Check-in with our Sustainability Lunch Group

By Ben Campbell

Sustainability group

Could you give us an overview of what the Sustainability Lunch Group does?

Absolutely! We are an informal gathering of employees who are interested in discussing sustainability issues as they relate to both the work of National Grid and our own personal lives. One of the key things we do is organize events that allow employees to learn about some of the great things that National Grid has going on the realm of sustainability. We meet monthly in the cafeteria.

What would be an example of a project that you have discussed?

An example would be the SmartGrid pilot program that National Grid is undertaking in Worcester. It’s incredibly cutting edge—there’s no other utility in the country that is doing what we are. Sustainable practices are becoming more common, but National Grid is leading the pack. The sustainability lunch group held an event earlier this year where we talked about SmartGrid and we brought in several National Grid speakers to discuss it with employees here at Res Woods.

Do you have other events coming up?

There will be one on September 26th in Reservoir Woods where we will hear from National Grid Project Team Members working on the sea2shore project and interconnection of the Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island. We’ll speak about the project – how it’s meaningful and how National Grid is involved.  Block Island Wind Farm will be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. It is currently in construction with anticipated completion by year-end.  National Grid is interconnecting the wind farm and Block Island itself to the mainland network in a project called “sea2shore.” Work involved in sea2Shore includes a new 20 mile undersea cable, two new substations, and other infrastructure work. National Grid will also purchase the output of the wind farm.

Are there any messages that you would like employees to know?

One thing is that Massachusetts is ranked No.1 in the country for energy efficiency; another would be the programs that the state offers that anyone can take advantage of, as long as they are a customer of a utility. For example, you can sign up to receive a free energy audit of your home—an auditor will come and give you low-flow shower heads, energy-efficient bulbs, smart strips, and they would advise as to whether new insulation is needed. The assessment is technically free—because it’s paid for through Massachusetts tax dollars! In other words, you’ve already paid for it, so I would highly suggest that everybody take advantage of the opportunity.

What vision do you have for the group’s future?

We would like to expand to other National Grid offices. Right now we have groups here in Res Woods and in MetroTech. But it would be great if sustainability lunch groups could be started in the other major offices, as well. And we’re always happy to have other folks join us! When we do these learning events, it’s great to have outside parties participate, like a speaker from another company that’s doing exciting things on the sustainability front.

One Comment

Mary Holzmann

Hi, I am interested in this group. I run our Gas Research and Development programs. I am in graduate school as well where I am pursuing a Masters Degree in Energy Management. I received my ACRT in Environmental Management (and Sustainability). I work out of the Melville office.

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