What’s it all about?
Never a more important time than to think about where you spend your time (working time) and where you put and spend your money. This week I speak to serial cleantech investor and entrepreneur Duncan Grierson about his new venture, Clim8 Invest, and cleantech/fintech company making ESG investing readily available and much more transparent. I hope you enjoy the episode.
About Duncan Grierson:
Duncan has 20 years as a cleantech entrepreneur and venture investor. He is now building another company with a big mission, Clim8, a fintech focused on investing into companies making an impact on climate change. As Founder CEO raised over £100m in venture capital from Goldman Sachs, Fidelity et al, built several cleantech companies in waste-to-biofuel, plastics recycling, solar battery storage, wind turbine composites and invested in many others especially in digital solutions for the energy transition. Winner of EY Entrepreneur of Year Cleantech award. Started in venture capital with top tier venture fund TCVC in London, Silicon Valley and Paris.
About Clim8 Invest:
The Clim8 platform provides a simple way to invest into a targeted portfolio of publicly listed companies that are already making an impact in tackling climate change. Sectors covered by Clim8 include clean energy, clean technology, sustainable food, smart mobility and recycling. They have raised £12 million in funding to continue extending the app, and their investors include Channel 4 Ventures and a venture capital fund backed by the British Business Bank
- Duncan Grierson LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/duncangrierson/
- Clim8 Invest LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/clim8invest/
- Clim8 Invest Twitter: https://twitter.com/clim8invest
- Clim8 Invest Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clim8invest/
- Clim8 Invest Website: https://clim8invest.com/
About Hyperion Executive Search:
Hyperion are a specialist executive search firm working with some of the most innovative cleantech companies in the world, helping to find extraordinary talent to enable their growth and success. Partnering with leading cleantech VCs, as well as directly with founders and entrepreneurs in the sector. With our clients we are transforming business and growing a strong and prosperous cleantech economy. We work across EMEA and NORAM, with teams based in the UK, Germany and the US.
If you want to grow your team, or move forward your career, visit www.hyperionsearch.com, or email email@example.com
- Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08GKYJVL1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
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Unknown Speaker 0:04
Hello and welcome to the leaders in clean tech podcast. Each week our host David Hunt speaks to a leading startup co executive or thought leader in the clean tech sector focused on the clean energy and clean mobility transitions. Each guest shares the highs and lows of their clean tech journey, their industry insights and their vision and hopes for the future.
David Hunt 0:32
Hello, I’m David Hunt CEO and founder of the Hyperion clean tech group and your host of the leaders in clean tech podcast. Our thoughts this week, of course, go to anyone in from or connected to Ukraine, hard to find the words to discuss the horrors that are going on there. But they do show to me just how important the transition away from fossil fuels is. And that’s certainly something that will be addressed in our podcast podcast today. Before we get into that I wanted to share very briefly that we have added a new company and brand into the Hyperion cleantech group. You will I hope know that the Hyperion executive search team recruits C suite VP heads of board and Ed and executive hires in the clean tech sector. This week we announced the formation of fully charged recruitment. A partnership with the fully charged show who I expect many of you will be familiar with. It’s the world’s largest clean energy and clean mobility YouTube channel, and events company fully charged recruitment again works exclusively in clean tech, but in the mid to senior level. So the salary is typically in the 40 to 100k ballpark. Much more of that to come and some links to that in the episode page if you’d like to find out some more onto today. Today I’m delighted to welcome an amazing clean tech investor and CEO Duncan Grierson as a guest on my podcast. Duncan have known for many years, he has a fascinating record as an entrepreneur in clean tech, his latest venture climate invest merges clean tech, with FinTech and a very important topic and issue at the moment and really looking forward to sharing some of the thoughts of how his company is merging technology and the all important aspects of ESG. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Hello, Duncan, welcome to the leasing clinic podcast. It’s great to have you with us. Great beard, delight to chat. So yeah, lots to talk around with what’s going on in the world at the moment. And more specifically, clearly around, you know, what we ask within the insects, clean tech sector can do and are doing to to make the world a better place without being too trite about it. But there’s so much in what you’re doing and the the ESG and the FinTech and the clean tech space and these convergences of technologies that I’m very keen to dig into. But typically, what we always start with is a little bit of backstory, because you’ve got a very interesting one, as both an investor and an entrepreneur, we typically tend to meet at ego Summit, which is obviously very much an invest the clean tech event in Berlin, I think, probably met them more than we have in London, but bigger just to give the guests so the audience have a flavour of a little bit of how you came a little bit of your background, and then more specifically, how you came to fund and found climate invest.
