Co-Founder, ReVision Energy
Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts
ReVision Energy—an employee-owned, B Corp solar company—was created to solve the environmental problems caused by fossil fuels and to alleviate social and economic injustice. The company provides people and institutions with all the modern, cost-effective technology they need to transition to 100% clean energy. Co-founder Phil Coupe shares his passion for building the better future we know is possible.
Foundation: What is ReVision Energy’s mission?
Phil: The core mission of the company is to lead northern New England in the long-term transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a sustainable, renewable-energy-based economy. The great news is that we can use reliable solar arrays to power hyper-efficient heat pumps and electric cars to eliminate oil, propane, and gas, and we can charge batteries to ensure 24/7 power when the sun isn’t shining.
Foundation: What is the importance of ReVision Energy being a Certified B Corp?
Phil: Companies around the world are going through this certification process to get outside, independent accreditation that they are operating the business as a force for good in the world. As a B Corp, you commit to treating your employees really well, treating the environment really well, being honest and transparent with your financials—things like that. At ReVision Energy, we’re trying to create maximum positive change in everything that we do. We know that if all businesses were trying to operate for the greater good, the world would be a much better place than it is today.
Foundation: What inspired you to become an environmental advocate?
Phil: Almost 30 years ago, I was working as a reporter in the Washington, DC, area. I was assigned to write a story about a start-up company that was taking the municipal water, which was terrible quality, and running it through a ten-stage purification system to create a pure alternative to bottled spring water. Sensing a growth opportunity, I leapt at the chance to join that business and helped build it into one of the Inc. 500 fastest-growing businesses in the U.S.
Foundation: How did you get into the energy business?
Phil: After my wife and I moved back to Maine to raise a family, solar energy came up as an option for how we might feed, clothe, and educate our kids, but at the same time make the world a better place for them to grow up into. First, I started a nonprofit called Smart Energy Now. My hypothesis was that I could get donations from environmental foundations to build solar energy systems on New England schools as a way to educate the next generation about the legacy of fossil fuel scarcity, pollution, and geopolitical conflict that our generation will leave behind. When the nonprofit approach stalled, I pivoted to starting a socially responsible solar business with some exceptional partners.
Foundation: How is ReVision Energy supported by Grand Circle Foundation?
Phil: We deeply admire the unremitting efforts of Alan and Harriet Lewis to solve problems around the world, and look to them as role models showing us how to use business success as a force for good. About five years ago, they were looking for a partner to help transition away from fossil fuels, and we worked hard to build a mutually beneficial relationship by providing high-quality clean energy solutions and by engaging with the broad community of Alnoba, Grand Circle, and the Lewis Family Foundation.
Foundation: What about ReVision Energy are you most passionate about?
Phil: Legitimately trying to make the world a better place. We’ve created this platform that’s allowing us to confront head-on one of the most existential and difficult challenges facing humankind. Every day, we’re taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and avoiding the combustion of fossil fuels. That creates a lot of passion and gratitude for having the opportunity to do this work in a way that seems to attract and inspire wonderful employees
Foundation: What do you do when you’re not working?
Phil: I have three kids, so they keep me pretty busy! And I love to mountain bike, anywhere, any time. I also like to hike, and I do volunteer work.
Foundation: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Phil: I have a funny Chihuahua named Chico, and I take him stand-up paddleboard surfing. He loves it, and I love it!
Tell us a little about yourself. Which do you prefer?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Reading a book or seeing a movie?
Reading a book—I’m still old school.
Going for a hike or sitting by a fire?
Going for a hike
Talking or listening?
Dogs or cats?
Being interviewed or having a tooth pulled?
Being interviewed, all day long!