EDF Helps Minority-Serving Institutions Improve Energy Efficiency, Save Money

October 12, 2010
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NEWS RELEASE

(Raleigh, NC – Oct. 12, 2010) Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), widely recognized for its innovative private sector partnerships with business, is now working with universities in the public sector to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and increase the number of diverse environmental leaders. A video released today documents EDF's landmark work with minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, and showcases the roles of EDF Climate Corps Public Sector and Alpha Goes Green in increasing student involvement and integrating green business strategies into college courses.

EDF has been working with MSIs in North Carolina since 2009. The program will expand to Texas and New York in 2011. Plans call for the program to expand to other states in 2012.

MSIs include historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities. In North Carolina, universities are the largest energy users in state buildings. The 16 campuses in the University of North Carolina system account for more than 50 percent of energy use in the state's public buildings. MBA students specially trained by EDF Climate Corps Public Sector showed two campuses how to save $14 million in energy costs in five years.

"Universities are in a unique position to teach sustainable business strategies and demonstrate the results from those practices," said Michael Regan, EDF Energy and Air Policy Manager and former EPA manager. "Partnerships with minority-serving institutions help broaden environmental leadership by harnessing the power of diversity. Campuses offer lifelong lessons on better ways to protect communities, public health and the environment."

In addition to universities, EDF Climate Corps Public Sector places fellows in municipalities and places of worship. Alpha Goes Green is an EDF partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to educate the fraternity's student and alumni chapters about sustainability practices.

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See twitter.com/EnvDefenseFund and facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund.