I was particularly interested to chat with Stuart because, like me, he has a commercial background. He was brought in about 8 years ago to help diversify the charity’s income stream. Music to my ears!
Overall, PECT runs at break-even, with some projects making a surplus that can be used to subsidise other projects.
Stuart and I chatted about two of their many programs. First, climate education for schools. A paid-for service they’re about to launch, it’s based around the eco-charter work they developed 10-years ago to build teachers’ confidence talking about sustainability and net-zero.
Pricing is such a tough thing to get right and particularly so for schools. Currently around £350 per year for a teacher-to-teacher service, PECT is planning to transition to an online model. It’ll be easier to scale and can be offered at a lower price-point.
We also discussed ‘Investors in the Environment’, a business accreditation scheme that promotes sustainable practices and is delivered nationally to about 350 members. The challenge here is setting pricing to balance the costs (need to make enough to cover costs and have something left over to further invest in the service) and price – the more businesses they can get it out to, the better the environmental impact.
Barriers to growth? Recruitment! Particularly finding passionate skilled environmentalists who haven’t been lured away by the larger salaries available in big commercial competitors.
So what’s gone wrong recently? Well it was to do with training course certificates getting lost in the post. Check the video to find out what happened…
I hugely enjoyed chatting with Stuart. He’s bringing some sound commercial practices to PECT’s environmentally important services. He’s all about #GrowthForGood.