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 3:23
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think we met probably three or four years ago, in Berlin. You know, what’s probably the leading kind of clean tech conference, a little shout out to Dan. I, my background is guess it’s quite a collective I started life, I did a law degree qualified as a lawyer joined, you know, what the time was certainly the biggest law firm in the city. And, and sort of found venture capital private equity and decided that’s what I wanted to do. And so I spent the next I qualified, I think about a year post qualification. And then I spent the next six years in the event on the investment side. And this was kind of pre.com.com bubble and sort of sort of bubble, inflate, and then deflate. And then I ended up joining a private equity fund, actually, for a couple years kind of post.com, bubble. And then and then I decided that I wanted to build a business, I think I’ve got something in me that wants to build things. And so I ended up starting my first business, which was a waste to biofuels business and spent like, seven, eight years on that. I got funding from the likes of Goldman Sachs. And then I guess, sort of like giving, you know, all the last 20 years I spent the last five years actually investing into startups sort of going a little bit back to what I was doing 20 years ago, and helping other founders kind of on their journey and sort of a range of different companies in particular around the energy transition so a company that that has a smart battery and software solution. And company that recycles wind turbine composites and a whole range of others. And so typically sitting on the board adding, adding, trying to add some value, investing a bit of money, and helping a strategy and product and hiring and funding. And so yeah, that’s, that’s what I’ve been doing pretty much the last five or six years until I started, claymates. And the idea was sort of the lightbulb moment was I was, I was noodling on either starting another company. And I was thinking around, you know, that the smart home the battery vehicles, Evie, charge point heat pump. But I was also thinking about maybe raising a venture fund and going a little bit back to what I was doing, you know, 20 years ago, and raising a clean tech fund, right. And then I kind of had the lightbulb moment was actually like an AI can combine, you know, these kind of these these two ideas into one by building a platform investment app that makes it super easy for anybody to invest into companies solutions to climate to the climate crisis. And that’s what we built. So I started working on it, almost three years ago now started to socialise. The idea with friends and contacts, people thought was a great idea. But as you know, it all takes a lot longer than you hope. So, you know, we’re now we’re now doing pretty well, with our 40 people, we have a whole team of software engineers, so we’re very much a tech business was a plus a product team marketing team. And I think probably perhaps most uniquely as a as a as a, as a climate FinTech, we have an in house investment team. So we have six people, very experienced investors in house, who who are picking stocks and picking specialist funds and instruments for our for our users. I think that’s that’s, you know, that’s what really kind of makes us different from what other people doing. And we’ll probably get on to ESG. At some point in this conversation, but we we see ourselves very much as, as pure play, we are focused on six core themes. We’re focused on clean tech, clean energy, smart mobility, which is obviously a lot of electric mobility, but but also other bits and pieces, sustainable food, circular economy and clean water systems. And so these kind of these six core themes, they’re all impactful, and all the companies we’re putting people’s money into, have a product or service that is that is already making a difference.
David Hunt 7:47
Yeah, yeah. No, it’s such a important point and go back to your point, it has been difficult to find ways as an individual to to invest or put your money in somewhere where it’s doing what you wanted to do. And we’ll definitely move on to that whole ESG piece. And in a way your pension set and all this kind of stuff that we will think about. I wanted to make sure we’re not funding things in the world. We don’t want to be funding but but also going back to your point, it’s a tech company. And what I love at the moment is that there’s so much convergence of different sectors and technologies, which are making an impact and really pushing things forward. And kind of the combination of a FinTech and a clean tech companies, you see very much tech and we could discuss a little bit about the platform, how it works. And obviously how people can engage with that. And then obviously, the broader topic of of ESG is certainly one which was which needs to be addressed. But setting the company, I love the the journey for an entrepreneur from having the idea, the light bulb moment as you put it, and then suddenly you sound out a few people and before you before you know it, you’re on this journey. And you’re you’re looking for some cash, and you’re looking for some people, and it has a leg, legs of its own very quickly. Going back to that point, what were some of the early, earliest challenges for you once you realise that this actually was your new baby, so to speak, and this was something that you really wanted to to move forward. What were those early challenges?
