services Manager at UCLH

Our community>>
Ever since we first opened the doors in Barnet we began developing a close relationship with the local community, a relationship that endures to this day. This is maintained and developed through our community investment programme and associated partnerships, notably with the Archer and Totteridge Academies, the East Finchley Festivals and Cherry Tree Woods. This engagement sees us getting involved philanthropically in local causes, as well as funding capital projects such as the new library at the Archer Academy, supporting sustainability education in our local primary and secondary schools and our employees volunteering their time and skills.
Mick Quigley, the Archer Academy’s Headteacher, said of the library:
“On behalf of everyone at the school, I would like to thank GLH for this generous donation, which will enrich the learning experience of each and every one of our students. English is one of the specialisms at the Archer Academy, so it is particularly important to us to be able to offer our students a wide a range of fiction, as well as advanced facilities for research.”Soulla Christodoulou, Teacher at Totteridge Academy, said of the Eco-Mission sustainability education programme:
“GLH’s support has been second to none. They have provided us invaluable guidance and training on developing and implementing the school’s own sustainability and environmental programme and projects.”

Our employees>>
Our sustainability work is spearheaded by Zoe Powers – our Sales and Customer Relations Director, but it requires the efforts, hard work and dedication of every GLH employee. For this reason our employee engagement work is critical.
Our employee engagement programme ensures each employee understands and signs up to the Employee Code of Conduct; this outlines the behaviours we expect them to exhibit. It also sees all new starters receive Business Management System awareness training at their induction, existing staff go through the Making Business Sense of Sustainability Programme and every driver receives fuel-efficient driving training, First Aid, patient handling and dealing with vulnerable passengers, as well as undertaking the NVQ and BTEC in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving. Two-way communication is an important component of this work as well, this means we go through The Times Best Companies employee engagement survey bi-annually.We are big believers in rewarding the loyalty and hard work of our staff. Annually we hold our Staff Awards – a landmark event in the social calendar. These are used to recognise effort and achievement throughout the company and include acknowledging and rewarding the contribution individual employees have made to sustainability.

“I started driving for GLH just after The Silver Jubilee and 5 years later started controlling, having worked up through the company to the position of Divisional Manager. Throughout my career with GLH, I have always been proud to work for the company. It has been a great journey growing with them to achieve the status that we hold in the industry today. I look forward to celebrating The Diamond Jubilee together.” Fred Slavin, valued GLH employee.

The environment>>
The nature of our work means we do have a significant impact on the environment, particularly in terms of carbon emissions. Our peers seem to be content just reducing their carbon, however for us this is not good enough. We are committed to managing out carbon, meaning every decision we make ensures that we are not just reducing but where possible entirely eliminating carbon. This said we are not claiming carbon neutrality. We also support our clients and customers, suppliers, community, employees and sub-contractors reduce theirs. Due to our reliance on fuel and carbon output, we annually embark upon a full carbon audit up to scope 2: this is likely to increase to scope 3 in the forthcoming years.
The decision was taken almost a decade ago to pursue the ISO14001 Environmental Management System; at the time we were the first company in our industry to do this. The EMS provides us with an excellent framework for managing and monitoring our carbon output, energy and water consumption, paper use and waste generation on a continual basis. ISO 14001 forms part of our Business Management System that also includes OH SAS 18001 Health & Safety, ISO 9001 Quality Management System and recently ISO 27001 Information Security.‘With a working partnership of over 10 years, GLH has been successful in providing us with a First Class service and adopting a Eco-Friendly approach which matches our own company corporate social responsibility. From the Booking Team, Customer Service Team and Account Management, we feel valued and service is being delivered to a high standard’. Michelle Venson, Facilities Services Manager, Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Securing recognition>>
Within our industry the level of sustained and heartfelt commitment we have for sustainability is not commonplace; thus we were and remain amongst the leaders and first movers in the private hire and courier business to embrace sustainability as a way of doing business and harness it as a source of competitive advantage.
We are delighted that our hard work has not gone unnoticed and has resulted in us securing a number of prestigious awards over the last few years.

  • We have won and been re-accredited by BITC in their Big Tick Awards in the coveted Santander Responsible Small Company category
  • We were longlisted for the 2degrees Awards in the Social Value category
  • Zoe Powers won the Business Green Leaders Awards in the Young Sustainability Executive category
  • We were shortlisted for the National Business Award in the ICAEW Sustainability category for the second year running
  • We were placed on the Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for watch list
  • We won the Institute of Couriers Transport Legacy and Environment Awards
  • We won and been shortlisted for the QSI Professional Driver Awards in three categories – company of the year, environment and community
  • We were highly commended in the Green Fleet Awards two years in a row, after previously winning the Fleet Manager and Fleet awards
  • We have been shortlisted in the Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards
  • We have been nominated for and finalists in the Institute of Director Awards two years running
  • We were nominated by one of our clients for the National Diversity Award

As well as our awards, we are committed to retaining our ISO 14001, 18001, and 9001 accreditations. These three come together to form our Business Management System, this robust and holistic framework enables us to effectively manage our environmental impact, ensure we are complying with and going beyond all health and safety legislation and driving quality throughout the business. Alongside these we also have been graded five stars by the London Private Hire Car Association and bronze accredited by the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme.

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    ‘I always find GLH staff to be polite and helpful when I call to arrange a booking. They work hard to find solutions for me and discuss are happy to discuss various booking options. Their cars and couriers are never late’.

    Annie Haigh The Ambassadors Theatre Group September 25, 2014