Environmental Defense Fund

At a Glance



Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




New York, NY

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

645 metric tons


Minyoung Shin helped EDF navigated the LEED certification process for its NY office retrofit project. In addition to providing energy management and financing strategies, she helped identify priority issues, goals and metrics, and create an action plan.


Environmental Defense Fund, looking to “walk the talk” on sustainability, embarked on a major retrofit of its New York City-based headquarters. Wanting to visualize the project’s impact, EDF turned to its nearly decade old program, EDF Climate Corps. Fellow Minyoung Shin was brought in to quantify the energy savings of the retrofit and identify key performance indicators for a sustainability manager. She too was asked for help with achieving “Gold” LEED Certification, a level up from the latest LEED Scorecard and Evaluation Report, which indicated that EDF was only at Silver.


To establish a baseline, Minyoung analyzed both energy efficiency features of the retrofit project as well as past energy use data. After assessing EDF’s sustainability management strategy, she recommended using an energy management tool for systemizing the organizational process and introduced the idea of using a Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) system. Helping to narrow down the options, she identified the costs and benefits of each and suggested ways to optimize energy use in future projects through smart financing models.

After analyzing the LEED-CI requirements, identifying additional credit areas and confirming with the LEED consultant that EDF had the potential to reach Gold, Minyoung coordinated a LEED meeting with the retrofit project team, documented the results and drafted a comprehensive action plan for the next steps in securing Gold standard. In her final days, she established measurable sustainability goals and crafted an action plan in alignment with the responsibilities and KPIs of a sustainability manager. 

Potential Impact

Minyoung’s analyses and recommendations helped EDF determine the next steps in the process of securing LEED Gold for the new headquarters. The energy management and efficiency recommendations is expected to save EDF up to 15% of energy use in the first year following the retrofit, and 5% thereafter. In addition, the New York Office will be carbon neutral for two years, saving a total of 146 CO2eq through the LEED Green Power Purchase Agreement. 

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