Energy saving has become a bit of a buzz word in recent times. Whether it’s recycling our household waste or having our homes insulated, society is generally keen to do its bit for the environment. But the pace is hotting up. With incentives on the table to make our homes more energy efficient, inevitably a rise in consumer demand creates a market place for entrepreneurs. The energy saving industry has seen an influx of new businesses over the past few years, but one company which has been around for longer than most and, has big ideas for the future, is Mark Group.
Mark Group was founded in 1974 in Leicester, England by John and Kathleen Cottingham and has grown to become a world leader in energy saving solutions. Its core business structure has been built around home insulation but in recent years, and now with son Lee Cottingham at the helm, the company has broadened its horizons to offer a range of insulation options, renewable technology solutions and energy saving advice.
This “whole house” approach has enabled Mark Group to reach out to a range of end user groups, from domestic to commercial across both the public and private sectors, positioning the company at the forefront of the energy saving industry. More recently, Mark Group has developed as an international business and now employs over 2,000 people, installing energy saving measures into around 7,000 properties every week, from 28 worldwide locations.
Settling in, north of the border
The newest addition to the Mark Group family is a depot in Aberdeen. Opened by former deputy first minister, Lord Stephen in January 2012, the facility will be an operational base for the northern Scottish counties, currently serviced by its existing Glasgow depot. This increased presence in Scotland will also support Mark Group’s growing number of energy efficiency projects for its public sector and social housing clients. East Dunbartonshire, Aberdeen City and Fife Council have all improved their green credentials with Mark Group and with the help of the company’s patented thermal imaging process, HeatSeekers.
An agnostic approach
Across Mark Group’s work with larger clients, through to engaging with individual homeowners, there is one thing that holds true – only recommending the most suitable energy saving solution for any given situation. This might be looking at the construction of a property to establish the most suitable form of insulation, or carefully reviewing the suitability of different renewable energy technologies. If, for example, a property isn’t likely to generate a beneficial return from a solar PV system, either through physical constraints, or through how the occupants use energy, then Mark Group won’t recommend it. This approach has been widely recognised and valued by the company’s commercial partners.
Investing in the future
From insulation and to renewable, the energy saving industry is moving forward with pace.
And, with the introduction of new technologies and indeed, health and safety stipulations, having a highly skilled workforce is key to Mark Group’s ongoing success. With nearly 40 years’ trading under its belt, the company is keen to ensure knowledge gathered within the business is passed on to new recruits so, in 2008, the Mark Academy opened its doors for the first time. A purpose-built facility containing practical practice areas for every kind of technology, the academy provides courses in everything from suitability assessments to installations of every technology in Mark Group’s portfolio. More than 2,000 employees have been trained at the facility to date, plus another 500 personnel from partnering companies.