Meaningful Business (MB:) Please tell us a bit about your background.
Juliet Davenport (JD): I went to Oxford University to study physics and ended up doing atmospheric physics in my third year, which inspired my journey to do more on climate change. I then followed that up with an economics degree, having in the meantime had a variety of jobs (in the hotel industry, PR industry, and teaching). I took my first steps to really finding a path and went to work at the European Commission as an intern on energy policy.
MB: What Led you to start Good Energy?
JD: Good Energy was born out of seeing the experience of seeing the energy system both at a European and international level. I saw the grip the “old fossils” had on the system, and how geopolitical all investment in energy was. Climate always came a poor second.
That was when I became interested in renewables. They seemed to bring two new aspects to the discussion. One – it was a technology that was innately local, and the source was not controlled by a country. Two – it could involve individuals rather than just big corporates and countries. Most people can’t build a gas power plant in their back yard, but they can put a solar panel on their roof.
MB: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
JD: How to support people in the fight against climate change. Working out how to clean up our energy system and cut carbon emissions to zero.
MB: What is your biggest challenge right now?
JD: Our challenge as a company is to create new green products which people will love, and support the decarbonisation of our energy system. We exist in a very competitive market and the challenge is to stay competitive and highlight how we aren’t like the other suppliers.
MB: What is your vision for the future of business?
JD: My vision is to see businesses fully embrace the circular economy and to place purpose at the heart of everything they do.
MB: What is your advice to other leaders who want to combine profit and purpose?
JD: Be bold and jump right in! Have a plan which places purpose at the core of everything you do. It’s not just a nice to have but should guide everything you do, from your investment decisions to how the company is governed.
MB – What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
JD – ‘Just get on with it!’
MB – Who inspires you?
JD – ‘Greta Thunberg, by inspiring a generation of to get involved, Ruth Ginsberg for being, and Christiana Figueres for getting as far as we have done with the UN process.’
MB – How do you define success?
JD – ‘We all have our own definitions based on what’s important to us in life. But for me, it’s about saying I have made a change that will be long lasting and effective in protecting the planet for the next generation, and the one after that and …’
MB – What is something you wish you were better at?
JD – ‘Singing.’
MB – What is the one book everyone should read?
JD – ‘”Radical Candor” by Kim Malone Scott.’
MB – What do you do to relax?
JD – ‘Ride horses.’
Discover the other MB100 leaders recognised for their work combining profit and purpose to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2020, here.