Published in The Sunday Times, the Fast Track research recognised Ecotricity for being the world’s first “green” company, which has a business model that is creating a new market and “rapidly taking market share from competitors”.

The research notes Ecotricity’s “electric highway” of 300 charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) at UK service stations. The firm has also developed technology for a grass-fed green gas mill, which is set be the first facility of its kind in the UK.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “It’s fun to be named on this new list of disruptive companies – we don’t mind wearing that badge. It’s actually quite exceptional, since we’ve been doing this for twenty years, to still be considered disruptive.

“It’s our independence that’s enabled this – having no shareholders means we’re free to pursue our mission to build a Green Britain in any way we think is right. And in 2017, we’ll be taking our own brand of disruption into a new industry, as yet totally untouched by all this eco stuff.”

Renewables revolutionary

Ecotricity’s latest foray in the UK renewable energy market led to more than £12m of applications for its fourth corporate mini-bond ahead of last week’s deadline.

The firm has overseen several projects in recent months, including an on-site NHS wind turbine and “hybrid” wind parks. Earlier this year, the company gained planning permission to create some of the first hybrid energy parks in Britain, by combining current wind farms with two new “sun parks” in Devon and Leicestershire respectively.

Ecotricity plans to build a 100 acre sports and green technology ecopark next to the M5, which could create more than 4,000 jobs in the emerging green economy. The company recently agreed a deal to purchase 3.1 million additional shares in rival renewable energy supplier Good Energy, increasing its stake in the company from 5.58% to 24.85%.

Fast Track 100

Meanwhile, several other green firms received recognition in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales over the latest three years.

Number nine on the list is mobile phone recycler GreenTech Distribution, which has achieved an annual sales rise of 143.84% over the past three years. Founded in 2010, the High Wycombe company has established a range of services for network operators, insurers and distributors – including EE, Samsung and Asurion – such as repairing and reselling faulty and unwanted handsets, recycling components and wiping data.

Utilities connections provider Green Frog Connect occupies 18th spot on the list. The firm has made more than £20m in sales through providing reserve power from wind turbines, solar farms and power stations provide to the National Grid. Last year, the business won a contract to help build 10 gas-fired power stations across the UK. This has helped sales increase to £20.6m in 2016, and the company is now targeting new contracts in the construction industry.

Waste exporter Andusia sits at number 34 on the list. The company exports 300,000 tonnes of waste to Europe a year and has benefited from increased landfill taxes, which make it more economical to export waste than to bury it. Andusia recently picked up a Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development award for an innovative method of utilising UK waste to power combined heat and power (CHP) processes across Europe.

Reading-based energy efficiency consultancy Anesco is number 78 – the first firm to install a commercial-scale battery charged by solar power. The business states it has saved 1.25m tonnes of carbon emissions through installing and maintaining renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels and heat pumps. Sales rose to £213.7m this year with profits of £24.6m, the highest on the league table. 

George Ogleby

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