The Faces of EDF Climate Corps: Part 7

EDF Climate Corps fellow | March 29, 2013

“Knocking down a brick wall by yourself with your bare fists is next to impossible. But organize a team equipped with sledgehammers and a plan, and it gets a whole lot easier,” said Gwen Ruta in a Fast Company Op-Ed explaining the concept behind EDF Climate Corps.    

This blog post is the seventh 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.    

Name: Clare Cloudt Clare Cloudt

Host Organization: University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)

School: University of Texas at San Antonio

Opportunity:  The University of Texas at San Antonio wanted to identify energy saving opportunities.

Barrier: UTSA wanted projects that could align the university’s academic and operational goals while providing an educational resource to students and employees.

Solutions Identified: Cloudt performed an energy audit of the University Center and also found potential savings from installing sensors in all campus buildings, measuring real-time plug, lighting and HVAC loads. Cloudt also identified policy changes to prioritize campus sustainability, such as converting the university’s student Green Fund to a green revolving fund and establishing accountability metrics.

Potential Savings: As an aggregate, Cloudt’s suggested projects could reduce UTSA’s electricity consumption by 4% and avoid 9,065 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Quote: “Through lighting retrofits and modification to HVAC schedules, the University Center facilities could save enough energy annually to power 25 homes for a year.”  


Name: Andrew Rector Andrew Rector

Host Organization: City of Atlanta

School: Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Opportunity: The City of Atlanta wanted to investigate energy saving opportunities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – the world’s busiest airport, serving approximately 92.4 million passengers a year.

Barrier: A number of the airport’s energy systems needed to be assessed to establish an energy-use baseline and identify opportunities for investment in energy efficiency technology.

Solutions Identified: Rector developed an inventory of the current lighting on the airport’s concourses, and determined how much electricity the lights consume. The baselines Rector calculated document the amount of money, electricity and carbon dioxide emissions that could be saved by switching from fluorescent and metal halide lights to more-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Potential Savings: Annually, the LED project could save the Atlanta Airport hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility costs.

Quote: “The next time your flights connect in Atlanta, take a break from daydreams of sweet tea and fantastic weather and take a look at the buildings around you. You’ll see that you’re in a city that has transformed itself into an energy efficiency pioneer.”  


Name: Anya Priester Anya Priester

Host Organization: Coinstar

School: MIT Sloan School of Management

Opportunity:  Coinstar wanted to identify the strengths that already lie within its fast-moving company and communicate how these competencies can be harnessed as cost savings at tens of thousands of DVD, coin exchange and coffee kiosks across the country.

Barrier: A small footprint retailer, Coinstar has always had a socially and environmentally responsible business model. Their best practices, however, are not always scaled across the entire company.

Solutions Identified: Priester worked with representatives of the logistics, operations, senior management and routing teams to identify the following opportunities:

  • Routing – Standardize the use of navigation tools to empower sharing of best routing practices
  • Performance Metrics – Ensure that performance metrics align employee incentives to meet company goals
  • Warehouses Operations  – Use the warehouse in Kent, Wash., as a model for energy efficiency investments
  • Corporate Shared Value – Develop a process to evaluate how the business model serves social and/or environmental good

Quote: “You may not know it, but Coinstar has got it going on. Between delivering movies to 38,500 Redbox DVD rental kiosks, picking up coins from 20,200 more Coinstar machines, launching new Rubi coffee kiosks and in the future streaming movies in partnership with Verizon, Coinstar is in a lot of places at once.”    


About EDF Climate Corps 

EDF Climate Corps ( taps the talents of tomorrow’s leaders to save energy, money and the environment by placing specially-trained EDF fellows in companies, cities and universities as dedicated energy problem solvers. Working with hundreds of leading organizations, EDF Climate Corps has found an average of $1 million in energy savings for each participant. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at   

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter at