At ReVision, we strive to “practice what we preach” – transitioning our own business operations to run on clean, renewable energy sources in addition to helping our clients and business partners transition theirs.
Here are a few of the efforts we’ve taken to reduce our business’ negative impact on the environment:
Portland, Maine: Heated with a combination of electric heat pumps, and supplemented by a fully automated Kedel pellet boiler. The office boasts a TWO awning-mounted solar PV systems and two electric vehicle charging stations. A solar hot water system provides all domestic hot water for the building. During a 2015 renovation/office expansion we super-insulated the upstairs of the building, installed heat pumps, and committed to powering the building with renewable energy credits when we couldn’t produce enough of our own on-site.
We also have started running biofuel in our fleet vehicles year round. In the warmer months we hold the Commute Another Way challenge with a monthly raffle. For those who bike to work, we have an outdoor shower with sun-heated water available. In the office we have an active single-sort recycling stream as well as compost collection thanks to our friends at Garbage to Garden. In addition to our community garden, many of our employees support local CSAs.
Liberty, Maine: An existing Sunpower solar PV system was expanded in 2015 with state-of-the-art LG AC-coupled solar PV modules. There is an Apricus evacuated tube solar hot water system and 3 air source heat pumps for heating and cooling needs. Level 2 EV charging is available, as well, we compost and maintain a small community garden.
Brentwood, New Hampshire: Our flagship office in NH boasts a fully-automated pellet boiler for primary space heating, as well as an air source heat pump for supplemental space heating. Solar features include an awning-mount solar PV system and a solar-powered domestic hot water. Our in-house “Green team” is taking a comprehensive approach towards reducing the carbon footprint of the office with everything from efficiency upgrades to improving the waste stream. The Brentwood fleet also runs on biofuel year round.
Commitment to Local Business and Community
We recognize that our purchasing patterns have a direct impact on local economies and fossil fuel use – buying local means a smaller carbon footprint of a product throughout its lifecycle.
Whenever possible, we buy local, which encompasses everything from marketing and printing services to lunch for our team. We refer work to local, like-minded architects and builders and participate in educational activities whenever possible.
We contribute to the local community in the form of service and cash donations to a variety nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, the Audubon Society, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, York County Shelter Programs, Sail Maine, the Center for Wildlife, Camp Kieve, Boys and Girls Club of South Portland, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Seacoast Science Center, local land trusts like the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance and numerous schools and churches.
Most of the ReVision employees are intimately involved with community work and advocacy – giving their time generously, especially where their expertise in renewable energy is useful. ReVision encourages employee volunteering and offers paid time off to employees for time spent volunteering. We give over a dozen free presentations to schools throughout our region each year and routinely host students at our showrooms.
We sincerely believe in and honor the responsibility of businesses to be stewards of their local economies and to contribute meaningfully to the local community.
It is the nature of our business to need to travel a lot – the systems we install are throughout Maine and New Hampshire, and as we New Englanders know, there are a lot of long drives!
However, we do our very best to minimize the amount of travel that is required to do our jobs and to maintain an efficient fleet. Our employees frequently work 10 hour days to ensure that jobs are completed expeditiously, which also ensures that a minimum number of trips to a location are required.
We also use a fleet of vehicles smaller than is typical in the contracting industry – e.g. light duty trucks and vans wherever possible instead of heavy duty vehicles. Light trucks operate at 10-26% better efficiency than heavier trucks and for most jobs they are sufficient. This results in a savings of hundreds of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each year.
ReVision sources 10% biofuel for fleet vehicles (Maine Standard Biofuels) and incentivizes employees to commute via greasecar, carpool, or bike.
Also, where appropriate, we offer telecommuting options to further reduce employee travel.
Our Employees Walk the Walk
ReVision Energy offers a generous program for employees who wish to install a renewable energy system on their own home.
Just about all of us have our own renewable energy system – in fact, we get downright competitive about who has the lowest carbon footprint!
Here are a few examples:
- Liberty Office Manager Jen Albee and husband, Liberty Solar Installer Hans Albee, installed solar hot water, solar electricity, and weatherized their home with our friends at Evergreen Home Performance.
- ReVision co-founder Phil Coupe added a solar hot water system so that he could switch his oil boiler into cold-start mode all summer long. In addition to his wood stove, he recently added air source heat pumps and was one of the members of Maine’s first community solar farm so he could meet his home’s needs with solar.
- Fred, Website and IT Guy, lives in a 500 sq. foot yurt-inspired SIP house. His off-grid home uses a less than 1kw/hr of power a day – from the sun, of course – and only 1/2 cord of wood a year for heating.
- The Wakefield, NH home of NH Branch Manager Dan Clapp sports a grid-tied photovoltaic system offsetting the electric consumption of a geothermal heating system.
- Portland shop project manager Dan Leonard uses a natural gas boiler and solar hot water.
- ReVision co-founder and engineer Fortunat Mueller recently added more photovoltaic panels to his existing solar electric system – he also has solar hot water. In fact, in 2009 he went the whole summer with solar only and no backup!