Unveiling the Secret Sauce for EDF Climate Corps

Sitar Mody | October 16, 2012

EDF founded Climate Corps in 2008 armed with a hunch and seven smart, young people. Five years later, we have placed nearly 300 elite graduate students in about 200 leading companies, cities and universities to uncover valuable energy savings.

Today, EDF announces Climate Corps' latest results.

In the course of each engagement, EDF Climate Corps fellows have found an average of $1 million in energy savings for their host organizations. Collectively, they’ve identified opportunities to cut the electricity use of 150,000 homes – that’s like the entire city of Pittsburgh – and avoid the carbon emissions of 200,000 cars every year.

People often ask us, “What’s the secret sauce? How do these guys find such monumental savings in just ten short weeks?”

After five years, we’ve mastered the recipe:

1. Pick the Right People. It takes the right type of person to inspire. Our fellows come to us with strong professional backgrounds in engineering, finance, environmental management and other specialties. We hand-pick committed self-starters with entrepreneurial characteristics and strong analytical skills.

2. Give Them the Right Tools. EDF Climate Corps fellows are carefully matched with their hosts, and each one goes through an intensive training before setting out. We equip our fellows with a customized onboarding tool that helps them zero in on key opportunities, identify the major stakeholders in the organization and understand how decisions are made around energy investments right off the bat.

3. Stand on the Shoulders of Giants (Or: Use the Network). Based on our experience working with hundreds of organizations, we’ve uncovered common types of barriers to energy efficiency in nearly every organization, and identified proven strategies for overcoming them.

That’s the three-step recipe behind EDF Climate Corps, and it’s why our fellows can consistently deliver big results in just one summer.

We’ve found that no matter where an organization is on its path to sustainability -- whether it’s just getting off the starting blocks or already taking strong energy and climate initiatives -- EDF Climate Corps can help bring it to the next level.

In tough economic times, when budgets are tight and our country’s energy future is unclear, EDF Climate Corps provides a valuable and highly effective way to help almost any organization save energy and save money now.

EDF Climate Corps is now accepting applications for companies, cities and universities to host a fellow in 2013. Find details about hosting a fellow at edfclimatecorps.org/hire-fellow or email info@edfclimatecorps.org.

This content is cross posted on Greenbiz.com.