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 9:06
I guess one of the biggest challenge was kind of the design around the product, exactly what would the product variants look like? We we we never wanted to be just sort of a green, a green a version of what is kind of out there already in the market. We’re trying to build something which is, which is a very different customer experience, which you know, immediately pulls you into how you can have an impact with your money. And so it’s so kind of, if you like two legs to what what we’re trying to help my users or investors with, you know, one is give them a good return, but also provide them with provide them with climate impact. So the climate impact is really at the core of what we’re trying to do. And so we we spent quite a lot of time working out how how do we how do we provide that and how do we communicate that to our users. And so where we’re where we are today and it’s just the beginning of the journey as we, again uniquely in the market, we provide a climate impact calculator. So you can see on an individualised basis, the impact of your your money through the companies you’re investing in. So we through it, we show a couple of metrics, and we’ll be adding to those. So we show the carbon emissions reduction, by the companies your money is going into. And we show the clean energy generated by the by the companies in which you’re, you’ve invested, and we kind of show that on our kind of, to date, way and sort of on a rolling basis. So it’s, that’s quite exciting, that’s unique, we’re not seeing anybody else do that. And that’s really sort of the beginning the beginning of that, we were going to be sort of doubling down on climate impact, we think that’s, that’s a way to, you know, engage with our users. And so, you know, part of that is around content, you know, providing stories around the kinds of companies that people are investing into. And then, you know, there are other other features and functionality that we’re we’re working on. But yeah, it’s about engaging people and making them feel that they are empowered, you know, this is such a massive problem. And, I mean, David, you saw the IPPC report that came out, you know, a couple of days ago, the latest one, which is, you know, pretty scary, we have so little time left, and we’ve just got to get our act together. And so you’re pouring more money into renewables, for example, is is an absolute no brainer. You know, these are proven technologies, but also adding money into some of the less burden technologies could get them, you know, down the cost curve. This is such, this is so important. And so part of our mission is to educate our users around these solutions, make them feel empowered, make them feel that they are making a difference. And then the you know, the desire is that they will then share that with their friends and family and contacts, and then sort of build a community of people who can, who can who can, you know, be making a difference with their money. I mean, the other leg is, is those you know, some research that your money, your savings and your pension can have 20 times the impacts of all the other behavioural changes, such as, you know, eating less meat, flying, less cycling, more buying clean energy for your home, etc, which we all should be doing. But actually your your savings, your pension, can have a tremendous impact. Because the you know, there are the trillions of pounds, just in the UK alone, sitting in people’s pensions, and we need to be doing more with it, we need to be putting into the right kinds of companies.
David Hunt 12:44
Yeah, I think what’s really important and I’ve been through that myself, during the course of last year, I’ve moved my pension into somewhere where we’re going, I think it’s better served. And with ISIS, I think that’s really difficult. I’ve got one with with trade offs, again, you know, good reputable organisation, but it was difficult to me wasn’t obvious or clear in terms of how I could, you know, use my assets in a way that’s both obviously, what the serving my family as they should this asset, but also obviously serving the the broader topic of the world’s issues. So that education piece, I think, is really important. And I guess being a digital organisation, and obviously the world moving in that transition freedom for all folks like us. How are you addressing that? Because again, I think you’ve got adverts coming up. And obviously you’ve got the platform, just keen to say about this building community aspect, Duncan, because that’s, I think, really, really important and not necessarily easy to do,
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 13:36
ya know? Really, really good question. Yeah. And then lots of really exciting stuff to it. And we can do so yeah, we’ve got, we’ve actually just launched my first TV adverts with Channel Four, which is quite exciting. We’ve we raised, we raised 12 million pounds in sort of venture funding so far. And some of that has come from Channel Four, and that’s being put into TV adverts, so that got launched just a few days ago. So that’s good. We’ve, we started some adverts in the in the times and Sunday Times. But I think more importantly than all of that is, you know, the product itself, we are adding more and more content into the into the app to show people, the kinds of companies that we’re investing into. But also think I mean, to your point about your struggle to find where you could put your your savings, your ICU or your pension. I think that the challenge a lot of people have is is sort of the misinformation, if you like around kind of ESG investing. Yeah, you know, there’s there are, you know, trillions of pounds dollars, every currency have moved into kind of ESG, quote unquote, funds in the last few years as it’s become more fashionable to invest in, you know, sustainability, broadly defined. And the fact of matter is that the vast majority of those ESG funds are actually not really focused. On climate solutions, they’re just focused on kind of slightly slightly de risking your portfolio and putting your you into slightly less bad companies, if you like, on the on the E and the S and the G, then then it’s kind of the the market benchmark. And that is just not good enough. So, you know, there was a piece in The Economist last year that said that the 20 largest ESG funds in the world, hold on average 17 fossil fuel companies. So and that’s on average. Yeah. And you know, and it’s not just fossil fuels, they also hold tobacco, and weapons, and alcohol. So these these kind of the circled ESG funds, and, you know, we’re talking about the largest asset managers in the world, that they’re selling a product, which many retail investors would be surprised to know what what is actually in it, when you kind of dig into the detail. And you know, very often you’ll see what’s the top 10 Holdings. And very often the top 10 Holdings is Microsoft, Facebook, Spotify, Google, which, which are great companies, but they’re not having an impact and climate change, you know, that their core product is not making a difference on climate change. And that’s what I guess we’re trying to be a little bit, we’re trying to be, you know, an antidote to that, if you know that, the far kind of green end of that, that, if you come to us, we will put your money into companies that are having a positive impact. So we think there’s a place for that market, you know, we’re, we’re not expecting the market to move purely in this direction. But it’s a start. And it’s also about raising awareness. It’s also about raising awareness about these solutions that you might want to use as a consumer, you know, maybe, you know, some of the companies in our portfolios, you know, they’ve got great products and services for consumers as well as our business buyers. So yeah, it’s it’s partly about education and, and raising awareness.
