Genesis Now: Guaranteed Water And Energy Savings
A value proposition
Genesis Now not only operates its own business to high standards of sustainability, it also achieves huge leverage on its own impressive efforts. How? By guaranteeing to reduce clients’ energy and water consumption by 40%, and producing a return on investment of 40%.
Geoff Andrews founded the business in 1991. “I had worked as an in-house energy manager, then in an energy management consultancy,” says Geoff. “I found that there was a gap between the opportunities identified by energy management consultants and practical implementation, so I established Genesis Now specifically to implement energy efficiency solutions.” The business services the industrial, commercial, transport and agricultural sectors
The business was founded without funding and grew organically. The private company now has seven energy efficiency and sustainability engineers plus support staff, all with a passion for sustainability. That passion provides the business with several benefits.
“We definitely attract high calibre people,” says Geoff, “and they tend to stick around. We’ve only had one engineer leave in the last four years and everyone has a real desire to push the envelope and challenge the status quo.” That’s something Geoff has been doing for a long time.
“Thirty years ago I was that weird guy who was interested in energy efficiency and sustainability. Back then they were barely mentioned and I yearned for the public to take some interest. Even one per cent of the media focus on football would have been a dream.”
Attitudes have changed in the intervening years. “Most people want to do something positive, but they have a range of motives,” says Geoff. These range from saving money and minimising carbon tax liabilities through to fixing capacity problems, improving quality of service and environmental performance, and implementing initiatives that are visible to staff.
Geoff anticipates the carbon tax will provide a big boost to Genesis Now. “Businesses are realising that energy use is not a fixed cost, and recognising that reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency will reduce the impact of the carbon tax and other energy price rises.”
Setting the example
The list of initiatives that Genesis Now takes in making its own business as sustainable as possible is extensive and impressive. The office location was chosen because it is within 100 metres of a train station and tram line and close to a bike path. Staff travel to work by bike, foot or public transport. Work travel is by public transport where practical and if a car is required, it’s a 1.6 litre turbo diesel model that uses just 5l/100 km.. The office building is being refurbished with energy efficient lighting and air-conditioning and many re-used materials and fittings, is well insulated and is powered by 100% Green Power. Double glazing is on its way, and a 5 kW solar PV system is being installed.
The positive environmental attitude is also reflected in the company’s contributions to the community. In addition to regular charitable donations, Genesis Now provides free or reduced price services to a range of charities and community organisations.
Given its value proposition, the carbon tax and growing environmental awareness, it’s not surprising that the future looks bright for Genesis Now. “We’ve grown by 80% over the last three years and are continually adding to our skills and project capabilities,” says Geoff. “Of course, endless growth is not sustainable. For us, meaningful growth has to be growth in quality, amenity, efficiency, safety, and ever growing sustainability.” He says sustainability is “essential for our business, the community and for the planet.”
Growth has brought its challenges, one of which is to ensure that the culture and approach of Genesis Now is not lost when it takes on new people. Another has been the development of the systems that are required to transition from a sole practitioner to a larger business. “Given the chance again, I’d spend more time on strategy and systems earlier on,” Geoff observes.
When it comes to advice to someone looking to create a sustainability-focused business, Geoff says “Get started. Follow your dreams and don’t die wondering if you could have made a go of it. Collaborate and share ideas, encourage others and always act ethically and fairly.”
If just a few people follow Geoff’s sage advice, Genesis Now will achieve even more leverage in its quest for a sustainable future.