Join EDF, Walmart and Guardian Sustainable Business for a Live Chat about the Sustainability Index

Walmart is by far the world’s largest retailer. Its annual revenues exceed those of Kroger, Target, Costco, Home Depot and Walgreens combined. It is also the world’s largest customer, doing business with over 100,000 suppliers from across the globe.

That’s why Environmental Defense Fund has spent seven years on the ground with Walmart, driving sustainability initiatives from within.  The company’s unique place in the global supply chain could raise the bar for environmental performance across the board, providing EDF with a powerful lever for achieving global environmental results.

With the introduction of Walmart’s supplier Sustainability Index, environmental outcomes truly worthy of Walmart’s scale seem achievable for the first time: Major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Improved efficiency across supply chains and sectors. Improvements in water quality and human health. The list goes on.

Please join EDF Managing Director Elizabeth Sturcken for a discussion on the Sustainability Index. We’ll explore new initiatives, successes to date and areas where EDF hopes to see improvement. Details below.

Live chat

Join the chat here at noon ET on Wednesday, October 30.

The direct link is: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/walmart-supply-chain-sustainability-index.

Submit your questions in the comments or on Twitter @GuardianSustBiz.

Panelists

Jeff Rice, director of sustainability at Walmart

Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director of the Environmental Defense Fund

Marc Gunther, editor-at-large for Guardian Sustainable Business

“Heck Yes”– Millennials Respond to the President’s Call

The environmental community is abuzz with reactions to President Obama’s wide-ranging Climate Action PlanHis speech introducing the plan Tuesday sparked immediate conversations about the Keystone XL Pipeline, the coal industry, the transportation sector and half a dozen other hot button environmental issues.

For me, his speech hit home in the first minute. Addressing the crowd at Georgetown University, he said he wanted to speak directly to my generation “because the decisions we make now and in the years ahead will have a profound impact on the world that all of you inherit.”

Confident, connected and open to change (says Pew), we Millennials are 95 million strong. We elected and then re-elected Obama looking for precisely this type of bold action on issues we feel passionately about.

“Someday our children and our children’s children will look us in the eye and ask did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safer, more sustainable world. I want to be able to say yes we did. Don’t you want that?” he asked.

My answer to the President is, heck yes, and my peers are with me.

As we speak, 116 of the nation’s brightest and best Millennials are proving their willingness to do this through participation in EDF Climate Corps. EDF Climate Corps fellows hail from the nation’s top graduate schools and could spend their summer internships working wherever they want. But year-after-year, many of the nation’s most capable MBA and MPP students choose to roll up their sleeves to tackle the energy challenge for some of America’s most influential public and private sector organizations.

Since 2008, EDF Climate Corps has hand-selected, trained and embedded 400 energy efficiency superstars in hundreds of corporations and public sector organizations around the U.S. These young people have found $1.2 billion in energy savings at participating organizations like Google, GM, PepsiCo and Verizon, and they’re graduating with job offers for positions like Director of Sustainability and Energy Manager.

The President reminded us that we can choose to fear the future, but Americans have always taken the path to shape the future. That’s just what EDF Climate Corps is doing – building the next generation of business leaders with the skills we need to shift our nation toward a cleaner, more prosperous future.

He was smart to call us to action. We Millennials are outspoken and online. He knows that. He told us to tell our classmates, our colleagues, our parents and our friends what’s at stake – to remind them “there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.” That’s what EDF Climate Corps fellows are doing every day in these organizations, in their schools and right here on the EDF Climate Corps Blog.

How do you plan to answer the President’s call to help spread the word?

EDF Heads to Atlanta for TSC’s Spring Member Summit

This week, Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Retail Team travels from Bentonville, AR to Atlanta to attend and speak at the The Sustainability Consortium’s (TSC) second Member Summit.

EDF is an NGO member of TSC, an independent organization of diverse global participants who collaborate to improve consumer product sustainability through all stages of a product’s life cycle. TSC has over one hundred member organizations representing over $1.5 trillion in revenue. Other members include Walmart, Coca-Cola, Disney, L’Oréal, NRDC and WWF. Scientific American Magazine named TSC one of the “Top 10 World Changing Ideas of 2012.”

Because of EDF’s in-depth work with Walmart (we even have an office in Bentonville, AR), our Retail Team’s expertise spans across the multitude of categories TSC tackles, from apparel to food to packaging and many things in between. We’re excited to share our knowledge, while continuing to learn from our fellow TSC members in Atlanta.

