Urban Innovations - 2014

Michael Perry | IE Business School

  • Michael Perry
Facility Type: 
Office Building

Michael Perry participated in Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program with Urban Innovations, a property-investment firm in downtown Chicago. The primary thrust of the engagement was the development of a capital budgeting tool that would refine UI’s budgeting process and drive organizational sustainability efforts. Secondary efforts included the identification of lighting equipment upgrades and an assessment of the organization’s capacity to participate in demand-response markets.

Perry developed a robust, user-friendly excel tool that identifies applicable rebate information and calculates cost-savings in order to accurately value upgrades to HVAC systems, boilers, roofing, VSDs, building automation systems and lighting equipment. In analyzing the budgeted projects for the coming year, the tool has already driven equipment decisions and identified: reductions of over 990,000 kWh in annual electricity usage, over $70,000 in annual cost-savings, over $72,000 in immediate rebates and over 846 metric tons in greenhouse gas reductions.

Perry’s portfolio-wide audit of lighting systems identified opportunities to reduce annual electricity consumption by 119,000 kWh. Additionally, Perry helped UI assess its potential to participate in demand-response programs and began contract negotiations with EnerNOC worth an estimated net value of over $19,000.

Fellow Profile

The reason I applied for EDF Climate Corps:
I applied for this position because I was interested in pursuing a career in sustainability. More specifically, I am interested in learning about how companies can find the overlap between profitability and energy efficiency.

A recent professional or volunteer experience I've enjoyed:
I worked for a Spanish private equity firm and conducted a field research study on the organic bread market in Madrid. The project entailed visiting countless bread shops around the city and speaking with the owners. Ultimately, my research culminated in a big presentation and an investment decision. It was a really fulfilling experience to do the field work personally.

One skill I hope to make use of this summer:
I am very keen on utilizing my investment analysis skills in this position.

My favorite class or activity in graduate school:
Critical Management Thinking

My favorite outdoor place:
Almaciga beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands

One thing I hope to achieve:
I hope to amplify my knowledge base and gain practical experience conducting investment analyses. More importantly though, my goal is to make actionable recommendations to my host organization that result in meaningful energy improvements.