Welcome to Ignition Law’s ‘Igniting The Spark‘ series where we spend five minutes with inspiring entrepreneurs, talking about the key moments that defined their careers.
This month we caught up with Gavin Malone, Founder of Future Green Steps, a fully managed network of EV charging solutions to help businesses create the sustainable infrastructure for the future.
Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do
My career has spanned both electrical engineering and financial services. I have always wanted to be my own boss but never knew where to start, as well as being too deterred about the financial uncertainty of not having a monthly salary. Circumstances aligned that allowed me to take the leap into business ownership with two friends, and I am now kicking myself I didn’t do it sooner.
Our business, Future Green Steps, ignites sustainable investment for our clients in green technology and the steps they can take to a net-zero economy.
We support a client’s transition to electric vehicle usage through the managed service of their EV charging infrastructure. We undertake the design and installation of hardware capabilities to maximise energy efficiencies at the client’s premises for their business’s EV adoption requirements.
We understand that in some cases, the electrical infrastructure may require power supply upgrades that are costly and can take months to complete, which can put some businesses off. We take care of the details around EV charging, so our clients don’t have to. Our system has the capability to dynamically manage the electrical loads at client sites, prioritising usage in line with the operational needs of a client’s business. This allows adoption without the risk of a site-level power outage.
Our cloud-based system, Energy Park, manages and controls the charge points once installed. This provides flexible access via a mobile app to the smart electric vehicle chargers, giving real-time visibility as to their availability. We can optimise features and design the end EV user interaction specific to a client’s needs. Energy Park also gives valuable insight to allow clients to scale their charging infrastructure to maximise their investment and substantially reduce the environmental impact of the activities of their business.
We believe in growth through innovation and our approach can help clients on the road ahead to a better, greener more sustainable world.
Sustainability is important to our business because…
Having a sustainable approach builds trust for our clients with their customers, investors, and employees. Our services help clients with this. With the Transport sector contributing 29.8% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK in 2020, we need radical change to meet the net-zero targets. The future ban on the sale of petrol and diesel passenger vehicles and the switch to electric vehicles requires significant charging infrastructure to be deployed to support this effort.
We keep Green initiatives at the focus of what we do by…
Being passionate individuals, dedicated to renewable energy for transport and helping clients provide a sustainable future for generations to come.
The moment that ignited the spark in me to start a business with a sustainable focus was…
My eldest son coming home from school talking about how he had learnt about the challenges with global warming. He talked about society needing to change its behaviour and be more sustainable if we are going to have a world that our future generations want to live in. It became clear to me that regardless of what you think, the problem is ours to deal with and some of our approaches in life need to change.
The toughest challenge I’ve faced in building a sustainable business…
Trying to find partnerships aligned to our long-term client focus, rather than making money quickly. The industry we are in is growing exponentially. We want to support clients on their journey around decarbonisation, whether that is small steps or giant leaps.
The biggest success has been…
Achieving so much in a short timeframe and getting to a position where we can take our solution to the market.
My favourite piece of advice for people trying to live a more sustainable life is…
Look at the amount of energy that you use daily and whether that energy source is renewable. There are much easier ways than you think to live an environmentally friendlier life
The type of person I look to recruit is…
A problem solver with the right mindset and creative thinking that can overcome challenges.
The part of my day I most look forward to is…
Reading bedtime stories to my kids. No matter how difficult the day has been, the smiles on their faces at the end of the day make all life’s problems feel insignificant.
If I could give fellow entrepreneurs one piece of advice it would be…
Look to your network of contacts for help. You most likely have the expert advice only a catch-up call away.
Outside of work I can be found…
Going to the gym. The workouts not only help me to maintain physical fitness, but they keep me mentally fit too. I completely turn off from work and life’s stresses. Afterwards I feel great and re-energized for the next day ahead.
My philosophy on life is…
Life is full of challenges, you can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.
What was your business challenge when you approached Ignition?
We wanted to create a consumer facing brand and protect that brand by way of a Trade Mark. I spoke to several law firms, and almost all told me our approach would likely be rejected by the Intellectual Property Office.
How did you work with Ignition Law on this? What support did we provide you with?
The team at Ignition Law listened to what our business model was and made suggestions on an approach to protect our brand.
What did you enjoy most about working with the team at Ignition?
The creative thinking around our objective and understanding of what we were trying to achieve. Billy articulated a plan that would work with where our business was at that time, as well as further ideas we could take when the business is ready to do so.