Eco-Co-op set for further growth

One the UK’s most experienced providers of ecological consultancy and contracting is growing and winning larger contracts with a little help from The Co-operative Loan Fund.

Ecosulis is an employee-owned business that employs up to 40 staff during survey season. Their work includes ecological consulting, habitat creation, ecological contracting and biodiversity valuation and research. The business was set up in 1990. The team always worked co-operatively and became fully employee-owned in 2007.

With its head office in Bath (hence the reference to Sulis (Minerva) the primary deity of the Roman temple in Bath) and regional offices in London, Cardiff, Chester and Exeter, Ecosulis provides services throughout the UK.

Major clients include the Environment Agency, local authorities, housing developers, planning consultancies, universities and national rail contractors. Many of the contracts require significant up-front investment, and The Co-operative Loan Fund is helping to provide working capital.

Ecosulis has borrowed several times from the funds managed by Co-operative & Community Finance, and is a satisfied customer.

Suzi Day, Operations Director at Ecosulis, said: “The first loan allowed us to buy out the original owners of the business and become an employee-owned company. That made a big difference. Giving staff a vote is very empowering.

“We put a lot of effort into staff engagement. Because staff are based in different locations we make a point of all meeting at least four times a year for a ‘company day’ in Bath. Staff are also encouraged to make suggestions or express concerns in confidence to an ‘office bot’, and this has led to some significant improvements in working practices.”

Ian Rothwell of The Co-operative Loan Fund said: “This is an established business with an enviable client list and an excellent reputation in a growing market. The staff are very enthusiastic and clearly enjoy their work. We want to help Ecosulis to grow.”