(NEW YORK – May 24, 2016) Today, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps announced that 100 organizations including Best Buy and IKEA will welcome 127 fellows across their operations in the U.S. and China. EDF Climate Corps is an innovative fellowship program that embeds trained graduate students into companies, cities, schools and public institutions to accelerate clean energy projects. Over the course of the summer, fellows get clean energy projects on the fast track to accomplishment – simultaneously improving the organization’s bottom line and environmental impact.
Now in its ninth year, the program sees new trends emerging in corporate energy management practices, including steep growth in clean energy deployment and supply chain efficiency initiatives.
Since the launch of Climate Corps in 2008, global investment in clean energy has grown six-fold and many Climate Corps hosts are driving that trend. Last year’s cohort of 120 fellows recommended over $60 million of new investments in clean energy technology, and EDF anticipates this number will increase in 2016. This summer, the fellows will be deployed to develop detailed plans for onsite and offsite renewable projects, portfolio-wide demand response plans, resilient solutions such as microgrids, and to improve onsite energy efficiency performance.
“It is clear that clean energy is an increasingly necessary business imperative for companies and organizations,” said Liz Delaney, program director of EDF Climate Corps. “To meet this need, Climate Corps has evolved from primarily focusing on just energy efficiency to supporting holistic, integrated energy solutions with both efficiency and renewable components. This year’s fellows will help our hosts reduce consumption while meeting the demand for new investment in low-carbon energy.”
EDF’s attention has turned to many of the states that not only consume large amounts of electricity, but have aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets and policies that support clean energy investment. For example, New York will be home to 33 fellows in both the public and private sector, as both the city and state work to meet the ambitious energy reduction goals set forth by the governor and mayor. A large scale, single-state deployment of this many fellows is unprecedented for the program, and represents a concerted effort to provide on the ground support for progressive energy policies.
In addition to accelerating the clean energy revolution in the U.S., EDF Climate Corps will continue its ground-breaking work in China. It is estimated that twenty-five percent of China’s carbon emissions are caused by manufacturing products that are consumed abroad – making tackling emissions at the source a crucial component to reducing greenhouse gas impacts. After a two-year pilot that uncovered the potential to reduce thousands of tons of carbon emissions, while also helping Chinese manufacturers save tens of millions of dollars, EDF Climate Corps will deploy ten Chinese fellows this summer. These students will work hand in hand with major corporations like IKEA to uncover savings for both businesses and the environment.
EDF Climate Corps embeds trained graduate students in organizations to help meet their energy goals by accelerating clean energy projects in their facilities. In just one summer, fellows will get clean energy projects on the fast track to accomplishment – improving the organization’s bottom line and environmental impact at the same time. By working with over 350 organizations in the public and private sector, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered nearly $1.5 billion in energy savings. For more information on the program, visit edfclimatecorps.org and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/edfbiz and/or Facebook at facebook.com/EDFClimateCorps.