Margaret Rudolph (MBA 2011) and 50 other interns were selected by the EDF and Net Impact to participate with 47 of America’s most innovative companies in finding energy-saving opportunities that cut carbon-pollution and boost the bottom line.
Rudolph is interning at Cummins Inc. as part of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program.
Rudolph’s project, which involves researching the industrial engine company’s operating procedures and finding ways of conserving energy and saving money.
Climate Corps has delivered impressive results to date. In the first two years of the program, fellows identified improvements in lighting, computer equipment, and heating and cooling systems that can:
- Save $89 million in net operating costs over the project lifetimes;
- Cut the equivalent of 280 million kilowatt hours of energy use per year—enough to power 24,000 homes;
- Avoid over 157,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year—equivalent to taking more than 19,000 SUVs off the road.
Companies report that they are implementing upgrades representing 84 percent of the energy savings recommended by the fellows.
"We’re pairing some of the best young business minds in America with leading companies to find and harvest energy savings," said Gwen Ruta, vice president, corporate partnerships at EDF. "The explosive growth of Climate Corps speaks volumes about its impact. And the results demonstrate the potential scale of energy efficiency opportunities in corporate America today.”
Each summer, EDF Climate Corps fellows spend up to three months identifying and analyzing savings opportunities at companies across the country. They develop detailed investment and implementation plans that help businesses cut costs and reduce emissions. In turn, host companies provide fellows with senior-level support and access to relevant data. This year's host companies include some returning members such as Cisco, eBay, Genzyme, Savvis, SunGard and Yahoo! — as well as first-time participants such as Bloomberg, Carnival Cruise Lines, JCPenney, McDonald's, Staples, Target and Verizon.
"EDF Climate Corps has helped Cisco accelerate millions in annual energy savings from our first two summers in the program," said Andy Smith, Program Manager of Sustainable Development for Cisco. "We look forward to Climate Corps continuing to help us meet our energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals in our third year of participation."