Supply Chain Safer Chemicals Intern

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Summer 2019 Intern (UMICH)

Supply Chain Safer Chemicals Intern

Program: EDF+Business, Supply Chain team

Bentonville, AR


Do you love the environment? Do you want to fight to preserve it? Do you want to help keep harmful chemicals out of our homes, food, water, and household products? Do you want to show people how they can be eco-friendly consumers and make a difference with their dollar? Have you ever wondered how businesses have been able to set ambitious environmental goals or implement their market-changing strategies? Now, is your opportunity to put your skills into action to help protect the planet and human health.


This summer you could be a part of an NGO-corporate collaboration that uses science and market dynamics to reap environmental benefits. EDF pioneered the NGO/corporate partnership model, and over the past 25 years has worked with leading companies to reduce the environmental impacts of products and services. Our mission is to transform the marketplace into one that thrives by valuing, protecting and improving the environment. Our projects are designed to achieve significant environmental results, generate business benefits for our corporate partners, and create new industry-wide best practices. A key focus for us is consumer products. Consumer products account for 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and two-thirds of tropical deforestation globally. They are also a significant source of our exposure to toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious disorders and diseases such as cancer, infertility, and asthma.


We get results:  We’ve helped our major partner Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, achieve a 96% reduction in toxic chemicals in home and personal care products sold at its stores - equivalent to 24 million pounds. Our team also helped pass the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more power to stop toxic chemicals from entering the market and is the most significant environmental legislation in the United States in forty years. By joining our team, you will receive a valuable career experience and have a unique opportunity to make lasting effects on the global marketplace.


Overall Function


Under the direction of the Senior Manager of Consumer Health, you will support EDF’s goal to significantly reduce human exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products, including food, apparel, and personal care products. You will help the team develop and promote effective business solutions that protect consumer health and allow markets to thrive. EDF has made it a priority to work with some of the biggest retailers in the industry including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. You will leverage current corporate relationships to help build and execute safer product strategies.

Key Responsibilities


Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Contribute to existing retailer projects regarding safer product strategy, measurement of progress, and supplier and consumer engagement
  • Collaborate with our large corporate partners to create and execute effective strategies
  • Help the team identify influencers and laggards, as well as opportunities for innovation
  • Support the visibility of the team’s online platform Behind the Label for corporate engagement on safer chemicals in the marketplace
  • Collaborate with EDF’s scientists and policy experts
  • Analysis of retail value chains and product categories associated with high sustainability impacts
  • Interviews with members of retail merchandizing and sustainability teams to identify areas of interest in relevant product categories
  • A list of potential product improvements and innovations in the targeted categories
  • Follow-up meetings with merchandizing team members to gauge interest in product improvements and innovations
  • Ranked list of recommended action strategies


  • Must be a current University of Michigan student in the Erb or Ross School or Business program to apply

Skills required

  • Proven project management skills
  • Previous research or corporate internship experience
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Creative and innovative thinking willing to challenge the status quo and propose new ideas and opportunities
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of small teams in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment
  • Proficiency in the use of standard business software, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint


10 weeks during the summer



Full-time (35 hours per week)

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.