Blog Archive by Author: EDF Climate Corps Fellow

Discussions about combating climate change often center around disruptive technologies or drastic changes to normal methods of doing business. These flashy conversation pieces grab our attention and make for easy headlines, but often overshadow one of the simplest tools available for increasing energy efficiency: ourselves. 

Something that has inspired me to be a part of EDF Climate Corps is my love for the environment, which was inspired by environmental books, and in many cases, the work being done at EDF has mirrored the topics in some of my favorite books. Books can be great knowledge repositories, providing chronological snapshots of the changing landscape—people, politics, perspective, culture, environment and ecology.

Walking along a golden field close to my new home in Northampton County, rural North Carolina, I suddenly feel suspended in time. I realize that this is the first moment in the last few months that I have finally been able to slow down. Only a month ago, I was offered a position as an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps fellow with Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC).

Recently, I had the pleasure to attend the kickoff event for the Building Energy Initiative - Chicago, an ambitious project recently launched by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The goal of the project is to complement Retrofit Chicago in bringing energy efficiency improvements to buildings throughout the city.

This summer, several organizations from the Boston area hosted EDF Climate Corps fellows to further their energy management initiatives. Read below our interviews of three EDF fellows who worked in Boston, putting their know-how and experience to work for the environment.

This summer, Anthony, Sarah and Kaity worked within Public Housing Authorities as EDF Climate Corps fellows. They worked on recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, resiliency, energy performance contracts and benchmarking using energy dashboards. 

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) face a set of issues similar to other higher education institutions in the US. The majority of campuses must address persistent shortfalls in funding that delay needed capital expenditures and hinder the accomplishment of their missions. Under such frugal conditions, it becomes far more important to make use of available resources more efficiently.

Imagine a coffee that can bring almost $1.5M of savings to state-managed facilities throughout its first two years of existence. No doubt creative vibes are brightening the Accelerated Energy Program at the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance...

EDF Climate Corps fellows are graduate students who accept the challenge of transforming the way organizations use energy. This summer, Scott proposed LED lighting retrofits for the Eiffel Tower Experience at the Paris Las Vegas, Katrina investigated HVAC upgrades across Union Pacific Railroad, Adam worked on greening Colgate-Palmolive’s global supply chain and Nicholas looked at incentives and rebates for demand response initiatives at American International Group (AIG). 

Today EDF Climate Corps launches a new Building Energy Initiative to accelerate energy performance in buildings and to help facilitate a tipping point in the Chicago marketplace. The program has already been active in the region working with Chicago Public Schools and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Development. Read the interviews below with two of the 2013 EDF Climate Corps fellows who already made an impact saving energy and money in Chicago.

Brooke and Harry spent their summer with EDF Climate Corps greening campuses. Brooke worked at San Diego State University bridging silos and identifying ways to improve efficiency in the science buildings. Harry worked with facilities engineers at American International Group on lighting, chillers and also improving the efficiency of their parking structure. Read below for the full story....

This summer 116 promising graduate students joined EDF Climate Corps to work with organizations around the country to identify energy management opportunities. Read below about two MIT Sloan students who worked at Time Warner Cable and United States Army Reserve. 

Getting the sustainability conversation started, modeling potential returns, justifying investment and moving beyond the low hanging fruit. These are just some of the things our EDF Climate Corps fellows worked on this summer.

That’s where three EDF Climate Corps fellows from Duke University found themselves this summer. Read below to learn about Gary, Kara and Daniel and how they spent their summers working within organizations to further energy management.

This year, EDF Climate Corps selected 18 graduate students from Columbia University to work deep within leading organizations to help them further their sustainability and energy management initiatives. Read below the stories of three of these Columbia students, why they wanted to join the program, how they helped their host organizations and what they learned this summer.

This summer, 116 fellows joined the EDF Climate Corps ranks to further energy management within leading organizations. This blog highlights three students from theUniversity of Michigan Erb Institute who worked on a variety of projects from employee engagement to measurement and verification. 

