Daniel Grix
Daniel Grix Landscape, Design & Energy Director
28 Nov 2023

In September, I joined Ground Control primarily seeking a workplace with robust core values dedicated to fostering a more sustainable environment. Like many, I reached a juncture in my career, contemplating its evolution. For the past twenty-five years, my focus had revolved around profit-making in development, housebuilding, and commercial construction.

Now I’m all for making profit, but there’s a difference between maximising returns and being responsible with them. During my first three months, it’s become clear to me Ground Control is a company that’s committed to doing business for good. That’s evident not only in the attitude of the people who work here, but also in the way Ground Control puts the environment first. From the Evergreen Fund that sees us invest 5% of our profits into supporting environmental initiatives and carbon sequestration to our ambitious target of becoming net zero by 2038, Ground Control is leading the way in making the UK a better, greener, healthier place for generations to come. 

The business unit(s) I’m leading – Landscape, Design & Energy (LDE) – is at the heart of what Ground Control can do. I also believe it’s our future too. And central to our business philosophy is working alongside clients as partners to help them achieve the same kind of environmental targets we have set ourselves. Landscaping is our main construction platform and encompasses everything from traditional planting schemes to installing play areas and sports facilities to roof gardens and woodland creation. This is complemented by our Design & Consultancy services, which sees us advise on landscape design, ecology, arboriculture, and biodiversity. The Energy element of the business unit currently includes the design and installation of EV Charge Point infrastructure and Photovoltaic Solar Panels. Also on offer is a range of decarbonisation products and services to help customers take control of their energy and reduce operating costs, for example, improving their buildings overall EPC rating, futureproofing against ever changing energy legislation and tackling their building’s Scope 1 emissions. This, combined with our early engagement consultancy services and industry leading aftercare provisions, allows us to provide an all-encompassing solution to support our customer’s journey to Net Zero.

It’s an incredibly diverse business and one in which there are lots of opportunities. What I’m here to do is make sure we are in the right shape to realise that potential, so I’m currently reshaping and redefining each of the business units considering process and effectiveness to ready the teams for that next stage of growth.

Fortunately, Ground Control tends to recruit people with diverse skills, and they all bring their different personalities and perspectives to the table. Having that variety enables you to be more dynamic and adapt quickly to different circumstances as they arise. Make no mistake, the economic and political landscape is changing all the time, which means we are constantly having to evaluate where we need improvement and which route to market is best. Adaptability to new market realities is going to be critical in the coming months and years.

The good news is that all within LDE, led by a committed senior leadership team, have embraced the change, adapted quickly to my new leadership, and are relishing the challenge ahead. If we can continue to demonstrate the same work ethic, the same values, transparency and visibility, and the same attitude, in a year’s time, the business will be in great shape.

    For me personally, I’d say my first three months have been challenging, rewarding but most importantly really enjoyable.

I’m really looking forward to the next 90 days, because we're rebranding and relaunching Ground Control Energy Solutions and have appointed a new Director of Energy to help drive that division forward into new markets. I honestly think that’s going to continue to be an incredibly successful part of our offer over the next five years. 

My vision for the business - we will continue to develop our partnerships with clients focussing on client retention and frameworks, whilst diversifying our base to create better, more biodiverse and more energy efficient environments and to guide them towards their net zero target through the turnkey offering we can provide. And that is entirely in line with how Ground Control operates and the values and ethos of the company. I was looking for a place where I could give something back in terms of those values and I genuinely feel joining Ground Control will enable me to do that.

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