Environmental Defense Fund Launches Innovation Exchange

Environmental Defense Fund Launches Innovation Exchange

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched its new Innovation Exchange website with the purpose of encouraging and making it easy for companies to share best practices related to energy, water, climate and a host of other issues.

The site contains recommendations, case studies, research, tools and other resources on a number of topics organized by environmental aspect or industry. Before being compiled on the Innovation Exchange site, some of the information was buried within EDF reports or found on other organizations' sites. Much of the content was pulled from EDF's 20 years of working with Fortune 500 companies like Wal-Mart, FedEx and McDonald's.

Innovation Exchange also hosts a small, but soon-to-grow, community section. Though right now it has a poll and "question of the week," over the course of the next year EDF will be adding more virtual and real content in the form of blogs, webinars, events and more. "We're going to see how it evolves," said Gwen Ruta, EDF's vice president of corporate partnership. "To a certain extent it will evolve in response to the users."

Based on EDF's history, she expects the site will only make collaboration easier. "We have seen over and over companies really eager to share information," Ruta said. "That may be coming form the fact that in a lot of cases to make these things work, you've got to share." For example, when EDF was working with FedEx to develop a commercially-viable hybrid delivery truck, they knew that FedEx alone could not support the market for hybrid delivery trucks. EDF and FedEx worked with other companies to get them and their suppliers on board, and now there are 80 or so fleets using hybrid delivery trucks, Ruta said.