Field Notes: All in for our Customers and Communities

By Dana Simone

Editor’s note: From time to time, Dean Seavers will tear a page from his notebook and share what he’s learned from customers, stakeholders, and employees across National Grid’s U.S. footprint.

June 6, 2017: When I first saw this photo, I was struck by how forcefully it spoke to me. “We are all in,” it declares. In the few weeks since it was taken, it’s dawned on me how symbolic this snapshot is of our National Grid community right now – all in, resilient, and committed, no matter the challenge.

Let me start with the day this picture was taken.  A couple dozen employees along with City Year Boston corps members were kicking off a day of service at English High School in Jamaica Plain. The sky was gray with rain-filled clouds. There was a lot of work to be done outdoors. And a decision was expected that very day on proposed federal budget cuts to AmeriCorps, of which City Year belongs. None of this dampened the spirit of the volunteers who were ready to “make better happen” for the students and community.

Photo credit: Tim Rondeau

I’ve sensed the same spirit in the days leading to and following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Wherever I am in our service territory, I see solid evidence that we are a clean energy transition company, focusing on economic development while future-proofing our business for generations to come. I think of Deep Water Wind in RI, community solar in NY, green transportation in MA, ongoing electric transmission projects, our nationally-ranked energy efficiency programs, and I take enormous pride in knowing our commitment to a clean energy transition will not be silenced.

In the most recent year alone, we have been recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies, a Forbes best employer, one of the best places to work for LGBT equality, and the greenest utility in the U.S. These accolades are not happenstance. We’ve worked hard to establish a workplace culture where inclusion is the air we breathe and intolerance in any form is unacceptable. Where doing the right thing and finding a better way are the rules we live by. We are a hyper-local company – our employees are our customers, and our customers are our neighbors – so it’s a natural foundation for the way we run our energy business.

This all confirms what I’ve been seeing all around me – that 15,000 of us are “all in” and going in the same direction. We are united to meet the challenges of a changing energy landscape, with our customers and communities the beneficiaries.

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