EDF Climate Corps Fellow Represents Millions of Americans at the 2014 State of the Union

EDF Climate Corps taps the talents of tomorrow’s leaders to save energy, money
and the environment.

EDF selects and trains top-tier graduate students from the nation’s leading institutions to act as organizational change agents for energy management in companies, cities and universities.

Working in organizations ranging from Google to Facebook, AT&T to Pepsi and Dow Chemical to Boeing, EDF Climate Corps offers customized engagements, with each fellow hand-picked to meet the specific needs of organizations looking to save energy. Over the course of 10 to 12 weeks, EDF Climate Corps fellows develop concrete, actionable plans that accelerate their organization’s energy management programs.

EDF Climate Corps: Counting the Results

Since the program began in 2008, EDF Climate Corps fellows have uncovered opportunities that could save nearly $1.3 billion in energy costs, cut the electricity of 180,000 homes and avoid the yearly carbon emissions of 260,000 cars.

One such EDF fellow is Tyrone Davis, who showed Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), a historically black college in North Carolina, how it could avoid 200 tons of carbon emissions each year.

“He’s focused, a guy who knows where he wants to go in life,” says Charles Hall, the director of construction at North Carolina’s Elizabeth City State University. “He’s also really friendly and has a good sense of humor.”

Davis has a master’s degree in public administration, with an emphasis on energy policy, and is currently a third-year student and Leadership Fellow at Elon University School of Law.

In his role as an EDF Climate Corps fellow, Davis was asked to create an energy efficiency plan for four large campus buildings, including the school’s centers for technology, graduate studies and fine arts.

Tyrone Davis

“It was pretty daunting,” Davis recalls. “I relied on my training at EDF, which provided me with a lot of resources, like research databases and access to energy experts. I wound up recommending a lot of lighting improvements, like photo sensors for the fine arts center and window film in the tech center to cool the lobby and reduce air-conditioning demand.” Davis‘s business plan showed the changes would cost $57,846, and deliver $31,422 in annual savings—paying for themselves in less than two years.

“The school was really excited,” he says. So much so, that it hired him to complete a campus-wide sustainability plan. One month later, based in part on his work, ECSU decided to make sustainability a core part of the school’s mission. Davis, who is legally blind, seems to thrive on challenges. It’s this inspiring story that led the White House to invite Davis to join First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2014 State of the Union, representing the stories of millions of Americans across the country, who are working hard to better their communities, improve their own economic outcomes and help restore opportunity for all.

To learn more about EDF Climate Corps and how your organization can host a fellow this summer, click here.