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Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a nonprofit organization founded in 1967, combines policy, economics, and science to design market-based solutions to environmental problems in climate and energy, toxins and human health, oceans and fisheries, and ecosystems. In 2007, EDF had noted that while energy efficiency was widely understood as valuable, both as a business solution and as a climate solution, adoption rates among large corporations were surprisingly low. As a result, it began exploring potential solutions.
To accelerate corporate adoption of energy-efficient solutions, EDF designed Climate Corps, a program that places top-tier graduate students as Climate Corps fellows inside corporations. Over a 10–12-week summer, Climate Corps fellows design customized energy efficiency proposals for their host organizations with the business case for return on investment. Since the program’s inception, fellows have identified $1.5 billion in potential energy cost savings, and 90 % of host organizations have implemented at least one recommendation from their Climate Corps fellows. Today, the EDF Climate Corps network consists of over 1000 people who work on a broad array of energy and sustainability issues. This successful partnership between EDF and large organizations produces value for the participants, supports EDF’s climate agenda, and has created an effective cadre of engaged climate change professionals from its alumni.
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adidas (2013) Green energy fund: key facts. http://blog.adidas-group.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/adidas-Group-Green-energy-Fund-Fact-sheet.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2016
Environmental Protection Agency (2015) Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas and sinks: 1990-2013. https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/usinventoryreport/US-GHG-Inventory-2015-Main-Text.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2016
Martin C (2015) The greening of adidas. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-05/adidas-saving-money-by-treating-energy-costs-like-vc-investments. Accessed 28 June 2016
McKinsey (2007) Reducing US greenhouse gas emissions: how much at what cost? http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/reducing-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions. Accessed 28 June 2016
RILA (2016) adidas Group—venture capital energy fund. http://www.rila.org/sustainability/RetailEnergyManagementProgram/Documents/adidas%20IM%20-%20greenENERGY%20fund.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2016
U.S. Department of Energy (2012) Commercial building energy alliance. http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/alliances/cbea_annual_report_2012.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2016
- Embedding Environmental Advocates: EDF Climate Corps
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