Nik Spencer is a serial entrepreneur and founder of a number of successful start-ups, many within the recycling and resource management sector. The HERU is his latest invention in a lifetime’s quest to divert material from landfill and continue to find better ways to manage resources.
Born in Oxfordshire in 1970, Nik always had a desire to be a businessman although was generally unsuited to a conventional education system. As a child he even saved his pocket money to buy a briefcase, rather than the usual toys and sweets ‘normal’ children wanted. His first venture in the business world was a car washing business, that later evolved into a window cleaning business developing a strong reputation in the local community. This was the first business he sold, aged 20.
His first resource management business began in 1992. Nik noticed that shredded newspapers provided a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to animal bedding. He began collecting, shredding and selling newspapers developing a lucrative business that became one of the largest suppliers of animal bedding in the UK. But the market’s ups and downs were challenging and after receiving a buyout offer from Biffa, he agreed to sell up.
From here, Nik started a number of businesses. This included a refuse and recycling vehicle hire company, offering recycled paper collection contracts to local authorities. It was one of the first kerbside collection services in the country, and after extensive government lobbying, the first commercial company to obtain recycling credits. At the time of sale to PFB Ltd in late 2006, WCR Vehicle Hire Ltd had grown an extensive number of recycling vehicles on its hire fleet and a further fleet of recycling trucks collecting from around 170,000 households.
Nik’s next venture was a company called Pure Recycling Ltd. The aim was to build a state of the art automated Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), enabling better segregation of mixed recyclables. The plant was built in Warwickshire and was designed with the quality of the outputs at the heart of its development. In 2010 this business was sold to Kier Group PLC in a multi-million pound acquisition. To support the transfer of Keir Group into the environmental arena, Nik remained on the Kier Environmental Board for some years following.
However, as a serial entrepreneur with an acute passion for environmental sustainability, Nik wanted to refocus his talent into giving the power of resource management to the homeowner. Working in partnership with numerous academics across Europe, Nik developed an idea that would bring the HERU to life.
Nik is married and lives with his wife and two children in Worcestershire. They all avoid turning the heating on until at least November each year, to conserve the world’s resources. They want to see an end to fuel poverty, believing everyone has the right to be warm in cold winter months. The HERU is an invention they are excited to see infiltrating into homes all over the globe.