Value Chain is the Next Frontier in Energy Management, EDF Climate Corps Finds

Fellows uncover millions in savings in suppliers’ facilities, distribution systems and franchise networks

October 9, 2014
Contact: 
Stephanie Kennard, 212-616-1260, skennard@edf.org

(New York, NY – October 9, 2014) - Today, EDF Climate Corps announced the findings of 117 fellows working to improve energy management at 102 leading organizations. Altogether, this year’s EDF Climate Corps fellows uncovered $130 million in potential energy savings, enough to avoid the annual emissions of 115,000 cars.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 300 organizations have hired EDF Climate Corps fellows to uncover energy savings in their own operations. This year, a growing number of companies turned to EDF Climate Corps to find ways to cut energy costs and emissions across their value chains.

“Bending the curve on carbon emissions requires a comprehensive approach to energy management, and the companies in EDF Climate Corps are leading this trend,” said Victoria Mills, Managing Director. “EDF Climate Corps provides the hands-on help organizations need to dig into the complex task of improving energy efficiency throughout their value chain.”

For example, in China, EDF Climate Corps fellows worked with Apple, Walmart, McDonald’s, Cummins and Legrand to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency in the companies’ facilities, suppliers and retail outlets. These fellows found tens of millions of dollars in savings, demonstrating how organizations can scale energy savings through their global suppliers.

In the U.S., EDF Climate Corps fellows branched out beyond company-owned facilities to look for energy savings within distribution and franchise networks. For example, Dunkin’ Brands brought on two fellows to help reduce carbon emissions associated with its franchisee-owned baking facilities and franchise restaurants. 

“As one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants, Dunkin’ Brands recognizes the importance of taking action to reduce carbon emissions that we control directly and those that we influence,” Christine Riley Miller,  Sr. Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, at Dunkin’ Brands said. “We value the support and expertise EDF Climate Corps provides as we work to empower our franchisees with the tools they need to save energy, related costs and emissions.”

Ocean Spray tasked its EDF Climate Corps fellow with understanding the environmental impacts of transporting goods between facilities and customers. The EDF Climate Corps fellow identified potential reductions in Ocean Spray’s transportation emissions by shipping a portion of their product by train instead of freight trucks.

“Freight movement accounts for 16 percent of all corporate greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and companies have the power and financial incentive to reduce their environmental impact in this area,” Jason Mathers, Senior Manager at EDF said. “To help companies take advantage of these significant cost-saving opportunities, EDF Climate Corps fellows are armed with the tools and training they need to deliver smart strategies for goods movement.”

In addition to reducing energy use through the value chain, companies in manufacturing, real estate, telecommunications, technology and retail are increasingly hiring EDF Climate Corps fellows to focus on energy data analysis, organizational benchmarking, goal setting, renewables and energy technologies.

Since its launch in 2008, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered $1.4 billion in total energy savings for participating organizations, enough to avoid the annual emissions of 400,000 cars.

See the full list of organizations that have participated in EDF Climate Corps at edfclimatecorps.org.

 

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EDF Climate Corps, a premier fellowship program, places specially trained graduate students in companies, cities, universities and nonprofits as dedicated problem-solvers. Connect with EDF Climate Corps at edfclimatecorps.org.

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. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.