One of 2016’s HWYE finalists, Darren Chadwick, has made sustainability his business. He started Brite Green in 2007 and it’s now an award-winning corporate responsibility strategy consultancy. He explains how embedding sustainability into his own company, as well as his clients’ companies, has unlocked significant growth.
What was your vision when you started your business?
I was only 23 when I started Brite Green and I just wanted to grow the business and create a positive impact. Now I want Brite Green to be an exemplary company and be the leading corporate responsibility consulting firm in the UK, helping our country to transition to a truly sustainable economy.
Why do you think it has been successful?
There are three main reasons we’ve been successful: we’ve remained focussed on what our customers need; I’ve been able to grow an incredible team, and we’ve created a strong and supportive culture where staff have scope to do work they enjoy.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a business owner?
Balancing working in and on the business. Last year we grew more than 60%, which meant it was difficult to get away from delivering projects and dedicate the time needed to develop.
What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out?
Whilst I was a technical expert when I started and really knew sustainability inside out, I wish I’d known more about business. Practical support on marketing and people management would have been transformative. I think that programmes like the HWYE awards are invaluable in supporting young people to successfully grow their business.
What’s next for your business?
We have enjoyed excellent growth in the last two years, so the next challenge for us is moving from start-up to scale up. We’ll have to recruit to keep up with our revenue growth and I need to systemise our business development processes. Exciting times!