David Hunt 16:47
Yeah, I think one of the issues we have many people who are listening to the podcast you and I, we attend we speak, we kind of a bit in a clean tech bubble, and you live in a world where you know, what’s going on, you’re reasonably savvy. That’s not to say we all know everything, but we’re reasonably savvy. And it’s only when you go to sort of events where there are the general public or, you know, friends, family that are not in the sector, you just realised just how lacking there is of knowledge, and also how people are duped by, you know, the greenwashing of some of the big oil majors that, you know, obviously, all their advertising, there’s lots of plants and trees and windmills, but we know the reality of what’s going on behind the scenes. And, and the same from a banking perspective, it’s just how you think you’re putting your stuff into an ESG fund. And then you realise that there are fossil fuels and tobacco and various betting or whatever else you may or may not feel comfortable with. So yeah, I think there’s a real education piece and having an organisation or organisations that are pure play, and really focused, I think is much needed. And it’s a case of then us disseminating those opportunities out there. So in terms of then the funding mechanism, I would like to talk about broadly about ESG. But from your perspective, you’ve got your own in house investments in which is brilliant. So, again, are there sort of certain criteria beyond the obvious ones that you utilise, for, for how and where you put people’s money? Yeah,
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 18:06
I mean, we’re also going to give people a good return. So this is not sort of just about, you know, making people feel good about where their money is going. It’s very much about, you know, giving them a good a good return. So, you know, like I said, the two legs are climate impact, and, and positive returns. And so we, but on that, you know, there seems to be a bit of a myth around sustainable investing that sort of built up that if to invest in the right kind of companies, you need to, you know, take a hit on your returns, and we’ve actually seen the opposite. You know, you know, and the logic is kind of obvious. These are these six themes we’re investing into, you know, clean energy, clean tech, smart mobility, circular economy, sustainable food, clean water, these are all mega trends, right? And I mean, David, you’re deep in this, and your listeners will be following all of these themes, investing into them, be part of them be working for the companies in these tech, these are mega trends for the next 2030 years. Yeah. And therefore, it seemed pretty obvious to me at least, that if you’re if you’re investing into these kinds of companies, then you’re likely to quite well, certainly over the longer term, you know, there will be ups and downs. You know, we we had tremendous returns over the first 16 months of our portfolio. I mean, you can see that, you know, on our website in the app, we have had a challenging January, February, like everybody else in kind of the renewable space, you know, and obviously, the the war in Ukraine is, is also having an impact on on the markets. But over the long term, these are mega trends. And so it seems very likely that you will get a good return over the long term. If you stay invested in these mega trends, and therefore your your, your savings and your pension will do well, and so getting back on awareness and education, getting that message across to people, that this is not sort of just sort of tree hugging, doing good. You can to actually do good with your with, you know, with your savings and get a good return. And and, you know, actually we had market beating returns, you know, for the for the for, like I said the first 16 months that have the portfolios, you know, January February been challenging, but you know, the markets will come back. That’s That’s how markets work.
David Hunt 20:18
Yeah, I think it’s the longest templates important again, I say most of our audience be fairly savvy to this, but I think there’s an issue, you know, certainly for younger people kind of everybody’s thinking about crypto and day trading, and that’s where you make your money. But obviously, the realities are, it’s the, it’s the trends on the long term that work out. I mean, how are you? Who is your target audience and how you, I guess, looking to access and share that story, that these are the mega trends, these aren’t your every investments gonna have its ups and downs, but these are the things which are shifting the economy, as well as the sort of sustainability of, of our societies.
