Environmental Defense Fund
(San Francisco - December 3, 2008) MBA students from top business schools across the country helped companies uncover energy efficiencies that could save $35 million in net operational costs over five years while preventing 57,000 tons of carbon pollution. These are the results of the Climate Corps program, a groundbreaking initiative designed by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) that trains business students to identify energy efficient strategies that will reduce the negative environmental impacts of company operations while benefitting the bottom line.
EDF selected the 2008 Climate Corps Fellows from the University of Michigan, Stanford University and Rice University, among others and placed them in summer fellowships at companies such as Yahoo! Inc., Cisco, Intuit, NVIDIA, Salesforce.com, Crescent Real Estate and KKR. With technical support from EDF, Climate Corps fellows spent 12 weeks identifying and analyzing energy efficiency opportunities and developing detailed investment and implementation plans.
In only a few weeks, the seven Climate Corps Fellows helped their host companies find efficiencies in lighting, computer equipment and heating and cooling systems to:
• Save $35 million in net costs over five years;
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions per year by 57,000 metric tons – equivalent to taking more than 7,000 SUVs off the road and
• Conserve more than 119 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power 10,000 homes.
Climate Corps Fellows also helped accelerate their host companies’ sustainability initiatives. “Cisco has committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2012. Our labs account for almost 70% of our carbon footprint, so we must reduce their energy consumption significantly in order to meet our goal. Our Climate Corps Fellow came on board so quickly that we got started on our R&D lab initiative several months sooner than expected,” said John Haley, senior manager, workplace resources, Cisco.
“As a results-driven organization, EDF designed the Climate Corps program to help corporations realize real cost-savings through energy-efficiency while developing tangible sustainability strategies,’” said Millie Chu Baird, project manager for corporate partnerships at EDF. “Despite widespread discussion about the greening of business, many companies remain unaware of practical, cost-effective strategies they can take to capture both environmental and business benefits. Our next step is to grow the Climate Corps program and develop a set of best practices we can share with corporations around the country.”
Through training and hands-on experience, Climate Corps Fellows acquire the hard skills they will need to tackle tough energy decisions they are likely to encounter later in their careers. “Climate Corps does a great job of educating the next generation of corporate environmental leaders,” said Christina Page, director, climate and energy strategy, Yahoo!.
For year two of the Climate Corps program, EDF will work with Net Impact to recruit, train and place MBA-level Fellows in companies and widely share the first year’s results with business communities across the country. EDF and Net Impact are currently looking for forward-thinking businesses interested in hosting a 2009 Climate Corps fellow.
“We are thrilled to partner with EDF on the Climate Corps program,” said Liz Maw, executive director, Net Impact. “Our network is full of talented, focused MBAs seeking to put their skills to use for social, environmental and economic good. We look forward to seeing economic and environmental results of this important work.”
For more information, visit www.edf.org/climatecorps.