MBA Students Join Forces With Leading Companies to Cut Energy Use and Operational Costs

June 2, 2009

Innovative “Climate Corps” summer intern program nearly quadruples in size and potential impact in just one year

SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Twenty-six business students will spend their summer break working with companies across the country to cut energy use, save money and enhance operational efficiency.

Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) innovative 10-week Climate Corps program trains MBA students in energy-efficient strategies and embeds them with leading corporations to analyze the most effective ways to consume less energy. Saving energy means less carbon dioxide pollution, the leading cause of global warming.

Climate Corps “fellows” will spend their summer working at companies including Accenture, Cisco Systems, Dell, EMC Corporation, HP, Intuit Inc., National Instruments, salesforce.com and Sodexo, among many others. The MBA students selected this year come from top-tier schools such as Cornell University, Rice University, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University and Yale University. (A full list of 2009 Climate Corps companies and schools is available at edf.org/climatecorps.)

In 2008, Climate Corps fellows analyzed efficiencies in lighting, computer equipment and heating/cooling systems that could help host companies save $35 million in net operational costs over five years. Visit edf.org/climatecorps for the full results of last year’s internships.

“Climate Corps fellows will help companies look at their day-to-day operations with a green lens, finding cost-effective ways to reduce their energy use,” said Millie Chu Baird, EDF Climate Corps project manager. “Our host companies recognize that saving energy means saving money. The fellows bring a knowledgeable set of hands to turn opportunity into reality.”

To prepare the fellows for their summer positions, EDF recently held a three-day training in San Francisco where experts instructed the 2009 fellows in everything from energy units and conversions to lighting technology to leasing structures and implications.

“Cisco has a high level of commitment to reducing the impact of its operations and products on the environment. Much of our success in this area is due to the valuable contributions and commitment of our employees. With a Climate Corps fellow, our second in as many years, we are looking forward to further enhancing our green program effort,” said John Hailey from Cisco Systems. “Every step we take towards further eliminating inefficient energy practices is a step in the right direction.”

To identify and select fellows for the program this year, EDF partnered with Net Impact, a preeminent network of MBA students and corporate leaders using the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Currently in its second year, the EDF Climate Corps program has almost quadrupled in size, from seven interns working with seven companies in 2008 to 26 interns working with 23 companies this summer.

“The rapid growth of the Climate Corps program is a powerful testament to the value these fellows provide to their host companies,” said Liz Maw, executive director, Net Impact. “At the same time, these interns gain superb experience in business operations, finance and environmental strategy that will help them develop into the next generation of business leaders.”

Climate Corps fellows will begin their internships within the next two weeks and will remain on site with their host companies through mid-to-late August. This year’s Climate Corps fellows will be sharing experiences and insights from their internships throughout the summer through the EDF Innovations Exchange blog and also through Twitter. For more information on the program overall, visit edf.org/climatecorps.

Companies participating in the 2009 Climate Corps program include: Accenture, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Ahold USA, Biltmore Farms, Cisco Systems, Dell, eBay Inc., EMC Corporation, Genzyme, Grubb Properties, Houston Rockets/Toyota Center, HP, Inuit Inc., National Instruments, North Carolina Central University, Raytheon Company, salesforce.com, Savvis, Shorenstein Realty Services L.P., Sodexo, Sony Pictures Entertainment, SunGard and TXU Energy.

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. Environmental Defense Fund has a 20-year track record of success in partnering with business. To maintain its independence and credibility, EDF accepts no money from corporate partners; generous individuals and foundations fund its work. For more information, visit www.EDF.org.

Net Impact is a global organization of students and professionals using business to improve the world. Net Impact offers a portfolio of programs and initiatives to educate, equip and inspire more than 10,000 members to make a tangible difference through business. Spanning six continents, Net Impact’s membership is one of the most influential networks of students and professionals in existence today and includes current and emerging leaders in corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development and environmental sustainability. The Net Impact network includes over 200 chapters in cities throughout the world and a central office in San Francisco. For more information, please visit netimpact.org.

All trademarks, including company names, are the property of their respective owners.

    CONTACT: Melanie Janin
    Environmental Defense Fund,

    or Krista Van Tassel
    Net Impact,
    415-495-4230 x303

SOURCE Environmental Defense Fund

Source: newswire

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