According to today’s 20th anniversary edition of the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, Ecotricity is one of Britain’s ‘top 10 most disruptive companies.’
The inaugural Virgin Media Business Disruptor 10, researched by Fast Track, recognises ten companies for having a business model, product or service that is creating a new market, or transforming existing markets and rapidly taking market share from competitors.
Ecotricity was recognised for being “the world’s first green energy company with Europe’s largest ‘electric highway’ of 300 ‘electricity pumps’ for electric cars at UK service stations and pioneering carbon neutral gas production”.
It’s actually quite exceptional, since we’ve been doing this for twenty years, to still be considered disruptive
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “It’s fun to be named on this new list of disruptive companies – we don’t mind wearing that badge. It’s actually quite exceptional, since we’ve been doing this for twenty years, to still be considered disruptive.
“It’s our independence that’s enabled this – having no shareholders means we’re free to pursue our mission to build a Green Britain in any way we think is right.
“And in 2017, we’ll be taking our own brand of disruption into a new industry, as yet totally untouched by all this eco stuff.”
Other companies in the Disruptor Top 10 include:
- Brewdog sells its craft beer in more than 60 countries. About 6,000 of its beer-loving investors attended the company’s annual meeting in Aberdeen in April and it has raised £30m from 53,000 “equity punks”.
- Crowdcube has helped pioneer crowdfunding in the UK, matching its 300,000 registered investors with more than 450 enterprises looking to raise funds – from craft brewers to app developers.
Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business, said: “At the core of the disruptive forces in all these businesses are digital innovation and technology platforms. The success of these disruptors shows how digital has progressed in just one generation and is the now the backbone of successful companies who are taking market share away from companies who are less digitally focussed.”
An overall winner will receive a special award from Virgin Media Business at the Fast Track 100 national awards dinner in May next year, hosted by Sir Richard Branson.
After leaving school, Dale became a new age traveller and lived “off grid”, generating his own power through a small windmill. It was this sustainable lifestyle that inspired Dale to launch Ecotricity, the first green electricity company in the world, in 1996, marking the beginning of the now global green electricity market.
Dale’s mission was and remains to change the way energy is made and used in Britain, and the company now supplies green electricity and gas to homes and businesses across the country.
But that mission has expanded over recent years, and now includes the three causes of 80% of all personal carbon footprints – Energy, Transport and Food. As well as building wind and sun parks, Ecotricity has installed the world’s first national network of electric car chargers, which now has almost 300 ‘electricity pumps’ capable of charging a car in just half an hour.
The group is also planning a 100 acre sports and green technology centre, dubbed Eco Park, next to the M5. Eco Park could create more than 4,000 jobs in the emerging green economy, and house a new stadium for Forest Green Rovers FC, the world’s greenest football club, of which Dale Vince is chairman.
Ecotricity, the world’s first green energy company, has grown rapidly over the past five years, with turnover up from £44m in 2011 to £131m in 2016, and customer numbers up fourfold in the same period, from 48,000 to nearly 200,000.
The company is renowned for its excellent customer service, and has received the lowest number of complaints in the industry for six years out of the last seven years, and there’s been a significant increase in staff numbers over recent years to maintain those high standards, with staff numbers up from less than 200 in 2011 to around 800 today.