Leading Companies Embrace Unique Initiative to Cut Energy Costs

January 31, 2012
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Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced the first 20 companies to sign on for EDF Climate Corps in 2012. New companies including Boeing, Caesars Entertainment, DirecTV and National Geographic are joining repeat participants including Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook, JPMorgan Chase and Verizon in employing EDF Climate Corps as a cost-effective way to find energy-saving opportunities.

During their 10-12 week summer engagements, EDF Climate Corps fellows craft a custom-tailored financial case for operational savings achievable through specific investments in energy efficiency.

“EDF Climate Corps fellows have uncovered more than a billion dollars in energy savings for participating organizations,” said Victoria Mills, managing director with EDF’s Corporate Partnership Program. “The program is designed to make it easy for companies to unlock straightforward solutions that cut energy bills and improve environmental performance.”

Now in its fifth year, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered efficiencies in lighting, computer equipment, heating and cooling, and other systems that could:

  • Cut 1.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity use and 27 million therms of natural gas annually, equivalent to the annual energy use of 88,000 homes;
  • Avoid over one million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the annual emissions of 200,000 passenger vehicles; and
  • Save $1 billion in net operational costs over the project lifetimes.

Companies report that projects representing 86 percent of the energy savings so far identified by EDF Climate Corps fellows are either complete or underway.

“Verizon has had tremendous success working with EDF Climate Corps, identifying important ways to drive measurable improvements for the environment and our business,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “We look forward to continuing our work together this year, and utilizing the talent and resources provided by the program to bolster our overall sustainability efforts.”

“In this economy, companies need to find ways to improve their bottom line, and energy efficiency is a proven and effective strategy,” said Mills. “The companies already enrolled in EDF Climate Corps recognize that big savings are at stake, and the fact that many hire fellows for multiple years speaks volumes about the value that they derive from this program.”

EDF Climate Corps fellows work with host organizations to capture immediate energy savings through equipment modifications and upgrades, and also through strategic projects, such as employee engagement campaigns and decision-support tools. These types of projects empower more stakeholders at companies and help inform business decisions to better capitalize on energy opportunities. “We are pleased to establish a relationship with EDF’s exemplary Climate Corps program and look forward to many successful outcomes this year,” said Eric Dominguez, Corporate Director of Energy & Environmental Services. “Caesars Entertainment is proud to be the first gaming entertainment company to participate in EDF Climate Corps, and we are eager to advance our energy efficiency efforts through the program.”

In the U.S., buildings consume 70 percent of electricity and emit more than a third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. McKinsey & Company also estimates that by 2020, the U.S. could reduce its annual energy consumption by 23 percent through energy efficiency measures, cutting GHG emissions by over a billion tons and saving over a trillion dollars.

The application deadline for summer 2012 is February 23, 2012. Matching of host organizations and EDF Climate Corps fellows is already underway, so interested companies are encouraged to apply now at edfclimatecorps.org. For more information, please email info@edfclimatecorps.org.   The list of 2012 EDF Climate Corps companies to date includes: AT&T, Au Bon Pain, Boeing, CA Technologies, Caesars Entertainment, DirecTV, Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook, HCA Healthcare, Hilex Poly, Ingersoll Rand, JBG Properties, JP Morgan Chase, National Geographic Society, QTS, REI, Sealed Air (Diversey), Shorenstein Properties, Union Pacific Railroad, Verizon Communications

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About EDF Climate Corps
EDF Climate Corps (edfclimatecorps.org) places specially-trained MBA and MPA students in companies, cities and universities to build the business case for energy efficiency. EDF Climate Corps fellows analyze energy-saving opportunities and develop custom energy efficiency investment plans that cut costs and carbon emissions.