Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk: Sustainability
The following piece was written by Ed White, vice president of Customer Strategy and Environmental, as part of our Earth Day celebration.
It’s often been said that “talk is cheap” and “actions speak louder than words.” While we’re far from being cliché here at National Grid, when it comes to sustainability we don’t want to be the type of company that has a shiny facade with little to show for it – and I’m happy to say we’re not.
That’s because we’re acting and embedding sustainable practices throughout our business and finding that actions create value. There’s a business case for sustainability, and we know that because we’ve seen real results to our bottom line that confirm it.
Here are a just a few examples of ways that we’ve embedded sustainable practices in our day-to-day operations leading to positive business outcomes:
- We’ve come up with a new way to dispose of wood utility poles when they are at the end of their life. Instead of bringing them to a landfill, we’re burning them in an environmentally-friendly way to generate more energy. And, we’re saving 50% per ton on the cost of wood destroyed.
- We’ve installed voltage regulating devices in substations and on feeders to pilot new methods of electricity delivery called Volt Var and CVR. The devices ensure an optimal voltage level in the system, minimizing the need for extra energy. This also defrays the use of natural resources and saves on the commodity cost for our customers. Meeting the energy needs of our customers in an affordable way is our main priority, so this helps to promote customer satisfaction.
- We offer our customers robust energy efficiency service programs including rebates to help offset the cost of buying energy-saving equipment. Recently we helped small business owners in Rhode Island obtain LED lights to replace old bulbs, resulting in CO2 savings equivalent to taking 23,227 passenger cars off the road annually. This demonstrated our leadership as an economic and environmental partner with our communities.
- We’re using biogas (a waste product derived from a local wastewater treatment plant), as a fuel source for customers in Brooklyn, NY, through the Newtown Creek Renewable Biogas facility. Biogasis a sustainable approach to meeting the region’s growing demands for energy.
Saving costs, increasing customer satisfaction, adding value to our communities and meeting our customers’ energy needs – these are business results that we strive for each day. We’ve found that doing it all in a sustainable manner means lasting social, environmental, and economic impacts. We are encouraging a way of working where our project teams are asked to consider: How can we do things better, cleaner, more efficiently?
At National Grid, our take on sustainability is clear: We’re committed to business practices that save natural resources, save money and that are good for the community. When we work in this manner we see real business results that we can all feel good about.
We’re walking the walk.