Stephanie Kennard | May 23, 2014
EDF Climate Corps makes its small screen debut on Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary series on climate change this Monday, May 26. All month, we’ve rounded up the three EDF Climate Corps fellows starring in the Showtime series for a behind the scenes look at filming with the Years Project. This week, we caught up with Brendan Edgerton, Office Depot’s 2013 EDF Climate Corps fellow. Read on to learn more about Brendan’s time in the spotlight and be sure to watch him in action on Years of Living Dangerously, Monday at 8pm.
EDF: Tell us again about your EDF Climate Corps fellowship experience.
Brendan Edgerton: Being an EDF Climate Corps fellow is like completing a marathon in sprint form, meaning it’s a lot of work to accomplish in a short amount of time. Yet, it definitely has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.
EDF: What was it like when you learned about Showtime’s interest in following you?
Edgerton: I was still on campus in New Haven when I got a call from the Years Project producer, about a week before training. I met with the producers in San Francisco during training and filming started from there.
EDF: What was filming like?
Edgerton: I began filming with the producers for my first day of work before I even met with my supervisor, Yalmaz. It was an amusing experience having to “act natural” in front of cameras knowing every word and every movement was recorded.
EDF: What do you think is unique about your perspective in the series?
Edgerton: My work looked a lot at the supply chain’s impact on a business’ environmental footprint. In addition, my project explored the complexities associated with establishing value and win-win situations for multiple stakeholders. Further, Office Depot was completing a merger with Office Max at the time that added more complexity to my recommendations as the company was still evaluating which facilities, centers, etc. they’d be keeping.
EDF: What do you hope your story in the series will inspire?
Edgerton: I think many businesses understand and know the economic value behind energy efficiency and renewable projects. They know they’re good investments. However, I hope that our segment will inspire broader conversation around innovating and creating solutions that drive demand for internal resources within organizations. Most sustainability teams are about 2-3 people and I’d like to see these groups advance in size and responsibilities from reporting to comprehensive integration into business development.
EDF: Have you watched the series yet?
Edgerton: My girlfriend, family and I have been watching every episode. It is interesting to see how the show resonates with my girlfriend who doesn’t work in sustainability and to see what she picks up from it. The Years Project is not told like a traditional climate documentary and the personal stories they highlight I believe are the best attributes of the show. The stories and people they highlight are compelling and seem to really stick with people more than I could of ever imagined. The stars draw attention, but highlighting the average person and how they’re affected by climate change is what I believe to be the most powerful element of the show.
EDF: What are you up to now?
Edgerton: This summer, I’m heading back to Los Angeles where I will be working for Disney Imagineering focusing on life cycle assessment and costing within their parks and resorts.
EDF: Imagine it is May 2044 and a producer approaches you again to document your career accomplishments. What do you hope that story will reveal?
Edgerton: Beyond all else I hope that the story reveals how far we have come with respect to climate change mitigation and fusion of environmental consciousness into business and society. I just hope to be a part of it.
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.