Awareness of climate change increases by the day, and Anna French is one business owner putting warm words into action.
Anna French Associates is a landscape and ecology practice based at Wrest Park in Silsoe, Bedfordshire. The business, established in 2011, employs three landscape architects. “We’ve grown from just me to a team of four, plus my husband, who works as a tree officer for the local council,” says Anna.
Having attended a climate strike with her two daughters (pictured, above), Anna decided to take the business fossil fuel-free.
“I wanted to rid my company of any connection with the dirty fuels that are threatening my children’s future,” she says.
The switch involves moving the company savings and current accounts to new banks, and Anna also intends to meet an ethical pensions advisor. “We’ll be saving up for an electric company car over the next few years,” she adds. “Two of my team live really close to the office and the third is based in London and works from home, which cuts down on emissions from travel.
“I will look into offsetting the carbon emissions from my team’s travel to work as well at some point. We already support the Woodland Trust with a regular monthly donation so they can plant trees across the UK, so maybe we’ll put some money into supporting Trees for Cities too.
“Changing our heating and electricity supply is trickier because we rent an office, so we rely on our landlord for that. They are currently reviewing their options for replacing the oil-fuelled heating system.”
Anna has also established a campaign called Landscape for Future, encouraging other landscaping firms to take action.