The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps Fellows Help Companies Save Millions, Cut Energy Use

Yahoo!, Cisco Systems and other industry leaders identified new opportunities to save $35 million and cut more than 50,000 tons of carbon pollution annually


MBA students from top business schools across the country helped
companies uncover energy efficiencies that could save $35 million in
net operational costs over five years while preventing 57,000 tons of
carbon pollution. These are the results of the Climate Corps program, a
groundbreaking initiative designed by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
that trains business students to identify energy efficient strategies
that will reduce the negative environmental impacts of company
operations while benefitting the bottom line.

EDF selected the 2008 Climate Corps Fellows from the University of
Michigan, Stanford University and Rice University, among others and
placed them in summer fellowships at companies such as Yahoo! Inc.,
Cisco, Intuit, NVIDIA,, Crescent Real Estate and KKR.
With technical support from EDF, Climate Corps fellows spent 12 weeks
identifying and analyzing energy efficiency opportunities and
developing detailed investment and implementation plans.

In only a few weeks, the seven Climate Corps Fellows helped their
host companies find efficiencies in lighting, computer equipment and
heating and cooling systems to:
* Save $35 million in net costs over five years;
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions per year by 57,000 metric tons - equivalent to taking more than 7,000 SUVs off the road and
* Conserve more than 119 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year - enough to power 10,000 homes.

Climate Corps Fellows also helped accelerate their host companies'
sustainability initiatives. "Cisco has committed to reducing our
greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2012. Our labs account for almost 70%
of our carbon footprint, so we must reduce their energy consumption
significantly in order to meet our goal. Our Climate Corps Fellow came
on board so quickly that we got started on our R&D lab initiative
several months sooner than expected," said John Haley, senior manager,
workplace resources, Cisco.

"As a results-driven organization, EDF designed the Climate Corps
program to help corporations realize real cost-savings through
energy-efficiency while developing tangible sustainability
strategies,'" said Millie Chu Baird, project manager for corporate partnerships at EDF.
"Despite widespread discussion about the greening of business, many
companies remain unaware of practical, cost-effective strategies they
can take to capture both environmental and business benefits. Our next
step is to grow the Climate Corps program and develop a set of best
practices we can share with corporations around the country."

Through training and hands-on experience, Climate Corps Fellows
acquire the hard skills they will need to tackle tough energy decisions
they are likely to encounter later in their careers. "Climate Corps
does a great job of educating the next generation of corporate
environmental leaders," said Christina Page, director, climate and
energy strategy, Yahoo!.

For year two of the Climate Corps program, EDF will work with Net
Impact to recruit, train and place MBA-level Fellows in companies and
widely share the first year's results with business communities across
the country. EDF and Net Impact are currently looking for
forward-thinking businesses interested in hosting a 2009 Climate Corps

"We are thrilled to partner with EDF on the Climate Corps program,"
said Liz Maw, executive director, Net Impact. "Our network is full of
talented, focused MBAs seeking to put their skills to use for social,
environmental and economic good. We look forward to seeing economic and
environmental results of this important work."

For more information, visit

Environmental Defense Fund's mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, we find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. We work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet. This has drawn us to areas that span the biosphere: climate, oceans, ecosystems and health. Since these topics are intertwined, our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations -- as well as with business, government and communities -- and avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others.