If you’ll be there, keep an eye out for our Retail Team: Elizabeth Sturcken, Michelle Harvey, Jenny Ahlen and Alisha Staggs. We will be actively involved throughout the event and speaking at the sessions below.

An Introduction to Membership in The Sustainability Consortium

Tuesday, May 14 1pm – 2:45pm

Conference Room 7

Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director at EDF, will speak at this session for invited, non-member organizations wishing to gain a better understanding of The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and what it means to be a member. After a brief history and overview, member organization panelists will share their perspective on the value of TSC and the return on their investment, their time commitment to TSC and how their organizations are using its work. This is an opportunity for guests considering membership to have candid conversations with current members and to understand how TSC can provide value.

On-Farm Improvement Opportunity Workshop Series

Tuesday, May 14 1pm – 2:45pm

Conference Room A

Jenny Ahlen and Alisha Staggs, project managers at EDF, will help lead this workshop, which will review the existing information in the knowledge products related to fertilizer use on-farm and build on the list of improvement opportunities for addressing impacts related to fertilizer use. It will also provide information about how to communicate across the supply chain in a way that facilitates progress in addressing impacts related to fertilizer use on farm.

Agriculture Supply Chain Committee

Wednesday, May 15 8:30am-12:00pm

Conference Room 7

Jenny Ahlen and Alisha Staggs, project managers at EDF, will present at this session, working to increase the relevance and application of the Sustainability Measurement and Reporting System for product categories that have commodity market supply chains. The approach will be to identify the points of connection (where product category materials and information transfer from one stakeholder to another) across commodity market supply chains and for each point of connection. This workshop will identify one commodity product on which to initially focus and further define the scope, objectives and goals for the committee.

EDF Climate Corps: Reflections on 2012, Looking Ahead to 2013

2012 was a banner year for EDF Climate Corps. We celebrated five years of energy efficiency success and over $1.2 billion in identified energy savings. Below are a few reflections on 2012 and a couple opportunities on the horizon for 2013.

Looking Back on 2012

The Third Annual EDF Climate Corps Network Event

We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to everyone that attended our third annual Network Event and helped make it a smashing success. Extra thanks go out to our sponsors at AT&T and DirecTV.

Despite travel challenges related to Hurricane Sandy, more than 100 people attended the event at MIT November 1-2, including 2012 Climate Corps fellows, alumni from previous years, and representatives from host organizations across sectors. The theme of the event was the Virtuous Cycle of Organizational Energy Efficiency – the subject of our academic paper by the same name. Facilitated by Peter Senge and Jason Jay from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the two-day workshop used storytelling and small group conversations to highlight energy management practices that deliver systemic and lasting reductions in costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Perhaps the most exciting takeaway from the event was the peer connections made and the conversations sparked. Attendees stuck around for quite some time after the event ended, following up on conversations and exchanging business cards – the true sign of an engaged Network!

We’re Proud of our Alumni

The impact of EDF Climate Corps continues as our fellows continue to be champions of energy efficiency throughout their careers. Our annual alumni survey, completed this fall, showed that former fellows are going on to leadership positions in business and civil society, leveraging their Climate Corps experience to transform energy use in the organizations where they now work.  See a blog post about the survey results here.

Reflections from our Hosts

Check out our new video, featuring testimonials from a variety of EDF Climate Corps host organizations. We’re flattered by what they had to say!

Looking Ahead

Join us for our GreenBiz Webcast January 22

Joel Makower will moderate an energy efficiency-focused webcast, featuring EDF Vice President Gwen Ruta and Climate Corps success stories from adidas and Ingersoll Rand. We hope you can join us. Register here.

Get your applications in for 2013

EDF wants to work with your organization to take its energy management system to the next level in 2013. Sign up for an EDF Climate Corps fellow by this Friday, January 11 to be featured in our January press release. The final application deadline is February 28. Please help spread the word. Interested organizations can apply here.

Fighting the Same Fight: EDF Climate Corps Crosses Paths with C40, BBC, Others

By Katie Ware and Andrew Willens

Heat waves. Droughts. A disappointing climate summit. This summer’s headlines have been less than encouraging for the fight against global warming.

Nonetheless, the EDF Climate Corps team sees reason for optimism. Rio+20 did not produce the binding international climate commitments many had hoped for, but it did demonstrate “big power shifts around the world.”

