Earth Day – An Interview with Stark Group CEO Alex Warren
This Earth Day, we sat down with our CEO Alex Warren to hear more about how Stark are playing our part in reducing climate change.
Prior to starting your role as new CEO, you’ve worked as Stark’s FD for over 7 years. What do you love most about Stark?
Stark is a great place to work, a breath of fresh air, and it’s bonded together by a common set of values that are broader than individual achievements. We are all here to make a difference, help our customers manage their energy better and reduce carbon and cost in the process.
What role does Stark play in helping the UK meet net-zero targets?
Stark collect an enormous amount of non-domestic electricity and gas data which equates to about £6 billion of annual spend for end customers. The data we collect has always been high resolution which really helps as any robust net-zero journey needs to start with a robust data platform. In essence, if you don’t know where are now then how do you know where you need to get to minimise your carbon contribution. In essence, any net-zero proposition that doesn’t start with a robust data set isn’t really credible.
But more than that we are able to apply our Data Science capabilities to client data to firstly identify an appropriate carbon level and then recommend solutions that will move them forward to get there. This is really exciting as it gives the Net Zero journey a realistic and practical road map for businesses which seems out of reach for many at the moment.
What are the most important things companies should be doing right now to meet their carbon reduction targets?
That’s a great question. The starting point is identifying where you are today from a building and fleet perspective as the baseline is so important. I’d also recommend making sure that the data source is secure for the long term and held in a ready–made platform.
At the cutting edge, it’s important to figure out how important Net Zero is to the brand which you work in. The reality at the moment is that many businesses have made statements about the date by which they will be at Net Zero in a race to be seen to be Greener. The key debates to be had are that customers in the longer term will be unforgiving of brands that are not on a credible net-zero journey. Understanding how important your customers see your brand can help you to persuade CFOs and CEOs that payback periods for Green Investment are actually shorter than they might otherwise expect.
What sets us apart from other businesses offering net zero services?
We can see lots of credible businesses jumping on the Net Zero bandwagon and that has to be a good thing to raise awareness. I’ve talked earlier about being able to extract high quality data from meters and the application of in-house data science to that and other meta data sources to extract actionable and practical insights. We are also able to link the EV consumption of customers fleets directly from their EV Chargepoints back to the building consumption which as on often overlooked point.
Additionally, we’ve worked really hard to find a bunch of partners that can help customers deliver the projects on their journey from EV to PV, Heat Pumps to CHP, Storage to LED to Controls and beyond. We are building a platform of choice for Net Zero solutions.
Stark has evolved and grown a lot since the early days and with our recent investment – what can we expect to see from Stark in the next couple of years?
On this one I tend to go back to our core values. We work in teams to solve problems and are brave, innovative and passionate about our customers by helping them extract as much value out of their data as possible. If we do that well then everything else will look after itself.
Anything else you would like to share?
Its’ been a long haul though Covid for everyone and hopefully in the UK we are through the worst of things. Its worth dwelling though on the changing work patterns and the positive messages that these patterns can have for the environment. We all need to be traveling less, communicating more, and looking out for our colleagues.
Keep an eye out for more interviews with our team this year.
6 ways to keep your teams engaged with environmental targets
Last Earth Day, we shared some of the brilliant things we are doing at Stark to reduce our own environmental footprint.
We deliver independent, best-in-class services to help organisations manage their energy better, find out more.