The White T-shirt Co and Amber Energy are old friends.
Amber Energy is at its core a Business Utility Company, which is why you may not be familiar with their name. But you will soon as they have become an award-winning company for some rather interesting Domestic energy needs too.
Most exciting of all is that in December Amber received B Corporation certification - one of the first energy consultancies in the UK to do so. This means that they are legally committed to prioritising their responsibility to the environment and society. This is reflected in all things Amber, from the services they provide to the partners they work with...which is where The White T-shirt Co comes in!
Since 2017 Amber has been using our organic cotton t-shirts, to help raise funds for one of their charity projects. It's a wonderful thing when companies quietly get on with doing good but, until a recent chat, we had not appreciated just how much goes on behind the scenes. So we asked a few more questions:
WTC: We have been working together a few years now. Do you mind telling us why?
Amber: We really wanted to showcase our Power2Africa (P2A) project, and we thought it'd be really nice if, through our membership, we could give people complimentary t-shirts. By having something with the P2A logo on, we thought it would potentially act as a talking point – another way of introducing people to our non-profit work. We looked at various different companies to partner with, but we really wanted to work with someone who was fair trade, ethical, and aligned to the values of P2A. And thankfully we found The White T-Shirt Co.
The White T-shirt Co very kindly gave us a generous discount, which meant that when we sold to our staff and others at various events, the difference would go towards new P2A projects. Before lockdown, we would have 60 or 70 people in the office every day, so, as a bit of a perk, we used to tell our staff, if they wore a P2A t-shirt into work, they could wear jeans along with it!
For every t-shirt we sell, around 50% of that cost gets put back into P2A, with the remainder going towards the cost of the t-shirt.
WTC: Could you tell us a little more about Power2Africa
Amber: Power2Africa was established by our Founder Nick Proctor when he first set up Amber Energy.
Nick believes that access to electricity is the vital beginning to communities, who live with very little. Clean water, access to medicines, receiving an education, starting your own business – all of these are far more achievable with access to electricity. Nick feels strongly that we should give back. The projects are wide reaching and not just about supply electricity. If we can not only provide power but give the local community access to mentors who can help them learn, grow and succeed then we’ll have done our job. Power2Africa is a not for profit organisation, with key funding coming from like minded companies investing as part of their own corporate responsibility goals.
"Everyone deserves a level playing field and that's exactly what we're trying to provide with Power2Africa with access to electricity and mentoring programmes. We have the power to change lives and I want to be part of the movement that makes the difference." Nick Proctor. Founder and CEO of Amber Energy and Power2Africa
You can see some of the projects that Amber Energy have founded and support here.
WTC: We think it’s wonderful that your values go all the way through to what your teams wear. Most of your customers will not know this, so what other things are amber energy doing that are unseen?
Amber: One of the many things people may not know about amber is our work with The Student Energy Project (TSEP).
Since 2012, TSEP has been helping university students to reduce their energy consumption. And whatever they save can either be donated to P2A or used to plant trees in our forest. Our non-profit switching site, Energy Relief, also allows household energy users to do their bit for the planet.
More generally of course is our recent B Corp accredited company. So, at the moment, our team is busy making sure that we’re all doing things in the most sustainable way possible – benefitting our people and our planet.
WTC: Your Founder and CEO Nick Proctor, was one of our customers and it was actually Nick who first approached us. Could you tell us a little bit more Nick and the inspiration behind Amber Energy?
Amber: After finishing his degree, Nick started working for a bank and saw that businesses were getting completely screwed over by their energy brokers and they didn’t have a clue it was happening.
So, at the age of 25, Nick started amber from his dad’s spare bedroom. He did it in the belief that amber would go on to become the ‘good different’ in the energy sector – that we could challenge the norm and still get stuff done. He wanted to shake up the energy industry because clients were confused. No one trusted the sector and businesses were constantly seeing their overall costs increase, so something had to be done.
11 years on and we’re still here, delivering for our clients and fulfilling Nicks original passion for the environment and projects such as Power2Africa.
WTC: So, what makes Amber Energy different to other energy management consultancies?
Amber: When amber first launched in 2009, it was practically unheard of for third parties to tell their customers, “this is how it works, and this is how we get paid etc.” So, our particular focus on transparency and fairness is allowing us to set a new, exciting standard and is one of the reasons we have been awarded B Corporation status.
Also, from a service perspective, we’re a one-stop-shop for energy management services. We’re not an agency, so everything we do, we do it in house – which is really rare in our industry.
If you are a business interested in helping support Power2Africa you can read more here.