In a recent New York Times article, John M. Brohner touted “the growing capacity of grass-roots organizations and corporations to mold effective environmental action without the blessing of governments.” That’s exactly what we’re working on through EDF Climate Corps. This summer we placed 98 specially trained graduate students in companies, cities and universities across the nation to build the business case for energy efficiency.

“With federal climate policy at a standstill, the need to cut carbon emissions through energy efficiency has never been greater,” said Jim Marston, Vice President of EDF’s Energy Program. “Energy efficiency is doable right now, it’s cost-effective, and it’s too big a part of the climate solution to be ignored.”

About 1 in 5 organizations participating in EDF Climate Corps this summer are already committed to other climate change initiatives such as C40 and the Better Buildings Challenge. Here are some of the “grass roots” movements we’re crossing paths with this summer.

Corporate Eco-Forum

Corporate Eco-Forum (CEF) actually announced its newest sustainability initiatives at Rio+20. This invitation-only membership organization asks large companies to demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability as a business strategy and meets regularly to exchange best practices. Its members represent 18 industries and have combined revenues exceeding $3 trillion. Our 2012 fellows working with CEF member organizations include:

C40

C40 is a global collection of 58 megacities – Hong Kong, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg, to name a few – representing 18 percent of international gross domestic product and one in twelve people worldwide. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg currently serves as chairman of C40, which merged with the Clinton Climate Initiative in April 2011. Our 2012 fellows at C40 cities include:

DOE Better Buildings Challenge

The Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that supports energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings. It provides members with technical assistance for energy efficiency projects, as well as a forum to troubleshoot efficiency problems with other members. BBC is a strategy of the Better Buildings Initiative. Our 2012 fellows working with BBC include:


Regional Initiatives
A number of our fellows are also involved with sustainability organizations specific to a particular city:

Interested in saving energy and money for your organization? Join an EDF Climate Corps webinar to find out how.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will be hosting two webinars about EDF Climate Corps, EDF’s innovative summer fellowship program that places specially-trained MBA students from top-ranking business schools in leading companies to build the business case for energy efficiency. The webinars will feature company representatives who have hosted EDF Climate Corps fellows from adidas Group, Genzyme Corporation, Ingersoll Rand and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).

EDF Climate Corps is currently accepting applications for company participants in 2012. We invite you to join us on one of these webinars to learn about the energy savings unearthed by EDF Climate Corps fellows to date, hear first-hand from companies who have participated and determine how your company could benefit from the extra set of skilled hands and fresh perspectives of an EDF Climate Corps fellow. Details for the two webinars are as follows:

  • January 12 (2pm EST to 3pm EST): Victoria Mills, Managing Director of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program, will moderate the webinar. Featured speakers include Elizabeth Turnbull, Senior Manager for Environmental Affairs at adidas Group and Jeff Holmes, Principal Engineer at Genzyme Corporation. Log-in details:
    • To see the presentation: Go to www.readytalk.com and type in 4061804 under “Access Code”
    • To enable audio: Call (866) 740-1260 and type in 4061804 when prompted to enter an access code
  • February 3 (1pm EST to 2pm EST): Victoria Mills, Managing Director of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program, will moderate the webinar. Featured speakers include Scott Tew from Ingersoll Rand’s Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability and Brian Weldy, VP of Engineering and Facilities Management at HCA.
    • To see the presentation: Go to www.readytalk.com and type in 4061804 under “Access Code”
    • To enable audio: Call (866) 740-1260 and type in 4061804 when prompted to enter an access code

We hope you can join us. Contact Jocelyn Climent (jcliment@edf.org) for more information on the above webinars or Scott Wood (swood@edf.org) to learn more about hiring an EDF Climate Corps fellow this year.

EDF Climate Corps places specially-trained MBA and MPA students in companies, cities and universities to develop practical, actionable energy efficiency plans. Sign up to receive emails about EDF Climate Corps, including regular blog posts by our fellows. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates about this project.

Caught on Film: Watch how AT&T, QTS and New York City Housing Authority Saved Energy

It sounds so simple:  saving energy saves money.  McKinsey & Company estimates that the U.S. could reduce its annual energy consumption 23 percent through efficiency measures, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by over a gigaton and saving both companies and consumers over a trillion dollars.