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 20:54
Yeah, I mean, going back to, you know, when I started the business, I had the idea I, I very much wanted to build a community of people who like minded who want to have an impact. And therefore, the vision has always been to have a very broad a broad community of people. So not just if you’d like people at the wealthy end, or people at the less wealthy end, or people at the the older, or the younger end. And, and we are trying to appeal to a really, really wide right now, actually, we’ve already seen that in our, in our, in our users and, and also, women, we think there’s a real opportunity to bring more more more women into into investing. And so we’ve, again, we’ve seen that no data, we have, you know, a third of our users are women, which is extremely high. For a FinTech investment product, it’s really, really high. If you look at sort of the sort of day trading apps that you sort of mentioned, they have very few women typically it’s it’s very kind of male dominated. So we definitely want to have a very broad diverse, and we’ve seen that it’s, there’s a real diversity from people who’ve put a couple 100,000 pounds into portfolios down to people who’ve put 25 pounds, you know, we start with a very kind of low threshold. And it’s a red, there’s a real yeah, there’s a real range of, of investors. And, and, and, again, it, this is long term investing. So we want to bring people in early. And some of those are first time investors, about a third of it, about a third of our users are sort of novice investors. And then the two thirds are sophisticated invests invested before. And so yeah, we’re trying to bring a lot of people along on this journey. I would also say we’re not necessary expecting people to remove all their money to us, you know, we’ve got we’ve got quite a lot of people who’ve moved ISIS from other providers. You know, pretty every name included. Well, you mentioned earlier, David, every single provider, we’ve had people move their money from those providers to us, because people want to have at least some of their investments, they want to be shortly some of their investments are investing in the right companies. And so that’s sort of part of our kind of, if you like our play is that we think we can capture a piece of a lot of people’s investment portfolio, if you want to be sure you invest in the right things kind of come come join us. You enjoy our content, you know, and engage with our community around around climate impact.
David Hunt 23:20
Yeah, yeah. And this whole topic of ESG. And that’s one of the things that we were talking before I wrote a blog, which was taken down by the dear chaps at LinkedIn, because I was abusing Mr. Putin. But but just talking about whilst on one hand, you feel hugely powerless because of what’s going on. But on the other hand, actually, through both your money from investment, and from your time, in terms of where you choose to work, you can have quite a big impact on on the world and these things. cumulate. So, again, your broader sort of draws towards the world of ESG investing and how that sits and how you all we can empower people to do whatever they can through this mechanism. And as you said before, it’s not a case of losing out or, or sacrificing some returns, if anything, you should accelerate them as we touched on. But yeah, I mean, are the conflicting messages in the CSG. world apart from we’ve already touched on some of the funds who are perhaps less than clear on exactly what they’re doing.
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 24:15
I mean, yeah, I mean, the whole ESG investment space is kind of rife with, frankly, with with miscommunication. And you know, I’m not the only one saying this, this is this is this has become a common topic. There was, you know, not only the economist was a piece in there, you know, the Financial Times, like the plague read just just a week ago and hand it to sort of the lead is quite funny. The lead in a kind of case study was a lady’s sort of successful professional, who invested with nutmeg, and then kind of dug into that kind of ESG ethical proposition and found that actually, it wasn’t that green and I was shocked and then moved her money. She moved to us, she I think quite great Have you found us? So moved on to the climate? And so yeah, I mean, our whole piece in the Financial Times was all about this was all about ESG being rife with kind of miscommunication. And in fact, there is a possibility that there might even be litigation around it. I’ve been Yeah, people have been actively misled. So we’ll see how that all plays out. I mean, you know, that, that, you know, that that’s not something we really want to be involved in. But we were trying to get out a positive message that you can make, you can kind of be investing in the right companies, and there are, there are funds it out there that you can invest and be sure your money is going the right things in our pot foot portfolio is a mixture of direct stocks and specialist funds. There are you know, there are good funds out there that they’re just, they’re not necessarily household names, you do need to be looking around for them. And it’s not that easy. necessarily finding them if you’re kind of a DIY investor.
