We wouldn’t be where we are without our people. They are our biggest asset. We recruit those who share our values, have the ability to develop personally and the will to continue learning professionally.
In 2020 we will regularly shine the spotlight on one of our team. Looking at their journey to be here now, their role and their why – what drives them.
First up it’s our MD, Simon Alsbury.
Simon is one of the founding members of Energise. He and Tamsin (our CEO) started the company in 2008.
Tell us about how this all started for you
The outcomes of some voluntary work that I did with the National Union of Students whilst working at Loughborough University led to two large research & training projects which were our first consultancy projects (one working with Coca Cola, the other the Carbon Trust). Myself and Tamsin took the leap and went into running our own business. At the same time, Tamsin had just completed a masters at De Montfort in Energy and Sustainable Building Design. More work came in and we decided to go for it. We were officially incorporated in November 2008 after starting about 6 months before hand on a more informal basis.
What is your role here?
As Managing Director my role is wide-ranging. I’ve got a responsibility to deliver our strategy, oversee our Sales/Account Management and Service Development, but I also contribute as an energy consultant on complex/large pieces of work because I enjoy the hands on nature and the direct positive impact it makes for our clients.
What was your vision when you started, and has it changed?
It has developed over time. At the start the entrepreneurial feeling just gives you drive to get stuff done, focussed often on an underdeveloped vision. You can end up “making a difference” without clearly knowing what the difference is, how to measure you are achieving it, being able to see it or knowing the full difference you’ve made. As you evolve a business you get better at these things and as you mature your own understanding, you develop a clearer vision about how to make a bigger difference. The amount of evolution of our vision in the last 2 years has been particularly strong. Myself and Tamsin took a 6 week sabbatical out of the business in early 2019 and since then we’ve had a big refocus on the importance of our work being about Net Zero and the longer term vision.
Why this? Why Energise?
I don’t want to look my grandkids in the face and say I didn’t do everything I could to help. As a child I spent holidays in Cumbria and the Lake District, and I grew up in Worcestershire so was regularly on the Malverns. I want to protect nature. For me, it has always been about doing what I believe to be the right thing.
When I started in this industry the belief that humans were responsible for climate change was a lot lower than it is now. The biggest challenge that we now face is inertia – pretty much everyone believes but there still isn’t enough action being taken, often because people don’t know what to do. Our contribution to changing this is to make climate change “easy to use”. We should be doing everything we can to prevent significant climate change, given the challenge it presents to us in the near future.
What is it like to work at Energise?
We have a fantastic team here. Each month we get together for a team planning day. We all bring lunch in and share it with each other. It brings us back together as a collective.
We’re big on encouraging personal development. Two of the books that have most influenced our culture within the team are Stephen Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ and Brené Brown’s ‘Rising Strong’. In fact, our internal values are taken from that book.
We have always wanted to be a progressive employer. Some examples of this can be seen on the Good To Know page of our website. We trust our employees and want to create the culture where they can thrive and be the best they can be.
Although we are influenced by the cultures that Next Jump have created and by some policies Netflix and Virgin have adopted, we try not to model ourselves on others. On one of our office walls we have a quote: “We achieve more when we chase our dreams rather than our competition”. It’s so true; if you get stuck in the rut of comparison you lose focus on your unique purpose and ideal customer.
Our mission is to be the catalyst for 1% of the UK to go Net Zero by 2025. We will do this through expanding our existing Pathway To Net Zero offering for businesses and public sector. We’ve also recently launched the Net Zero Club aimed at supporting SMEs who want to take leadership on reducing their impact on the planet. Then our Zero Hero initiative – a communications and education programme aimed for personal use.
Who inspires you?
I’ve made it a philosophical approach for my whole life not to idealise anyone. I find stories of individual actions inspiring – but more than anything my inspiration comes from nature rather than people. When I’m having a bad day I watch this video. If I need to reset the best thing I can do is go and climb a mountain or sit on a beach.
Tell us three interesting qualities/ facts about you:
· I was once on Songs of Praise in a shell suit (as a child).
· I used to be really active (I’ve walked the England/Wales border; run the London Marathon; been the fast team leader of five peaks (three peaks plus Helvellyn and Cadair Idris).
· I’m sometimes referred to as Scrooge but deep down I love Christmas!
Connect with Simon on LinkedIn