These Two Consultants Turned their Frustration Into a sustainable Building Material Brand
"It will never be perfect starting off, but you have time to constantly learn and improve what you do."
Who are you and what do you do at EnviroBuild?
I am James Brueton and I am one of the co-founders of EnviroBuild. My day-to-day oversees the operational running of EnviroBuild, business improvement, and business growth initiatives.
What is EnviroBuild?
EnviroBuild has aspirations of being the leading platform for environmentally beneficial building materials over traditional products.
By environmentally beneficial, we aim to reduce the carbon footprint of the products we sell to what is normally used, this can be achieved through the use of recycled material input, renewable energy in manufacturing, lower carbon input material, and reduction of input material through intelligent design, all whilst ensuring products have a long use life.
To go further we also donate 10% of pre-tax profits to sustainable charities.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Both Aidan (the other co-founder) and I started off and met as management consultants, we then moved into different ventures, Aidan running a successful solar company and I moved into finance.
After falling out of love with finance (not that I ever fell in love with it!) I came up with the idea for EnviroBuild when undertaking some property development and was frustrated with the lack of sustainable building materials available.
The information and suppliers were incredibly disparate and mostly greenwashed. I saw it as a great opportunity to create a better offering to consumers and make the ethical choice easy.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
We had ideas for the first products to sell, having used them on our property development. So we started speaking to manufacturers to get the best quality product on the market at a reasonable price.
It's not easy dealing with manufacturers when you haven't placed orders with them, but we persevered and our engagement paid off, launching our first composite decking products in 2015.
Describe the process of launching the business
It can be quite a daunting task to tackle a whole new venture, the best advice I can give is to break it down into a lot of smaller parts and take a day to tackle each part separately, then eventually it all starts to come together. It will never be perfect starting off, but you have time to constantly learn and improve what you do.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We try to offer the best service in the market, both through value add activities around their purchase and post-sale service.
Some of the products we offer are semi-complex in their nature, so we've created a range of tools to help customers work out exactly what they need and what they need to do to get their project completed, this includes nurturing a substantial network of installers/builders that can complete their job to a high standard.
This is all in addition to having verified environmentally better materials, so our customers can trust they are making an ethically better choice.
What's the reason customers pick EnviroBuild over your competitors?
It comes down to the service we offer and our commitment to the environment.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We've grown well since inception and the last couple of years have been operationally challenging with Covid. We're working hard on steadying the ship so that we can continue to grow into the future.
Since starting the business, what's the number 1 thing you have learned?
I don't think there's just 1 main thing, but a few:
1) Stay true to your passion/mission, this will help guide you through good and bad times,
2) Invest in the right people, make sure you spend a good amount of time on recruiting the best person for a role as they have so much impact on your success,
3) And get your systems in early that allows you to grow and allows you to measure what's important, doing this later can cause you real issues.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Odoo ERP, Zoho CRM, and Shopify web hosting.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
There are some great books I've read in the past, like Good to Great, Thinking Fast and Slow, Radical Candour....and so many more, make sure you make time for personal development!
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Follow your passion, if you love what you do, work hard, work smart and surround yourself with great people, you have a much better chance of success both in the financial sense but probably more importantly having an emotionally rich life.
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Frequently Asked Questions about EnviroBuild
Where are EnviroBuild Products Manufactured?
A Mixture of Asia and Europe (including the UK).
Where Do I Find the EnviroBuild Product Specifications?
The easiest place is on EnviroBuild’s website, where we have all the documentation that you require, but they’re also available at NBS, SpecifydBy, and Swatchbox.
How Long Does EnviroBuild Take to Ship & Deliver?
1-5 days dependent on order size and location.
Where Is the EnviroBuild Store Located?
Deliveries are from a warehouse located in Essex, but most of our sales are taken over the phone.
EnviroBuild - Customer Reviews
EnviroBuild has a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 based on 901 customer reviews.
Such a good company to work with. They were quick to respond and an expert team really helped me choose everything I needed to complete my project with minimal wastage.
I love how they put sustainability first in their whole philosophy. We need more of this!
I couldn't recommend this company enough, so so helpful. Gave me guidance every step of the way, making sure I got what I wanted. Updated me with delivery etc.
The quality of the sofa I ordered is superb and the price is excellent. Very happy with every aspect of this transaction.
Mrs. Elizabeth James
Great Company, very impressed from start to finish. Ordered with discount, order confirmed with estimated delivery date, contacted immediately by the wonderful Denzel regarding delivery date (sooner than expected which is a rarity nowadays), delivered on time.
During the delivery experience, Denzel answered any questions that I had and really tried to help me out wherever he could - BONUS to Denzel! Would highly recommend.
By the way, anyone saying on social media regarding cheaper garden furniture - go and buy it. Good Luck.
I suspect though it will not have been manufactured with the high level of eco-friendly processes that Envirobuild make themselves proud of and will not stand the test of time. Therefore not like for like..........anyway fabulous furniture and customer service.
I am so impressed with the politeness, responsiveness, helpfulness, and patience of the team
My fence arrived in excellent condition and appears to be a good quality product, it has not been installed yet but it looks great
I highly recommend this company
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