David Hunt 25:55
Yeah, yeah. I important. Flip the conversation back a little bit, Duncan to being an entrepreneur, which you are and have done before. And in this space, I think one of the luxuries, there’s the upside in terms of what’s going on within clean tech and fintech, there’s a lot of money coming into the sector, there’s a lot of evolution of both technically, and from a business model perspective, which is great. There are many challenges always in growing a company fundraising is always one, even from experience, fundraise like yourself, I’m sure there are. There’s always challenges, despite the fact there’s money out there. And obviously, the building teams, systems processes, and individuals is tough anyway, and we were doing this in the last couple of years on the backdrop of, you know, a global pandemic, which nobody foresaw or was equipped for. So again, maybe some thoughts on how you as a CEO, lead, inspire manage teams, which I’m sure many of which are remote, and were perhaps main remain. So as many companies do. And sort of keep this this this coach, because everybody wants great software developers and clean tech and fintech in agrotech. And everywhere else, so there’s huge demand. So how do you? Or how do you sort of address the culture of the business and the growth of the business from a leadership perspective? Yeah,
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 27:05
it’s it’s never easy. It’s a real, it’s a real challenge. It’s ongoing challenge, I guess, what we what we benefit from, which makes it probably easier than many other stocks is this mission we’ve got, which is very kind of pure, if you like, it’s a lot of people, a lot of companies talk about having a mission. But you know, this one, you know, trying to make a difference on climate change, trying to bring together people empower them democratise access to, you know, good investing, if you like, that’s such a brilliant mission that, you know, we benefit from that in terms of finding and retaining people. But it’s not easy, right? It is a hot market, there’s lots of venture money floating around. And so, you know, finding people going through the recruitment process, you know, you’re picking them, you know, it’s got to be right, for both sides, you know, it, you know, the team fit has to be good for both sides. It’s not easy. I mean, obviously, that’s, that’s, that’s your business, I would say. We, in terms of the kind of the pandemic and the move to the move to kind of remote working, or at least partial is we’ve got a bit of a hybrid. So software team, a lot of them are remote. I think the split is around two thirds, kind of fully remote, but it’s remote first, for the whole of the team, that’s kind of the working kind of operators. But then we have kind of a, we try to get people in the office as much as we can. So the rest of the business, you know, put for, you know, just just the way we can communicate better. Yeah, that’s clearly much better when you’re face to face with people in their hat they can be and have been miscommunications, you know, people kind of working over zoom. And so go try and get people in an office as much as possible, is an absolute must and, and, you know, now the pandemic is easing, shall we say, you know, we’re going to be doing more and more of that, but it’s not easy. It’s really not easy. We haven’t done things perfectly. Managing people is never easy. We’re all individuals, we all have desires, and wishes and good days and bad days. And so that that’s just a constant challenge, right? So you try to find, you know, people who are aligned with your mission and, you know, empower them. And you see how it goes. It’s not it’s not a straight line. It’s not at all, but like I said, the fact that we have this brilliant mission that is quite powerful and is very useful in aligning people in in the in the one direction.
David Hunt 29:32
Yeah, it’s a it’s a huge benefit to companies who are in our broader space, for sure. And the culture thing is critically important, but it isn’t an exact science. And as you say, it’s it’s really interesting to see our different companies address that the ability to get people together where possible, whether that’s on no outings and team building, or just getting into the office somewhere you can which is, which is important to know it’s certainly a big challenge in terms of the growth of Have climate Duncan, what’s the guess? Is there a geographical region in terms of where your where customers can invest? Is there what’s sort of the growth trajectory or plan for for the business?
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 30:12
Yeah, right now we’re, we’re focused in the UK, but we we have international plans. So without saying too much and say what Watch this space we into, you know, it’s it’s it’s a theme what we’re doing, which is which appeals to lots of people around the world, we’ve had, you know, we’ve had lots of interest from a range of different countries and regions. So we definitely will be going outside of the UK into other markets. So yeah, that’s, that’s definitely part of our plan.
David Hunt 30:43
Okay, super, more broadly, because of your background anyway. And And more specifically, now looking at the types of businesses funds and technologies that the climate invest in. The interesting, just take your view a little bit of where you see the the hotter areas of technologies, broadly, within clean tech, we will know that obviously, the electric electrification of transport, it’s really exactly gone crazy in last couple years, and I’m sure it will for a few more yet. But are there particular areas that are of interest to you, or that you’re keeping an eye on? And no fusion comes into the conversation from time to time, the hydrogens, obviously a lot of froth around that at the moment. But again, just to see if there’s any thoughts in terms of where you see perhaps some of the next big disruptions or hotspots coming?
