Keeping It In The Family

Friday, 15th May 2020 is International Day of the Family and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating that we are a family business!

Did you know that two thirds of UK businesses are family owned?*

Our founders, Simon (Managing Director) and Tamsin (CEO) met while studying at Loughborough University and married in 2007. They now live in Hertfordshire with their two young sons.

They founded Energise in 2008 and now have a team of 20, working with organisations of all sizes (including NUS, Rugby Football Union, Kier, Revolution Bars) to reduce their environmental impact, identify their carbon footprint, and guide them on their journey to become net zero.

How does it work?

Simon says: “After having children Tamsin and I realised we needed to have different priorities. So, if there is an emergency at home Tamsin steps up, at work that’s down to me. We’re a good team. Tamsin is the glue that holds all it together though. In the patch where Tamsin was on maternity leave, we really missed her – we didn’t realise how much of an impact she had.”

Family influencing culture

Tamsin has high hopes for a fairer culture at Energise where flexible working can empower women and men to share their childcare. “Business should be used as a way of healing society rather than causing mental stress. I never want us to be running a business where people feel that they are less of a person or have less of a life because they work here. As women we have a tendency to take on the mental load, doing everything the ‘right’ way. We don’t share that load equally with our partners. As a business we have a duty to make sure that men and women can equally share that role when the dynamic changes at home and a child comes into the family. Creating that situation where the woman doesn’t feel like she has to make that choice. Ultimately, I’d love to get to the point where we could have childcare facilities – I have big visions – I feel so passionately about it.”

Mission and drive

The mission of Energise is to be the catalyst for 1% of the UK to go Net Zero by 2025. This year they hope to grow their Net Zero Club for SMEs, launch a public offering, and debut their charity So Damn Good to support the UK’s progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

It is family that drives Energise, with both Simon and Tamsin citing their children, and future grandchildren, as being the reason they do what they do: “When our kids (or grandkids) are grown up and ask us what we did to protect the planet, we want to be able to reply, “We did everything we could.”

We are family

It’s not just the Alsbury family at Energise though. Our Operations Director, Sarah Penn and her daughter, Stacey who is Head of Service Delivery, also work closely together. Sarah says the key to success with working so closely with your daughter is to “draw clear boundary lines and leave work at the office”.

And what is it like working for a married couple?

Sarah says: “I love working with Tamsin and Simon – they’re individuals to me – they’re not at work as a married couple. We’re friends, of course you have times when you don’t agree, but it feels like we’re all a family. It’s a privilege to work with them.”

*Institute for Family Business