A few weeks into my EDF Climate Corps fellowship at General Motors, an engineer joked that the “paint geeks” (me and my colleagues) grow egos that reduce cars and trucks to expensive easels for shiny paint. She was partially right.

Did you know that 70 percent of the energy required to put a car together goes into painting it? Read below to learn more about how our EDF Climate Corps fellows are working with General Motors and Ingersoll Rand to identify energy saving opportunities.

Data centers, HVAC systems, manufacturing processes and public school vacations are just some of the things our EDF Climate Corps fellows identified energy efficiency improvements for this summer. Read our interviews with Louis, Xiaoding and Leonardo to find out what they have been working on, what barriers they've encountered and how they are striving to help their organizations overcome inefficiencies in just 10 short weeks.

This summer, EDF Climate Corps placed 116 fellows within leading organizations to identify strategic energy management opportunities. These fellows spent their summer working on a variety of projects from energy efficiency to sustainability planning, employee engagement, demand response and energy information systems.

When I first began my EDF Climate Corps fellowship at Knox County Housing Authority, I remember having two distinct thoughts. First, I was excited to be placed at a public entity. My second thought was where is Knox County?

EDF Climate Corps placed almost 20 fellows in the Boston area to help identify energy efficiency opportunities this summer. Read below about Pablo, Derek and Lin and what they learned working for the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Port Authority and Boston Medical Center.   

Since 2010, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the United Negro College Fund Special Projects (UNCF SP) have worked together to place EDF Climate Corps fellows at minority serving institutions.

In 2009, Darden announced a commitment to reach a 15% reduction in the average energy usage per restaurant by 2015. As of 2012, the company had cut energy use by 12 percent. To reach its goal, Darden wanted to understand what technologies and initiatives could best reduce the company's energy use over the next two years.

Opportunities to save big with energy efficiency are not limited to the corporate world. EDF Climate Corps fellows have found a wealth of opportunities within the public sector as well. Read below to learn about how three of our fellows are identifying energy savings for the cities of Cleveland, Santa Fe and Bloomington.

CR Magazine ranked AT&T #1 on its Best Corporate Citizens list this year, but even companies that are leading the pack on sustainability can continue to find innovative ways to save energy and water. That's why AT&T partners with EDF. In fact this is the company’s fourth summer hosting EDF Climate Corps fellows to dial up energy savings in its facilities. 

At Presidio Graduate School, sustainability is ingrained in the curriculum. As a result, students Carley and Scott chose to participate in EDF Climate Corps and augment their studies with professional experience. Read below to learn why and how they have become change agents for energy efficiency at Genzyme and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

CA Technologies has hosted an EDF Climate Corps fellow for the past four summers; whereas, Information Age Learning Center is now hosting a fellow for the first time. In spite of this difference, both are reaping the benefits of advancing organizational energy efficiency with EDF Climate Corps.

In June, President Obama called for action during his milestone climate change speech. He said, “…we've got a vital role to play. We can't stand on the sidelines. We've got a unique responsibility.”

This summer, 45 women chose to work with EDF Climate Corps to further energy efficiency and make the world more “pleasant, healthy and sustainable.” Read below to learn about three of our ladies in green, Jennifer Barbour McKellar, Kate Daniel and Sudatta Ray and the great work they are doing to break down the barriers to organizational energy efficiency.

What do Tom’s of Maine and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee have in common? This summer, they’ve both hosted an EDF Climate Corps fellow to help investigate energy efficiency opportunities.

Recently we interviewed two EDF Climate Corps fellows, Jonathan Hempton at CA Technologies and Greg Smith at VIA San Antonio. Both are passionate about the environment and hope to make part of their work in life showing businesses that energy efficiency and sustainability make sense.  

I joined NYSE Euronext this summer as an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps fellow, a program that sends graduate students from across the country to a wide range of host organizations to explore energy efficiency initiatives. 

Great news for California and the future of energy efficiency in Sacramento.

Today I took part in an announcement by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson unveiling the nation’s largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) project in the country — and potentially a huge boost for businesses in the state’s capital.

