Letter from the CEO: people are what makes the GreenerU difference

Climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, decarbonization, construction project management—it all boils down to a simple formula: helping people.

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by Rob Durning, CEO

“Why is it so hard to go net zero?”

I was recently having a beer with a friend when he asked this about his house.

“I have to call multiple contractors. Some never return my calls.” I nodded—it happens to all of us. 

He went on. “There’s a whole suite of things I think I need, but I don’t know what or when. Do I need mini splits, or a whole-house heat pump? What about my existing radiant flooring? Some utility programs help me with heating and cooling, but I have to start all over again on solar.”

The problem he was describing is exactly what almost everyone is wrestling with these days. While his house is a lot simpler than a commercial building or a college campus, the reality is that achieving climate neutrality is hard no matter who you are.

“I wish there were a way to make things easy,” he lamented.

The truth is that net zero will never be easy for anyone, anywhere. But drawing the proverbial map to get there—blending all the planning aspects with finding funding and incentives and managing energy-related construction projects—is something GreenerU has done for a long time. And the reason we do it so well is that we care about helping people.

Leading for the greater good

As I walked in the office on the first of June, my first day on the job as the new CEO of GreenerU, I was flooded with a wide range of emotions.

The first was an enormous sense of responsibility. To my predecessor David Adamian, who led this company with diligence, respect, honesty and courage every day. To my team, who continue to surprise and delight me with their thoughtful and hardworking approach to doing their jobs. And to our dedicated customers, so that we continue to deliver the same level of service and success our customers have come to know from GreenerU over the years.

The second was enthusiasm. There’s no shortage of reasons why I was, and am, excited about GreenerU. After I started with the company eleven years ago, I’ve been struck by this company’s unique culture of kindness, camaraderie, and excellence. But specifically, I am excited because what we do matters.

We help our customers be leaders in mitigating climate change. That’s huge. 

We do it in a unique way that is unmatched anywhere else. We meet our customers wherever they are in their energy and climate journey to turn ideas into plans, plans into designs, and designs into construction projects to deliver climate neutrality solutions. We take a report that might be gathering dust on someone’s desk and turn it into action. We make sure that action is thoughtful, deliberate, and delivered with care.

Helping people help the planet

GreenerU was founded on the principle that the energy efficiency world was changing. And we have met those challenges head on as facilities and sustainability became more entwined. Energy efficiency, infrastructure, climate neutrality, energy costs, and carbon reduction are all part of the same discussions now.

Every day thoughtful facilities managers are facing dilemmas such as:

  • I’m a small campus—there’s no way I could afford a climate action plan or master energy plan.
  • I care about carbon neutrality, but I’m more concerned with keeping systems running.
  • I’m stuck in analysis paralysis. How do I make a decision on a project today without hamstringing myself down the road?
  • My boiler is on its last legs but I don’t want to tie myself to another 30-year piece of gas-fired equipment.
  • Payback is important, but I feel like I’m only nibbling at the edges. How do I make significant reductions?
  • I’m overwhelmed with quick hit energy project proposals. How do I know which ones are worth it? Do those contractors have my campus’ best interests in mind?
  • I just don’t have the budget.
  • I just don’t have the bandwidth.

We love to help with specific challenges like these, while keeping the focus on the bigger picture – climate neutrality. And our experience working in complex institutional settings enables us to learn, share and celebrate the successes each customer has in deploying creative solutions. We love making our facilities partners heroes on their campuses. 

We help amplify the fledgling voices on the outskirts of campus pushing for climate neutrality. We listen to and engage campus planners and engineers who want what is best for their organization’s future—not just what will get the job done quickest and cheapest. We support project and construction managers who are pulled in a million different directions trying to get work done on campus. We plan carefully with occupants and building stakeholders, working around their own work, understanding why they do what they do, to deliver projects. We work with honesty, transparency, and respect for our customers.

We care deeply about the environment and about mitigating climate change. Of course we also care about thriving as a business. But at the end of the day, it’s about relationships. It takes herculean efforts by dedicated people like you to make positive change in the world—and it’s you we care about.

 

 

Join us in congratulating Rob as our new CEO!


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