Helping businesses be more sustainable – Twelve

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Twelve is a sustainability consultancy that helps organisations respond to the climate and ecological crisis. They are based at Gather Round in the Cigar Factory in Southville, Bristol. Ellie Austin and Jessica Ferrow, both co-founders and co-directors love being based there for its fantastic, creative community full of independent businesses. 

Having lived in Bristol for over a decade, Jessica is embedded in the climate and ecological work that is happening at a city level and sits on a few different advisory boards, including the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and the One City Environment Board. She and Ellie are both mentors at Catalyse Change CIC, which helps young women into sustainability careers. Therefore, it’s safe to say that they live and breathe sustainability and are contributing to the improvement of Bristol, as well as the natural world around them.

Through their business, Twelve, they help purpose-driven businesses create climate action plans and strong sustainability strategies that recognise the urgency of our times. They believe that being based in Bristol is a great fit, as it was the first city in the UK to declare both climate and ecological emergencies. After launching their new limited company and website in 2020 in the midst of the national lockdown, they look back on their journey in a positive light. They recognise the difficulties that everyone faced through the pandemic but feel as though they have come out the other end stronger with more businesses recognising the need to take action for people and the planet. 

Ellie and Jessica first encountered GetSet for Growth through South Bristol Enterprise Support with the hopes of figuring out how to grow and scale their business. They’ve always “had a clear sense of the long-term impact that they wanted to have both through the work that they do with their clients and as a company.” However, they were trying to think about who else they can work with, who else they could bring on and how they can continue to be profitable in the future and grow in a way that feels natural and right to them.

Through their support from GetSet for Growth, they have been able to shape the future of their business and gain clarity. Jessica says: “The support has helped us explore different models and really think about what works for us. It’s also helped explore how we could get more support by bringing other people into the business. We did a lot of resource planning during our sessions, and we’ve recently brought on our first new member of staff – a paid summer intern who we found though Catalyse Change, which is really exciting.”

Looking to the future, Ellie and Jessica’s order book is full for the foreseeable. They’ve got some fantastic clients and projects planned and are planning to take some time off in the Autumn to reflect and refocus for the remainder of 2021. They’ve recently become a pending B Corp themselves, something that they support other businesses to do on a regular basis. A part of their B Corp commitment to being a force for good, they are thinking about other ways to use their expertise and a share of their profits to benefit the wider community too. 

If you would like to hear more about Ellie, Jessica, or  their joint venture in Twelve Futures, you can access their website here or follow them on Twitter or LinkedIn