Meet the sustainability leaders of tomorrow

Elena Kocherovsky | February 18,2014

Here at EDF Climate Corps we have the ability to glimpse into the future and see what the next generation of business leaders looks like. They are passionate about creating a new business model where the bottom line and sustainability go hand in hand. They are well studied in building sustainable supply chains, energy management, reducing water use and responsible freight logistics. And they have incredible tools in their toolkits to build sustainable financial models and do in-depth analysis of energy use across companies.

As we look across the nearly 700 graduate students who are vying for EDF Climate Corps fellowships this summer, we can’t help but be impressed at the depth and diversity of this pool of applicants. Here’s a snapshot:

Climate Corps class of 2013

  • 5+ years of work experience
  • 3 years of project management experience
  • 2.5 years of sustainability/energy experience
  • 31% are engineers
  • 62% are MBA students
  • 27% have dual degrees
  • 23% are international
  • 43% speak a second language

We recruit our fellows from the top graduate programs across the country and conduct months of interviews to be able to narrow the pool down to the top 120 students based on their abilities to exceed our core criteria, their professional and academic experience, and their enthusiasm for finding solutions to energy and sustainability problems. We then custom match the accepted fellows to organizations based on qualifications, project needs and areas of expertise. Think of it as an e-Harmony for sustainable business projects!

However, before we deploy each summer’s fellows to their host organizations, we put them through a rigorous weeklong EDF training regime where are trained by EDF and external experts in the sustainability field. Fellow training has a strong focus on building energy efficiency, but there are also customized tracks in financial analysis and financing options for energy efficiency. This year we are also digging into specifics on water efficiency, supply chain logistics, demand response and data management.

The challenge is that our fellows have 10-12 weeks to assess the business and build an executable plan for their host company; they need to be able to hit the ground running on day one. And they do. In 2013 over 98% of our hosts said that their fellow was “an independent self-starter.”

We are excited for yet another impressive class of EDF Climate Corps fellows to become members of the Climate Corps network. To find out more about our fellows and how to get involved in Climate Corps for Summer 2014, please go to www.edfclimatecorps.com or contact me today.

About EDF Climate Corps

EDF Climate Corps (edfclimatecorps.org) taps the talents of tomorrow's leaders to save energy, money and the environment by placing specially trained EDF fellows in companies, cities and universities as dedicated energy problem solvers. Working with hundreds of leading organizations, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered nearly $1.3 billion in energy savings. For more information, visit edfclimatecorps.org. Read our blog at edfclimatecorps.org/blog. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/edfbiz and on Facebook at facebook.com/EDFClimateCorps.