Connecting the Dots and Breaking Down Barriers

Two things have been on my mind this week.

First is the 2012 State of Green Business Report released by GreenBiz. The report shares a mixed view of the condition of the green economy we are collectively bringing to bare. While companies are consistent in dedicating resources to setting and meeting notable environmental goals, the momentum in other important areas is slowing. This includes a decline in investments in clean energy and an increase in energy intensity.

The second is the 515 applications we received for the EDF Climate Corps fellowship this summer. We have 125 spots available with host organizations across the country, and I am constantly amazed by the huge interest we see from up-and-coming business leaders in aligning environmental goals with business priorities.

What strikes me (and many others) is the disconnect between these two things. There is an obvious need and interest in aligning the environment with business, but there are not-so-obvious barriers preventing that from happening.

With these ideas in mind, I am facilitating a workshop at the State of Green Business Forum next Monday in San Francisco. Kirk Myers, CSR Manager at REI, and Jake MacArthur, graduate of the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara and 2011 EDF Climate Corps fellow at REI will join me in a conversation about the barriers hindering companies today, and the opportunities available. EDF Climate Corps fellows work closely with different stakeholders across functional lines to help their host companies take advantage of the huge cost savings available through energy efficiency upgrades.

Next week, we'll tell the few stories about innovative ways to break down the barriers to energy efficiency and reap the financial benefits. Hope to see you there!

EDF Climate Corps places specially-trained MBA and MPA students in companies, cities and universities to develop practical, actionable energy efficiency plans. Sign up to receive emails about EDF Climate Corps, including regular blog posts by our fellows. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates about this project.