NECEC's Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge is a new initiative to highlight clean energy organizations that have successfully adapted their business practices amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the clean energy industry has lost more than 620,000 jobs across the country. The Back to Work Challenge is designed to demonstrate new approaches that can enable a reversal of course as businesses carefully get back to work over the coming months. Clean energy is a key to economic recovery in the Northeast and across the country.
To that end, NECEC invites businesses and organizations to submit their best practices, pilots, and innovations to address the challenges presented by COVID-19. The Back to Work Challenge will culminate on November 12 with a new virtual awards ceremony recognizing solutions across five unique awards categories. The event will feature a showcase of submissions from the industry, panel discussions on how the Northeast rebuilds its economy with clean energy at the foundation, virtual networking, a to-be-announced keynote speaker, and the announcement of winners in each awards category. Nominations are due on September 17 at 5:00pm for the following awards:
- Customer Acquisition Award. With COVID-19 related disruptions in business practices and less face-to-face contact, companies are changing the way that they attract customers and close deals, and developers need to successfully pivot their customer acquisition strategy to reflect the increasingly virtual business landscape.
- Innovating Remote Work & Technology Solutions. The virtualization of the workplace has created the necessary innovations to keep clean energy businesses moving and to keep teams of colleagues connected, motivated and efficient. This award will go to an employer that has led the way to a high-functioning remote working culture, reformed a business practice or policy using technology to increase operational efficiency in ways that are likely to last well beyond the pandemic period.
- On-Premises Project Construction & Installation. Given rapidly changing social distancing protocols and public health concerns, project development and safety techniques are rapidly changing. This challenge focuses on expertise, innovation, completeness and effectiveness of training procedures for continuous updating of workforce knowledge and skills for safety in the COVID-19 era.
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Public Health Mitigation Award. Coronavirus has shown our ability to work collectively to combat an existential threat; the same will be needed to meet our climate challenge. This company’s work has led to a significant reduction in GHGs as well as highlighting technology and/or services that simultaneously address public health/virus transmission concerns today and in the future.
- Community Engagement During the Pandemic Crisis. Staying connected in meaningful ways is more important than ever--whether it’s staying close to customers, suppliers, or colleagues as well as engagement with diverse communities and engaging on issues core to a "just" transition to a clean economy. Despite the challenges of remote work and stay-at-home orders, this company has led the charge in keeping the lines of meaningful communication open during this challenging time.
Over the course of the Back to Work Challenge, as businesses work on developing solutions in their challenge categories, NECEC will provide resources such as educational webinars, and more in collaboration with sponsors to support getting back to work.