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 31:29
Yeah, I need to be a bit careful around kind of, you know, from compliance perspective, okay. Yes, he had a stock picking, you’re kind of even even thematic. But, look, I mean, all of our themes, I would say are hot in the sense that, you know, that they, they are all they’re all megatrends. You know, all of them. And, and, you know, there’s lots of money is going into kind of early stage mid stage listed companies in or in all of them, I don’t see that, I don’t think see that, you know, going away anytime soon, because, because the problem is so massive, but also the opportunity is so massive. And obviously, this is where, you know, where your business focus, there is so much opportunity to build value in you know, decarbonisation across every single industry and sector. So it’s, it’s hard to pick one, I mean, I think your agriculture is perhaps slightly less sexy than then, you know, yes. agritech, then then kind of clean energy. So, you know, I think that, that that’s a really interesting area. And the other one is US energy efficiency. Again, it’s less sexy, right, then then solar and wind and hydrogen and fusion, and, and all the other, you know, exciting areas are around kind of clean energy, because energy efficiency, it’s not sexy, but it’s there’s a lot to be done there. as well. So yeah, I guess I sort of mentioned those two.
David Hunt 32:58
Yeah, yeah. Not sure. If you like everything exactly. That I mean, for some years, even though if, you know, in between the recruitment businesses actually ran a and owned a solar business for a while. And it was always as much as it was great to generate your own energy, it was always like, efficiency first, no, stop, you use less for starters, and then start making new choosing where and how you get the stuff that you do you so as always been a little bit of the ugly sister of clean tech to some extent, but it’s hugely important as is agritech. One thing actually, I did want to touch on because again, it’s one that doesn’t necessarily always get thought about when you talk about resources. People often talk about, obviously, energy broadly, or oil and gas and hard and all these other things. But water is so fundamentally the most important resource we have in many regards. And that’s one of the areas that you discussed, and perhaps just share, if you can a little bit of the technologies or the themes around water resources that our people are able to sort of invest in or see more rewards from,
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 33:58
again, approached and getting sort of, if specific, too much from a compliance perspective, but, but what I would say it’s whilst it’s, it’s a theme, which doesn’t naturally sit with sort of decarbonisation as such, yeah, it is, as you said, it’s, it’s, it’s very much a part of the same theme or write about set, you know, and there are other themes, which are, which are, you know, also the same things like biodiversity? Natural capital. I think there aren’t, you know, you know, protection of the oceans. I mean, I think there are, you know, we sort of picked these kind of six core themes, but actually, they kind of bleed into others and one another, you know, clean tech is sort of a bit of a catch all to be honest. Yeah. You know, it touches on clean energy as well as sort of smart mobility. And so, yeah, we, I guess we try not to get too hung up on, on, on, you know, just focusing on on kind of the But those those specifics, and what is really important is to focus on what is going to have an impact on carbon? And what is going to have an impact to kind of planetary health. And where are the opportunities there? Where are the growth companies? Where are where is the value to be had? Where are things just not working at all? Well, where it’s kind of the, the challenges and the opportunities? So yeah, I don’t know if I’ve answered your question.
David Hunt 35:23
I appreciate I’d say from a compliance perspective, perhaps not able to, to answer in a more direct fashion. But that’s fine. We’ll move away from that a little bit, just in terms of the, I guess you touched on the IPC PC C report, which, again, alarming headlines. By nature, I think most entrepreneurs and most people in the sector are optimistic, but do you genuinely think in the next 10 years, we can, if we put you know, get this right? pull ourselves back from the brink?
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 35:51
I think we have to feel optimistic, we can’t be anything else, I think we have to be but we need to be we need to be applying. We as consumers, we need to be doing as much as we can. And we need to be applying pressure to government, we need to be applying pressure to the companies we work for when we interact with those, there is so much to do. But it does feel to me that things are moving much faster than they were even a couple of years ago, there is now a tremendous interest in this from everybody. And you’re sort of you’ve seen all the big consultancies put out pieces around this, how they thought of scaling up their teams for, you know, for working on kind of carbon impact. So I do think that the bus is moving much faster now than it was a couple of years ago. And so I I am hopeful, I guess the other pieces, you know, the only silver lining from what is happening right now, you know, in Ukraine, which is horrific, is that it may focus people’s minds a bit more on the need to move away from fossil fuels for not only we need to save our planet, you know, rather we need to save ourselves to live to go live on this planet. But we need to move away from fossil fuels to clean energy to kind of defying these, this these kinds of dictators who use fossil fuels to to, you know, empower themselves and empower their ambitions without getting too political. And so that, you know, it’s just another reason we’ve got to be putting much more focus. And quickly now, on the rollout of renewables.
