Young fellows changing corporations across America

Three years ago, Environmental Defense Fund (where I’ve worked) launched an innovative program that places recent MBA grads and other young entrepreneurs with companies around that nation that are interested in slashing their energy bills.

This year, nearly 100 of these young, dedicated fellows have helped find over $650 million in energy savings for companies, cities, and universities. Their plans, if implemented, will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 440,000 metric tons annually.

With a little bit of back-of-the-envelope math, it isn’t hard to derive the value of the average Climate Corp Fellow — over $6.5 million. These fellows appear to create far more value for their host companies than the typical summer intern.

Even more impressive, the suggestions that Climate Corp Fellows propose don’t fall on deaf ears:

For us at EDF, the best news of all is our implementation rate: to date, projects accounting for 86 percent of the energy savings identified by 2008-2010 EDF Climate Corps fellows are complete or underway.

We’re entering an era of unprecedented knowledge about how to efficiently use our energy resources, and the companies on the cutting edge of that wave of knowledge are reaping the benefits.