Environmental Defense Fund
At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency, Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
New York, NY
Annual CO2 Reductions:
3,800 metric tons
Zach Bogoshian helped with EDF’s New York office renovation as well as an organization-wide greenhouse gas inventory and recommended ways EDF could “walk the talk” on operational sustainability.
Environmental Defense Fund, an international nonprofit environmental advocacy organization that aims to solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges using science and economics, brought on Zach Bogoshian to advise on proposed design elements for an office retrofit project for its New York headquarters. One of the original project goals was to achieve LEED Silver certification. Bogoshian was also asked to update and automate EDF’s greenhouse gas inventory. As a broader goal, EDF expressed the need to “walk the talk” on operational sustainability, raising its in-house efforts to match the standard set by the programming work it does around the world.
At first, it seemed to Bogoshian that these projects were independent and unrelated to each other. However, Bogoshian recommended that by making a formal commitment to carbon neutrality, EDF could institute an umbrella policy that informs decision-making at every level of operations, including the New York retrofit and the emissions inventory. With a clear goal, EDF could choose from various paths to success, each with different costs and opportunities, but all contributing to a clear target.
After interviewing executive team members and staff, collecting building energy and travel data for 11 offices and over 600 full-time and temporary employees and assessing EDF’s lease contracts, operational practices and guiding leadership materials, including past and current strategic plans, Bogoshian outlined a bundle of policy recommendations designed to measure, analyze, reduce and offset operational greenhouse gas emissions. Immediately employing such an informed decision-making process, Bogoshian and the Sustainability Council proposed over 70 design recommendations focused on resource efficiency, and pushed the design team to seek LEED Gold Certification, which it has since committed to.
This bundle of data-driven policies could contribute to the design and maintenance of an EDF emissions management platform that will analyze existing operations and inform future decision-making, eventually decoupling donations from emission reductions projects. By getting on such a continuous improvement path, EDF would not just eliminate the 3,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions that its operations generate annually, but also reduce overhead costs, empower its employees and lead by example – walking the talk.