So why do we as a nation still waste so much energy?  And how do we stop? The fact is organizations face many barriers to implementing energy-saving projects, which have nothing to do with technology and everything to do with the way people make decisions.

One of the most common challenges is the lack of information.  So in the holiday spirit of sharing, we worked with three of our EDF Climate Corps hosts to tell the story of how they are capturing their piece of that trillion-dollar opportunity.

AT&T, QTS and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) welcomed EDF’s cameras into their facilities and spoke openly about the energy efficiency projects they’ve got in the works. Together, we compiled a series of videos spotlighting successful projects in lighting, cooling, heating and data centers.

Here’s a quick rundown of featured projects along with a link to each video:

  • AT&T worked with EDF Climate Corps to uncover potential savings of up to 50 percent associated with cooling costs at 250 of AT&T’s facilities by using a technique called “economizer mode” – a process in which cool external air replaces the need for mechanically chilled air during cool months.
  • AT&T also worked with EDF Climate Corps to find ways to cut its lighting energy use by 80 percent. A project that is now being rolled out across its 250 largest central offices.
  • Data center provider QTS worked with EDF Climate Corps to optimize efficiency in its LEED Gold datacenter and reduce annual costs by $4 million. The company plans to invest $10 million to implement these projects.
  • New York City Housing Authority worked with EDF Climate Corps to analyze the energy savings potential of installing Wireless Energy Modules across its portfolio. The EDF Climate Corps fellows found that the project would lead to more consistent, comfortable temperatures for residents, save $56 million in NYCHA’s annual costs and avoid 177,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.

AT&T, QTS and NYCHA have all helped get the word out about how they’re maximizing energy opportunities. AT&T recently shared insights on potential savings at 250 facilities; QTS announced a plan to invest $10 million in energy efficiency projects at the world’s second largest data center; and New York City Housing Authority announced its mission to spur public housing authorities and private landlords around the nation to make smart energy investments.

You can help share these lessons too. Send a video along to a company, city, or university you know, to help them cut costs and carbon emissions in a big way.  Or tell them about EDF Climate Corps, which has uncovered a billion dollars in energy savings for participating organizations in its first four years.  We’re recruiting now for 2012 — visit edfclimatecorps.org to learn more.

EDF Climate Corps places specially-trained MBA and MPA students in companies, cities and universities to develop practical, actionable energy efficiency plans. Sign up to receive emails about EDF Climate Corps, including regular blog posts by our fellows. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates about this project.

Different Backgrounds, One Goal: 2011 Climate Corps fellows sent out to find energy

Last Thursday in Cambridge, Mass., Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) unleashed its largest ever class of EDF Climate Corps fellows into the wilds of Corporate America to seek out energy efficiency solutions for 49 of the country’s leading corporations. In light of the incredible opportunities for savings unearthed by past Climate Corps fellows, they’ve got big shoes to fill. In the past three years, Climate Corps fellows have identified opportunities for companies to save $439 million in net operational costs and avoid more the 557,000 metric tons of GHG emissions annually. To date, participating companies report that projects representing 86 percent of the energy savings identified by Climate Corps fellows are complete or underway.

But this new class of Climate Corps fellows knows that expectations go beyond identifying opportunities for companies to save on energy. EDF charged the 2011 class to create practical, actionable plans for companies to implement identified projects and break down organizational barriers to allow for long-term systemic change.  With such a hefty task at hand and only 10 weeks to accomplish their goals, the 2011 Climate Corps fellows dove right in to last week’s intensive EDF Climate Corps training held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management. By the end of the training, the fellows were eager to arrive at their respective companies to identify energy efficiency opportunities, calculate the financial and environmental benefits, overcome barriers and inspire organizational change.

While it was exciting to see these data-crunching business students scrutinizing costs, risks, incentives and theories, it was during the networking events where we learned more about their unique stories and impressive backgrounds:

  • Jaxon Love (University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business) is working at Shorenstein Properties in San Francisco this summer. Jaxon worked as an energy efficiency associate for Pacific Gas & Electric before business school and spent two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan where he worked for an economic consultancy. Jaxon’s experience in Jordan honed his desire to advance renewable and efficient energy technologies in emerging markets.
  • Shujing Man (George Washington University School of Business) moved to the United States to pursue an MBA after spending four years at Singapore Airlines, where she worked as a senior business analyst. Shujing is working at Microsoft near Seattle this summer.

