Next up in the B Corp blog series is Bulb – a 100% renewable electricity company founded by two friends: Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka.
Tell us in 25 words or less, what’s your mission?
To be the future of energy, transforming the way energy is bought, used and produced.
Why did you become a B Corporation?
Since we started Bulb, we have been driven by a core principle: that companies have a social and environmental responsibility, as well as a responsibility to their shareholders. It’s key to what we’re doing here at Bulb and when we found out about B Corp certification – and the growing #BtheChange community across the world that was trying to do business in a different way – we wanted to be part of it.
What’s the story behind Bulb, where did it all begin?
We both worked in the old energy industry. We saw that it was wasteful, inefficient and unfair. This meant people were confused, ripped-off and frustrated with terrible service. We realised the future of energy would be digital, renewable and simple. So we started Bulb to give people a choice of low cost affordable energy and excellent service.
How do you use business as a force for good?
At Bulb we use technology to keep costs low and quickly pass these savings onto our members. Our innovative approach of providing a single energy tariff for electricity and gas to our members keeps things simple and ensures everyone’s always on the best deal. As well as all of that, Bulb is a Living Wage employer and we place a huge amount of importance on making Bulb one of the best places to work in the world.
Why do you believe using business as a force for good makes business sense?
We’re different to most other energy suppliers because we really have built Bulb around the consumer. Our entire business is geared towards helping our members enjoy a simpler, cheaper and more renewable energy experience. That’s reflected by the fact that Bulb has over 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot and is the only company to reach that milestone while maintaining a 5* rating. Happy members stay with us for longer and are more likely to recommend us to their friends and family. This has really helped drive our business, making us the fastest growing 100% renewable energy supplier in the UK.
Name a project in the last year you’re most proud of?
Last year we launched our “Give £50, Get £50” referral programme. It was an amazing moment to start seeing Bulb members spreading the word about renewable energy and switching their family and friends to Bulb. It felt great to know we were rewarding our members for helping grow the business as well as saving people money and making a difference.
What are the biggest challenges Bulb has faced when driving positive change?
The main challenge Bulb faces is convincing customers that switching their account is simple and worthwhile. There is a huge inertia in the market. Only ten percent of people switch each year. In order to truly transform the way energy is bought, used and produced, people need to regain agency in their decisions around energy usage. Bulb knows it has to inspire people with an optimistic vision for the future that drives a demand revolution for affordable, renewable energy.
Have you got anything planned that’s getting you really excited?
Our next big initiative is to roll out smart meters to all our members. Smart meters will help us be even smarter with customer data, and give our members more detailed usage information, rather than estimates. It means that people can clearly and simply understand how their behaviour influences their usage, and in turn help them reduce their energy bill.
Are there any organisations you’ve got an eye on who deserve to be a B Corp?
One of the things we’re really interested in at Bulb is innovative ways of helping people live more sustainably. The Not Company are an amazing start-up based in Chile who have recognised issues within the current agricultural industry, not least its damaging impact on the environment. They believe people want to eat better but that it’s not always that easy. They’ve developed a revolutionary solution to the problem by using machine learning to figure out how to create their own versions of vegetarian substitutes for animal products. Their algorithm ‘Giuseppe’ uses novel ingredient combinations in its animal product replacements such as using mushrooms, coconut and quinoa to create chocolate. We really love their innovative business approach to driving change for good in the world.
Name one action we can all take to drive positive change for good.
Don’t forget to think about the people. If you try and think about the impact your actions will have on other people it is more likely that your behaviours will result in positive outcomes.
This weekend is B Adventurous – a weekend of adventures in Pembrokeshire for the staff of all B Corps to celebrate the B Corporation movement in the UK. From hiking on the St Davids Peninsula, to kayaking along the rocky coastline, B Adventurous is a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow B Corps and reflect on how we can all use business as a force for good. Sound good? Read the full programme and book your ticket now!
On the Greenhouse PR blog, we’re celebrating the community of wonderful B Corps across the UK. Take a look back at our recent interview with Elvis & Kresse, or if you’re an aspiring B Corp and need help with your communications, please get in touch.