Got back down for the monthly "The Current" event last week at Coalition: Energy, which was featuring a presentation by Environmental Defense Fund representative Ellen K. Bell, who was discussing a program called EDF Climate Corps. This is an interesting outreach that pairs top-tier graduates students with companies looking to improve their sustainability profiles.
The EDF site points out the advantages to both parties. For the students:
Become an EDF Climate Corps fellow this summer and launch your environmental career. Our fellows gain real-world experience working at leading organizations on energy management.
And for the companies:
Our fellows provide immediate, hands-on help for your organization to reap the financial and environmental benefits of sustainability. Backed by EDF’s 45 years of expertise and the powerful EDF Climate Corps network of sustainability professionals, our fellows hit the ground running armed with best practices and sustainability tools - not to mention a fresh perspective and innovative ideas – all of which amplify the financial return and strategic advantage of your corporate sustainability program.
Here's what Ms. Bell had to say when I got a chance to sit down with her:
The numbers are certainly impressive ... they have so far identified 1.4 billion dollars in energy savings program-wide, with an average of around 1 million dollars per participating organization, or the equivalent of the annual energy usage of 260,000 homes ... with an addition of CO2 reductions equivalent to the output of 390,000 cars. The scope of the Climate Corps is still growing ... while having, since 2008, run over 500 "engagements" in over 300 organizations, these appear to so far only have been in five states: Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and California ... so there's a lot of expansion room out there.
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