  • Sarah Meyers (MIT Sloan School of Management) is working at CA Technologies near Boston this summer. A high school math teacher for 10 years, Sarah enrolled in business school upon realizing she could leverage her mathematical and people skills to act as a catalyst for change in the private sector.
  • Christopher Reynolds (Columbia Business School) is a LEED AP architect and aspires to integrate the economic, environmental and social investments in the built environment. Christopher is spending this summer working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York City.
  • Matt Schmitt (Yale School of Management) completed his undergrad degree at West Point and spent five years as an officer in military logistics. Matt looks to translate his leadership experience and problem-solving skills into the private sector to create change. He is working at RBS/Citizens Bank near New York City this summer.

These five stories offer a small window into the variety, passion, and expertise of the 2011 Climate Corps fellows. These students will be the organizational change agents and future business leaders at the heart of the energy efficiency movement that EDF Climate Corps is creating. We look forward to seeing what they will accomplish this summer in moving America toward more aggressive energy efficiency. See below for a full list of the business schools represented in this year’s class of Climate Corps fellows, and stay tuned to our blog for updates from each of them about their energy findings within their companies over the coming months.

Babson College – Olin School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business, Case Western Reserve University – Weatherhead School of Management, College of William & Mary – Mason School of Business, Columbia University – Graduate School of Business, Cornell University – Johnson Graduate School of Management, Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business, Duke University – Fuqua School of Business, George Washington University – GW School of Business, Harvard University – Business School, HEC Paris, IE Business School, Johns Hopkins University – Carey Business School, MIT – Sloan School of Management, Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, Pennsylvania State University – Smeal College of Business, Presidio Graduate School, Stanford – Graduate School of Business, Tufts University – The Fletcher School, UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California, Santa Barbara – Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Michigan – Erb Institute, University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management, University of Notre Dame, University of Oregon, University of San Diego, University of Virginia – Darden School of Business Administration, Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management, Washington University – Olin Business School, Yale University – Yale School of Management

EDF Climate Corps matches trained students from leading business schools with companies to develop practical, actionable energy efficiency plans. Sign up to receive emails about EDF Climate Corps, including regular blog posts by our fellows. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates about this project.

Obama’s Better Building Initiative Sounds Really Familiar

During a visit to Penn State University yesterday, President Obama unveiled aggressive plans to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings through his new Better Building Initiative. Piggybacking on his recent State of the Union, this is the President’s plan to “win the future by making American businesses more energy efficient.” The initiative has three overriding goals:

  • Achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020
  • Reduce companies’ and business owners’ energy bills by about $40 billion per year
  • Save energy by reforming outdated incentives and challenging the private sector to act

As we at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)  know all too well, last year commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all energy in the U.S. economy. It is this enormous opportunity that led us to develop the EDF Climate Corps program in 2008. We realized that companies knew what they ought to be doing to address energy use in commercial buildings, but many lacked the resources to quantify and curtail the financial and environmental impacts. Our program created a much needed bridge for this resource gap, matching trained students from leading business schools with companies to develop practical and actionable energy efficiency plans.

Not only do Climate Corps fellows create plans for projects through examining lighting, HVAC and computer power management, but they help companies strategize ways to finance upfront costs. While energy efficiency projects can yield huge long-term cost savings, the initial investments are sometimes the biggest hurdle to implementation. So we are eager to learn more about the tax incentives entailed in the Better Building Initiative as well as the DOE pilot program which will guarantee loans at hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings.

Strikingly in line with the goals of Climate Corps, the President’s plan aims to “train the next generation of commercial building technology workers” through providing more workforce training in areas such as energy audits and building operations. In addition to helping companies identify ways to reduce energy usage, we’ve spent the last three years training tomorrow’s business leaders to incorporate energy efficiency as a standard management practice.

Our Climate Corps fellows, especially those from Penn State, are all abuzz about the announcement as well.

“As an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Verizon, I know firsthand that energy efficiency represents the largest, cheapest and cleanest energy source for our energy-hungry economy,” said Ryan Mallett, Penn State MBA and 2010 Climate Corps fellow at Verizon.  “Everyone at Penn State was thrilled to have President Obama on campus today to hear that energy efficiency is a key piece of moving the country forward. EDF Climate Corps aims to make energy efficiency a reality at leading corporations, and it’s amazing to hear the President recognizing the importance of our work as a national priority.”