John Culver and Alice Kodama are two EDF Climate Corps fellows from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. This summer they are working at Hilex Poly and the Philadelphia Housing Authority identifying energy efficiency opportunities. Read below to learn about their passions for technology and efficiency, and how both of them are using compelling numbers to back their findings that saving energy saves money.

Kethia Chheng and Evan Fisher are two EDF Climate Corps fellows from Columbia University. Read on to learn about their environmental passions and how they are identifying energy efficiency opportunities at The Alamo Colleges and NYSE Euronext.  

Lillian Cheng and Scott Hensley are two EDF Climate Corps fellows hard at work identifying energy efficiency opportunities at public housing authorities. Read on to learn about their environmental passions and how they are overcoming financial and organizational challenges to save energy and money.
 

A few weeks ago, I joined more than a hundred other students in San Francisco for the sixth annual EDF Climate Corps Training event. I had no idea what to expect over the five days of intensive energy efficiency training.

What I found were hours of fascinating conversations with people who are just as passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability as I am -- not to mention a group of dynamic alumni speakers and energetic networking sessions.

After an incredible week of EDF Climate Corps Training last month, I had the opportunity to speak at the White House for an inaugural one-day summit on Women, Climate and Energy organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House Office of Public Engagement.

This blog post is the 16th in a series, highlighting our team of ‘sledgehammers’ – the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at the Smithsonian Institution and Belk.

This blog post is the 15th in a series, highlighting our team of ‘sledgehammers’ – the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Commonwealth Financial Network, San Diego State University - Imperial Valley Campus and Carnival Corporation. 

This blog post is the 14th in a series, highlighting our team of ‘sledgehammers’ – the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Volvo Mack Trucks, Ocean County and Booz Allen Hamilton. 

This blog post is the 13th in a series, highlighting our team of ‘sledgehammers’ – the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Garysburg, Northampton County, CA Technologies and Envision Charlotte. 

This blog post is the 12th in a series, highlighting our team of ‘sledgehammers’ – the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Town of Cary, Philadelphia Housing Authority, City of Cleveland, Wakefern Food Corp. and City of New Haven. 

This blog post is the 11th in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Grubb Properties, P&G, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Staples and AT&T.

This blog post is the 10th in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at  Ingersoll Rand, Housing Authority of El Paso and America's Cup Event Authority. 

This blog post is the ninth in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at The Port of Oakland, Monmouth County and Union Pacific Corporation. 

This blog post is the eighth in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Texas A&M University Kingsville, HCA Healthcare and RBS Citizens Financial Group. 

This blog post is the seventh in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at The University of Texas at San Antonio, The City of Atlanta and Coinstar.

This blog post is the sixth in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Boeing and Fidelity Investments. 

This blog post is the fifth in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Verizon, Nixon Peabody and Volvo Group Mack Trucks. 

This blog post is the fourth in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at The City of New Orleans, Cummins and the United Nations Children's Fund.

This blog post is the third in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Akamai Technologies, CA Technologies and Bloomberg BNA. 

This blog post is the second in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at New York City Housing Authority, National Geographic Society and News Corporation. 

This blog post is the first in a series, highlighting the 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows– and their plans for breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency at their host organizations. In this segment, hear stories from fellows at Ascension Health, Hilex Poly and New York City Housing Authority. 

Shorenstein Properties
is a real estate company that manages more than 25 million square feet
of commercial building space across the United States. As the
Sustainability Program Manager here at Shorenstein (and an EDF Climate
Corps alum), efficient energy use across this portfolio remains top of
mind for me.

Fellow: Affuembey Enow Affuembey, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at Southern University and A&M College, MBA candidate at Southern University and A&M College, College of Business

Organization: Southern University and A&M College

Opportunity: 8 buildings and over $270,000 in energy efficiency and water savings

Summary: As a student of Southern University, I’ve taken many walks around campus and seen that the school is “going green.” But this summer my view was completely different – I was on campus as an employee of the Office of Facility Services and Architectural Planning, not a student. My job was to help the school “green” itself even more.

