I looked straight ahead at the roughly 80" wide projected television screen in the News Corporation's New York Polycom Telepresence Suite. As News Corp's Global Energy Initiative was traveling to Australia that week, I would be delivering my final presentation via video-conference in what must have been the most technologically advanced way possible. With South Brunswick, N.J. on the left and Sydney, Australia on the right, it was hard to believe I was in my last week as an EDF Climate Corps fellow.
What an amazing ten-week adventure it was! What seemed like a daunting amount of work in Week 1, turned out to be an enlightening, deep dive into the world of corporate energy strategy. In the end, the projects I identified would serve to reduce the annual energy costs of News Corp's printing plant in the Bronx, decrease the company's carbon footprint and help underscore the company as a leader in its commitment to corporate sustainability.
Over the course of my fellowship, I worked with the lighting and HVAC foremen at the Dow Jones Printing Plant to gauge the building's existing energy infrastructure:
- I identified a $240,000 lighting retrofit that would pay itself back in 2.5 years and prevent approximately 620 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
- Through small tweaks to the plant's thermostat HVAC systems, I identified methods that would result in over $30,000 in annual energy savings and require zero upfront capital investment.
These aforementioned measures, along with smaller projects that revamped the company's printing infrastructure and fleet efficiency, would cost a total of $229,700 and result in annual energy savings of $179,500. Putting this into environmental context, these initiatives could save the company 900,000 kilowatt hours per year in energy consumption and decrease its carbon footprint by 942 metric tons.
While I have always been passionate about environmental sustainability, my summer fellowship with EDF's Climate Corps Program showed me how easy it could be for a company to "go green," especially when tangible financial gains can be realized! I feel privileged to have worked with a company that stands truly dedicated to its environmental responsibility and has such a tremendous opportunity to influence the behaviors of its employees, business partners and, perhaps its largest constituent, its audiences. I am now dedicated to pursuing a career in sustainable technology and using it to help businesses and organizations decrease energy expenses and headline themselves as leading corporate citizens in energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
Jonathan Stone is a 2010 EDF Climate Corps fellow at News Corporation - Dow Jones and a Net Impact member. He is an MBA candidate at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Further coverage of the Climate Corps program is available at GreenBiz.com/edfclimatecorps. This content originally appeared on the Environmental Defense Fund Innovation Exchange Blog and at Vault.com.