Seventy-eight companies — including retailers Target and REI — cities and universities identified $650 million in potential energy savings with the help of MBA students through the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps fellowships.
The students worked to uncover assorted lighting, computer and heating and air conditioning system efficiencies that would yield energy savings and lower operating cost.
Neal Tsay, an EDF Climate Corps fellow and MBA candidate from UCLA, worked with Target to develop a plan to achieve its commitment to earn Energy Star ratings for 75 percent of its U.S. buildings by 2015. Additionally, Tsay sought to improve energy efficiency in Target stores by proposing initiatives that could eliminate 50,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year and generate several million dollars in annual energy savings.
In addition to reducing net operating costs, the projects identified by the fellows would cut 600 million kilowatt hours of electricity use and 27 million therms of natural gas annually, avoiding 440,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually – equivalent to the annual emissions of 87,000 passenger vehicles.
“In this economy, everyone is looking for ways to save, and energy efficiency is a huge, and largely untapped, opportunity,” said Victoria Mills, managing director of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships program. “EDF Climate Corps has shown once again the magnitude of cost savings and carbon pollution reductions available to organizations that know how to look for them.”
EDF created Climate Corps to cut carbon pollution by overcoming the barriers that prevent organizations from investing in energy efficiency. In its fourth year, EDF Climate Corps has grown from seven fellows in 2008 to 96 in 2011. To date, projects accounting for 86 percent of the energy savings identified by 2008-2010 fellows are complete or underway.
Other participating companies included REI, Adidas, AT&T, Avon, Belk, Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook and Microsoft.
- Investigating Energy Savings at Data Centers (citizenshipblog.fedex.designcdt.com)