Why Ingersoll Rand’s Collaboration with EDF Climate Corps Works

By Scott Tew, Executive Director,  Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand

As we plan for our fourth summer of hosting Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps fellows, I’m reviewing the great strides we’ve made based on the work of the six EDF fellows Ingersoll Rand has hosted to date.

Through Ingersoll Rand’s involvement with the EDF Climate Corps program, our teams have gained new insight, developed comprehensive evaluation tools and identified areas to achieve significant energy efficiency.

For example, in the last three summers, they have identified the following opportunities:

  • Annual savings of more than $1.75M
  • More than 12 million kWh of avoided energy use
  • More than 10 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions

Like many companies, Ingersoll Rand must manage the challenges of a tough business climate, alongside the desire to have a long-term orientation around sustainability.  The EDF Climate Corps program offers tremendous value because it enables us to advance sustainability more rapidly, than just approaching it alone. This is a result of:

1)      the business skills and concentration training of the fellows related to energy efficiency;

2)      the proven methodologies they apply to our projects;

3)      a national networked approach they bring to each project; and

4)      their ability to specifically address our situations and goals.

The fellows can apply their insight to energy efficiency -related areas in areas that complement our day-to-day internal auditing capabilities. As a result, we now have more precise energy analytics tools that our internal teams use to pinpoint and improve specific areas of operations and fleet optimization. We can better measure the financial impact (dollars saved) of implementing certain measures, and plan out projects/upgrades/changes accordingly.

For each of the last three summers, two fellows worked at Ingersoll Rand to enhance our energy efficiency opportunities and capabilities.

Energy Audits:  Each EDF fellow (working with our internal teams) conducted energy audits of various Ingersoll Rand facilities and identified areas where energy could be saved, the amount of capital investment needed to implement changes, annual cost savings, annual CO2 reductions, and overall energy saved per square foot.  Typically, the potential savings are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per site.

Building the Business Case: Other projects have centered on building the business case for investments in energy efficiency, creating standardized models, assessment tools and measurement criteria, and benchmarking our internal audit practices and capabilities against external tools and standards such as the emerging DOE (Department of Energy) commercial building auditing system.

Building on Each Other’s Work: Our EDF fellows often build upon a project handled by their predecessor the previous summer. This level of continuity and focus is one of the most appealing aspects of the program.

So, as we plan the projects for 2013, I eagerly anticipate hosting and working with future EDF Climate Corps fellows, and I know the results will be as insightful and valuable as they have been in previous years.