Fellow: Jason Sekhon, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at Pfizer Inc., MBA/MS candidate at University of Michigan Erb Institute


Organization: Pfizer Inc.

Opportunity: Over 100,000 employees at the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company

Summary: Pfizer is already well on its way to company-wide sustainability, and I'm glad to be contributing by writing employee engagement plan and EnergyStar strategies.

I distinctly remember watching “An Inconvenient Truth” when the documentary was first released. It struck a deep emotional chord in me. I felt an obligation to do something but did not know where to begin. 

That changed this summer. As an EDF Climate Corps fellow working with the water and energy sustainability team at AT&T, I finally found a way to translate my passion into action.

Fellow: Jennifer Le, 2012 EDF Climate Corps
fellow at The Carlyle Group, MBA Candidate at the Samuel Curtis Johnson
Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Organization: The Carlyle Group

Opportunity: The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with more
than $156 billion in assets under management across 99 funds and 63 fund
of funds vehicles.

Fellow: Britta Victor, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at Boston Public Schools, MEM candidate at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

Organization: Boston Public Schools

Opportunity: 125 Boston school buildings, all associated municipal buildings and the minds of 57,000 students

Summary: With a limited capital budget, Boston Public Schools needs a new way to pay for the energy efficiency measures that will save serious energy dollars. I worked on a new plan to use an equipment lease to acquire energy efficiency measures, and to use the resulting savings to make the lease payments. Using this technique in just five of its schools, Boston could save more than $2 million.

Fellow: Meredith Rowland, 2012 EDF Climate Corps Fellow at Lane College, MPA candidate at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Organization: Lane College

Opportunity: An energy efficient future for a 130-year-old academic institution.

Summary: Infrastructural barriers within an organization often prevent employees from pursuing innovative energy efficiency projects. As a Climate Corps fellow at Lane College, I acted as catalyst for change among campus stakeholders.

Fellow: Kristen Demeter, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at REI (Recreational Equipment Inc. ), Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University

Organization: REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)

Opportunity: The chance to revolutionize the way a building consumes energy

Summary: What if a building could be so efficient that it didn’t need to buy any energy? REI fellow Kristen Demeter found that this is more than possible – it has already been done! "Net Zero Energy Buildings" are technologically advanced facilities that minimize their energy needs through a process called "integrated design;" what little energy they still need is provided by onsite, renewable generation.

Fellow: Michael Norbeck, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at Cummins Inc., MPA Candidate at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Opportunity: Energy use and CO2 emissions from a global portfolio of over 600 facilities

Summary: You’re a multinational engine manufacturing company that has set ambitious enterprise-wide targets for energy intensity and CO2 emissions reduction. Facilities are a key component of your energy footprint, and therefore your carbon footprint as well. How do you drive the energy management performance you need to meet your targets? Start by understanding how your facilities are using energy, and why.

Fellow: Tyler Browne, 2012 EDF Climate Corps Fellow at Chicago Public Schools, MPA/MSES candidate at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs  

Organization: Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

The Opportunity: About 675 schools in the third largest school district in the country

Summary: Chicago Public Schools recognizes the financial, environmental  and infrastructural  benefits of curtailing energy consumption. That's why it's working aggressively to implement the Energy Shared Savings program  at its nearly 700 schools.

Fellow: Andy Perkins, 2012 EDF Climate Corps Fellow at LBA Realty, MBA Candidate at Yale University School of Management

Organization: LBA Realty

The Opportunity: 39 million square feet of industrial and commercial real estate

Summary: In the world of commercial real estate, Net Operating Income (NOI) is everything. Its focus on operational efficiency and driving down costs is the measuring stick by which a building's value is determined. It drives the entire industry. I discovered that LBA could improve the NOI of its future energy efficiency projects by creating a standard process for vetting vendor proposals.

By: Erika Dahl and David King, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows at Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, MBA candidate at Western Carolina University School of Business and MS candidate at Appalachian State University Department of Technology and Design

Organization: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI)

Opportunity: Impact EBCI's next generation of environmental leaders

Summary: The cultural values of the Cherokee may leverage energy savings as great as those from a lighting or HVAC upgrade, thanks to a collaboration between Sacred Path – a tribal education group at Eastern Band of Cherokee – and EDF Climate Corps.

