Overview

When most of us think about energy efficiency, we usually think about reducing pollution and conserving natural resources, but at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), they are concerned with more than just environmental impact – they worry about people as well. 

“We have a dual mission when it comes to reducing the environmental cost of energy use,” explains Communications Director Pat Sears. “We are focused on reducing carbon, but we are equally concerned with ‘energy justice.’”

Their social mission is rooted in changing the negative ways carbon-based energy impacts the health and livelihood of low-income people, an effort that requires a high level of communication throughout the organization. As they got bigger, VEIC realized they needed a new infrastructure to support their dual mission of protecting the environment and people through smarter energy use. Aerie Consulting’s Accelerated Intranet was the solution.

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Challenge

Sears describes the organization as a “think and do tank” driving a efforts across the country, as well as internationally. They run sustainable energy initiatives out of locations in Vermont, Ohio and Washington DC, in addition to consultation, engineering and transportation efficiency services. The non-profit they run today is a far cry from the small team they started with.

 “We have 350 people working in multiple locations, one as far away as London, and out in the field” Sears said. “Our internal communications were not keeping up with our growth.” 

VEIC had been using SharePoint for years, but the platform was outdated and employee collaboration remained a challenge.

Management had worked with Aerie Consulting on a previous project and was impressed with the company’s ability to facilitate communications between departments. Discussing the needs of individual teams is always difficult, especially when the complexities of IT are involved, but Aerie helped bridge the communications gap and get a plan in motion. Every department invested in the project and kept it on track. 

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They are great facilitators. They asked the questions that led us to the right answers, then helped us develop a team to manage the process.

Patricia Sears
Director of Communications

Solution & Results

Aerie’s Accelerated Intranet implementation included a new platform that established consistency in navigation and design while also giving each staff member access to company news and collaborative tools from any location. This important step eased the flow of communication and ideas across the organization. For the first time, everyone knew what other teams were working on. Vermont engineers could log into their homepage, read about a new marketing campaign in Washington DC, and contribute ideas to help it succeed.

Sears says the enhanced collaboration has been a boon to their organization. Management is now embarking on the next phase of the intranet’s evolution by surveying employees, asking them what aspects are working and what needs improvement. As Aerie’s team helps them refine the site, molding it around each group’s changing needs, VEIC remains impressed with their ability to help IT and Communications better understand each other’s needs and work together on solutions. Removing unnecessary roadblocks that stifle innovation is what makes the process work, and to VEIC, it makes all the difference in a superb end product. 

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