EDF Climate Corps has grown by leaps and bounds since it started with just seven fellows in 2008. But it has blossomed in other ways as well.
Fellows are working on a wider variety of projects than ever before, networks are sprouting among our hosts and alumni, and smart energy management practices are taking root in our host organizations.
This summer, for example, in addition to traditional efficiency projects like lighting retrofits and HVAC upgrades, EDF Climate Corps fellows will work on energy management strategies, information systems, financing mechanisms and employee engagement campaigns.
These new projects, modeled on the Virtuous Cycle of Organizational Energy Efficiency that EDF developed with MIT, go beyond the low-hanging fruit to deliver systemic and lasting reductions in costs and emissions.
EDF Climate Corps is also finding new ways to bring value to participants through our network – which now numbers over 600 current and past fellows and host organizations nationally.
This year, in addition to our online engagement and annual in-person gathering, we are activating local EDF Climate Corps networks in cities where we can leverage existing momentum and resources – such as the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and Retrofit Chicago – to build connections and foster peer learning about energy efficiency and smart energy management.
What’s perhaps most rewarding is to see how EDF Climate Corps is changing the way organizations make decisions about energy. Some are hiring energy managers where the position never existed before. Others are creating new systems to collect and analyze energy data. Still others are introducing new financing mechanisms for energy-saving projects.
For example, adidas Group recently announced a new investment fund for efficiency upgrades that delivered a 36 percent ROI in its first six months.
So as we kick off our sixth year of EDF Climate Corps, we are celebrating the many ways that the program has renewed itself – staying true to its mission to cut costs and emissions, while finding fresh ways to create value for our host organizations and the environment.
This blog originally appeared at the EDF Business blog and is reprinted with permission.