Fellow: Katie DeWitt, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at National Geographic Society, MBA candidate at University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business

Organization: National Geographic (Nat Geo)

Opportunity: A decade of experience in sustainable and energy-efficient operations

Summary: On my first day at National Geographic (Nat Geo), I was given a tour of the company's extensive sustainability infrastructure. It was immediately clear that my challenge as an EDF Climate Corps fellow wasn't to convince the operations staff the value of energy efficiency, but to identify additional eco-business opportunities for Nat Geo.

Fellow: Jaxon Love, 2012 EDF Climate
Corps fellow at Shorenstein, MBA/MAcc Graduate at Lundquist School of
Business, University of Oregon


Organization: Shorenstein

Opportunity: Jaxon Love began his 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellowship a year ahead of the pack

Summary: Jaxon
Love is one of three 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellows participating in
the program for a second year in a row. He was a fellow at Shorenstein in 2011 and is currently halfway through his second fellowship at the firm. We caught up with him to ask what brought him back.

Fellow: Alicia Cushman, 2012 EDF
Climate Corps Fellow at The JBG Companies, MBA Candidate at the
University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

Organization: The JBG Companies (JBG)

Opportunity: 9.2 million square feet of commercial real estate space and one eager MBA student

Summary:A Whole Different Kind of Innovation
(Wall Street Journal, June 18th)," declares that business model
innovation is "crucial to meeting the challenges associated with energy
use," perhaps even more so than technological innovation. Naturally, as
an EDF Climate Corps fellow
working with The JBG Companies this summer, I had a few thoughts of my own on the matter.

Fellow: Katie DeWitt, 2012 EDF Climate Corps fellow at National
Geographic Society, MBA candidate at University of California Berkeley
Haas School of Business

Organization: National Geographic Society (Nat Geo)

Opportunity: 1,307 passionate employees

Summary: Though the National Geographic Society is best known for inspiring people to care about the planet through educational materials and breathtaking images, its internal environmental activities are equally impressive…though less visible to the public. This summer, I'm getting an inside view of those activities and writing to tell you what I see.

Fellow: Jana Holt, 2012 EDF Climate Corps
Fellow at Au Bon Pain, Dual MBA/MEM Candidate at The Fuqua School of
Business, Duke University.


Organization: Boston’s A Better City Challenge for Sustainability (ABC)

Opportunity: “The private sector has the
ability to influence social change on the larger community quickly and
efficiently. A Better City Challenge for Sustainability is designed to
leverage this ability and make Greater Boston a leader in sustainable
business practices.” – ABC’s Web site


Summary: Jana Holt presented EDF Climate
Corps and the wisdom of energy efficiency to members of Boston's A
Better City Challenge earlier this month. Her favorite part? The two-way
street of sustainability education she's now a part of.

Organization: Ingersoll Rand

Opportunity: 72 facilities worldwide

Challenge: Acquiring Superior Energy Performance (SEP) accreditation

Summary: Ingersoll Rand is seeking Superior Energy Performance (SEP) accreditation at its Trane plant in Tyler, Texas. The company brought me on board as an EDF Climate Corps fellow this summer to focus on bringing this project to fruition. Before I got started, I needed to figure out just what exactly SEP is and why it’s so important. 

Organization: Quality Technology Services (QTS)

Opportunity: 3 million square feet of data center space

Challenge: Data centers require plenty of energy

SUMMARY: QTS announced yesterday it hired Sukrit Sehgal,
QTS’s 2011 EDF Climate Corps fellow, as its first ever director of
sustainability. Even more exciting (for me!), is that QTS hired me as
its second EDF Climate Corps fellow to drive further steps toward energy
efficiency this summer. In addition to conventional data center energy
challenges, QTS also faces entirely unique challenges due to the nature
of its service as a multi-tenant data center (MTDC) provider.