David Hunt 37:26
Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s interesting. I was approached by a journalist this week talking about the ESG, the s&p ESG. And obviously, a lot of the focus goes on the environmental because it gets a lot of headlines. And of course, it’s critically important, but perhaps less on the society side. And as you say, what’s going on, hopefully, is making people much more aware of that, I’ve always believed that sort of environmental and social justice go pretty much hand in hand. And that good, good, clean technology should be improved society as well as the environment. But yeah, absolutely. I think you say it’s a it’s a horror show that’s going on. But anything that does, hopefully tip the balance of thinking, which then pushes behaviour change is critical. And hopefully people will think more clearly about a where they work from our perspective. And going back to your point, you’re clearly the Hyperion and our new company, fully charged recruitment that the demand is huge people wanting to work in a more impactful environment. And we do what we can there. And obviously, from your perspective, people who want to, let’s just say make better use of or know that their funds are doing good, and certainly not doing harm. So like you say, a horror show going on, but hopefully, will certainly dry things more forward for the clean tech sector for from from from any number of levels. This has been great to talk and hopefully we’ll catch up at ecosummit. Again, in in Berlin, assuming we can all travel, which is looking more favourable, at least, but thanks for spending a little bit of time with us, we’ll put into the episode page or the lit various links to the website and to to the various social media channels. And they were else that people should be going to look both about the climate, climate invest and also sort of the ESG investing and any other sort of media or places that people should or could be looking.
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 39:06
I mean, I guess I mean, a quick shout out to ourselves it you know, it is the end of the tax year. It’s the we’re in ISIS season now March typically kind of when when things sort of hot up, people realise they haven’t user eyes around so you know, perhaps take a look at climate calm. I’d say we’ve also got a DJI so coming soon. So if you want to be sort of investing for your children’s future if you at least a few in the UK, a junior ICER we’ve got that coming soon as well. And then more broadly and sort of you know kind of you know content we’ve got a blog on our website we regularly put out you know, I think indicate interesting educational pieces around what what, what we’re doing and then crikey perhaps I can tell you David afterwards some some of the materials that I read, and you can you can add that into the notes.
David Hunt 39:52
Yeah, absolutely. again to close with any book recommendations or, or anywhere that again, People can learn from or go, I’ll do that prove that you don’t, because not not specifically about ESG or about the topic broadly, but it always fascinates me that the different sort of areas and thoughts and that entrepreneurs go to for For Inspiration and resource or what started them on their journey in many ways. And books are often catalysts are certainly a go to place are there any, but either from a from a, from a business, cleantech perspective or just from from a pleasure perspective? Any book recommendations you’d share with the audience?
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 40:31
Gosh, so many. I mean, well, I probably won’t sort of bore people with the one sort of the go to the Clean Energy ones, because your readers will be kind of your viewers listeners will be kind of very kind of familiar with those. But yeah, I read a lot around kind of, you know, just Tech Tech broadly. So, you know, I think obviously, you know, Jeff Beezus is pretty inspirational, how he’s built a business started off with a kind of very thin wedge of books, obviously, question marks around, you know, sustainability of that business, but you know, how he’s built up businesses, is pretty remarkable. And then, you know, obviously, inspiration, you could have someone like Elon Musk again, you know, he’s, you know, he’s, he’s basically drag the whole of the mobility sector into the electric vehicles, so and curly inspiration. So I sort of, you know, read about these people, follow them on Twitter, etc. I’m a big, you know, I’m a big user of LinkedIn, I think LinkedIn is pretty remarkable for the content you can find. And so yeah, I mean, look, I can I can give you perhaps some suggestions off this, David on on specifics. But I mean, nothing really comes specifically to mine. I’m, I read a lot. And I consume a lot of kind of different different types of media to get kind of inspiration.
David Hunt 41:48
Yeah, yeah. And it’s important to do that say it’s important battle that we’re all involved in. And it’s always good to have this sort of community, I think is an important aspect you’ve touched on both in terms of your own community within your business, but the broader community. So thank you for sharing your experience and what you’re up to with our community here. And long way you continue to be successful. Thanks for spending the time with us. Like I say, we’ll put the various links into the episode page so people can follow up. And certainly I’ll be looking at the dry stuff for my kids as she launched that. But yeah, thanks very much for time, Duncan, and great to have you with us.
Duncan Grierson – Clim8 Invest 42:23
That was great, Dave, many thanks. Great chatting with you.
David Hunt 42:30
Hello, thanks very much for joining some of these new clean tech podcast. I hope you enjoyed that episode. And appreciate you joining us again, please do subscribe if you haven’t already. And please do share any episodes that have a particular interest within your community. If you do get an opportunity to write a review on Apple podcasts or your platform of choice, very much appreciated. Hopefully see you on the next episode.