When we hear the White House is rolling out an initiative that in many ways mirrors the core aspects of our very own EDF Climate Corps program, we can’t help but pat ourselves on the back and say, “Great minds think alike.”

See which companies have already decided to contribute to these goals by signing up for EDF Climate Corps 2011.

Sign up to receive emails about EDF Climate Corps, including regular blog posts by our fellows. You can also visit our Facebook page to get regular updates about this project.

EDF’s Energy Efficiency Elves Give You the 12 Tips of Energy Efficiency

“They know when you are sleeping. They know when you’re awake. They know if your lights are on or off, so switch ‘em off for heaven’s sake!”

Utilities don’t take time off from monitoring your energy usage during the holidays. You know to switch off your decorative lights and turn down your heater to lower energy costs at home during this time of year. But don’t forget the area where energy reduction efforts can have the greatest impact – your business.

In the spirit of the holiday season, EDF’s Climate Corps team wanted to share our top 12 energy tips to help your business be an energy efficient one all year long. (We didn’t have time to set this to a tune, but feel free to hum along).

1. Consult Employees. Employees are often aware of energy opportunities in their immediate work areas. Tap into your existing workforce to seek out areas where your company can improve. For example, Cummins provides a 12-week-long energy training course for its employees before sending them out on all-day treasure hunts to search for  energy savings in its offices.

2. Mine your organization for expertise. While no one person is likely to be an expert in every area of energy management, you can learn a lot by seeking out knowledge from your facilities managers, engineers and LEED Accredited Professionals. Our Climate Corps fellow at PepsiCo found internal expertise to be his most important resource during his time there.

3. Install PC power management software. According to a survey of large offices by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, more than 50% of desktop PCs are left on overnight. Installing PC power management software is an easy way to ensure this equipment isn’t drawing energy when not in use. See what our Climate Corps fellow recommended for PCs at eBay.

4. Evaluate the occupancy of lit spaces. Lights are all too often left on in unoccupied areas, costing your company unnecessary energy fees. Our Climate Corps fellow at AT&T found lights in certain spaces to be on roughly half the time, while the spaces were occupied less than ten percent of the time. She recommended occupancy sensors that would lead to an 80% savings in electricity use.

5. Set your thermostat back. The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a study stating “by turning your thermostat back 10 – 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save about 5% – 15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as one percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.” See what our Climate Corps fellow at News Corp. did  at a Dow Jones printing plant.

6. Install solar window films. Such films can reject up to 60% of solar heat coming through windows in summer and help retain it in the winter, which keeps your HVAC system from working overtime. See what our Climate Corps fellow at Alcatel-Lucent suggested for keeping the heat out.

7. Appoint an energy officer. Our Climate Corps fellows at The JBG Companies say “if you don’t have an energy officer, you’re company is probably wasting energy…and money.” Energy officers allow your company to stay current on energy technologies, communicate across the firm, incorporate energy efficiency into the planning process and implement projects.

8. Analyze information with the right tools. The DOE provides a number of tools to help companies implement and evaluate energy projects. Our Climate Corp fellow at Verizon analyzed data center energy management issues using the DOE’s DC Pro tool to identify potential savings of 4.4 million kWh per year.

9. Question whether your building is operating as designed. Only 5% of existing buildings have been commissioned. Our Climate Corps fellow at Xerox recommended retrocommisioning, which typically saves a company about 5-15% in energy costs.

10. Expand successful initiatives across your portfolio. While translating energy projects across SunGard’s portfolio of data centers, our Climate Corps fellow at SunGard recommended laying the groundwork one data center at a time. Although  the experience of one business unit does not necessarily translate directly to another business unit, companies can reap significant savings by sharing best practices and success stories across sites.

11. Translate that stack of electric bills into meaningful data. Look for kWh usage and kW demand figures on your electric bills. Carefully review your local utility’s rate plan and separate usage and demand, paying attention to areas of particular interest – service charges, meter reading, etc. Our Climate Corps fellow at Sunrise Preschools dissected the company’s energy bill and discovered savings almost instantly.

12. Hire a Climate Corps fellow. One of the simplest, quickest ways to find energy saving opportunities for your company is to hire a Climate Corps fellow. Just last summer, our fellows found a whopping $350 million in energy savings at 47 companies. Plus, they can help with numbers 1-11 above. We are currently accepting company applications for 2011. Apply now!

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season – complete with oodles of energy savings!

–    The EDF Climate Corps Team