Up close and personal with Chris Winward

What first drew you to this industry?

Since my school days, I’ve always had an interest in renewable energy and doing the right thing for the environment. However, when I joined Privilege Finance six years ago as a commercial director, I never anticipated how much my passion would grow as I understood more about renewables and the positive impact they can have on the climate.

What is the best thing about your job?

Working with my team members. We’ve built a fantastic team who are all dedicated and committed to renewables. As part of our recruitment process, we ensure successful applicants have a genuine interest in the industry and this is part of the reason we’ve been able to fund over 40 anaerobic digester projects. Not only that, but the amount of renewable gas we have put into the grid is something which gives me great job satisfaction.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t let anyone push you in a direction you don’t want to go, no one knows you better than yourself. Have a belief and passion for what you do in your job; it will give so much more back in your working life.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy spending time at home working on my house renovation. The Covid-19 pandemic also prompted me to start growing my own vegetables and now I have an impressive selection of homegrown produce including pumpkins, onions, chillies, raspberries and cucumbers, to name a few!

What is your proudest moment to date?

The UK’s first circular energy AD plant in Attleborough which is nearing completion. This facilitation of a green town is a major achievement for us as a business and an exciting first step to our creation of a community energy strategy. At Privilege Finance, our projects have generated over 1.4TWe of energy which is enough to power over one million homes – another huge milestone and proud moment for us.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Believe in what YOU want to do!

Who (or what) inspires you?

Entrepreneurs who have a vision and fully believe in it. I’m inspired by people who come up with a game changing idea, believe in those ideas and don’t follow the norm – market disruptors.

What do you look for when hiring a new member of the team?

Attitude and a willingness to learn and work hard is so important because we want everyone we hire to fit in with the rest of the team and really enjoy their work. Someone with passion and enthusiasm for the renewables sector is a must, alongside trustworthiness and reliability.

What makes the company stand out from its competitors?

Our primary business driver is stopping climate change, so we won’t engage in projects which don’t fit into that bucket. We pride ourselves on being more than just a funder and provide each project with an entire support package to ensure that every project is successful.

What’s next for the company?

To finance new technology as it emerges in the renewable energy arena. We will also continue to build on the services that we offer including our development and advisory offerings.


Originally featured in BioEnergy Insight’s January issue.

Chris Windward, CEO of Privilege Finance