Meeting Retrofit Chicago's Energy Goals: Three Key Constituencies

Feb 12 2014, 12:16pm CST | by

Meeting Retrofit Chicago's Energy Goals: Three Key Constituencies

By Ellen Bell

Following the lead of mayors and governors across the country, last month the President announced energy as a priority for the year. By focusing on energy management, organizations are contributing to the transformation of energy use in the country, saving billions in energy costs and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Retrofit Chicago initiative, aimed at reducing participating buildings energy use in the city by 20 percent within the next five years, is a compelling example of this. For this reason, EDF Climate Corps, an innovative summer fellowship program that places specially trained graduate students in organizations to save energy and related costs, is working to recruit organizations in Chicago this month.

To ramp up energy savings in the area, EDF Climate Corps has already signed on AT&T, McDonald’s Corporation, Shorenstein Properties and Jones Lang LaSalle. Each summer, EDF Climate Corps fellows evaluate organizations for energy savings opportunities with many of them uncovering stakeholder engagement as a key savings opportunity.

After 400 EDF Climate Corps engagements, the program has found that there are three key constituencies to tap into for energy management:

Executive Leadership – EDF’s Virtuous Cycle of Strategic Energy Management framework notes that executive leadership teams have significant influence when it comes to an organization’s energy performance. Ambitious goal setting is one way executive leaders can advance green initiatives. For example, Cummins, Inc., a global power leader that designs, manufactures, distributes and services engines and related technologies, set intensity goals for energy and greenhouse gas emissions. To help reach their 2015 goals, Cummins brought in two EDF Climate Corps fellows in 2012 to develop strategic energy efficiency initiatives for its new and existing facilities. By auditing the company’s forty U.S. facilities, the EDF Climate Corps fellow developed recommendations that could potentially help Cummins reach its 2015 goals, save more than $5 million in annual net-operating costs and eliminate 51,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Employees– When it comes to energy efficiency, employee engagement is an organization’s greatest resource. By empowering employees at all levels with knowledge and responsibility surrounding the organization’s energy use, positive behavior changes can produce sustainable work environments and communities. McDonald’s Corporation, for example, worked with EDF Climate Corps in 2011 to uncover strategies to engage about 700,000 employees at the company’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants. As a result, the fellow produced and distributed an employee education video that has the potential to reduce the average U.S. McDonald’s restaurant energy consumption by up to 10 percent.

Local communities and utilities – Thanks to the leadership of politicians and grassroots organizations, more cities and communities are offering incentives and solutions to decrease energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs and legislation like California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (also called AB 32) are compelling organizations to evaluate the energy performance of their facilities. In Sacramento last summer, an EDF Climate Corps fellow joined Mayor Kevin Johnson to launch the nation’s largest PACE project and worked with the nonprofit Greenwise Joint Venture to identify three strategies to advance the program. Building certifications and even utility companies all offer organizations a way to improve energy performance. In fact, the EDF Climate Corps program has found that demand response management and other energy market opportunities are surfacing from utilities nationwide.

Working with these three distinct groups can drive energy management practices forward at almost any organization. If a majority of buildings in Chicago actively engaged these groups around energy management – the city has the opportunity to exceed Mayor Emanuel’s energy reduction goals.

As the nation works to meet the President’s “Better Building Challenge,” now is the time for leaders to prioritize energy management, and EDF Climate Corps is a hands-on, cost-effective way for companies to reach their goals.

Learn more about the energy assets available through EDF Climate Corps before the 2014 application deadline of February 21, 2014.

What is the next step your organization will take to improve energy performance?

Ellen Bell is the Senior Specialist for the Building Energy Initiative at Environmental Defense Fund.

Source: Forbes Business


Don't miss ...


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Egyptian PM visits Indian plant in Port Said
Cairo, Oct 29 (IANS) Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb promised to resolve all issues faced by Indian investors in the country during a visit to the TCI Sanmar plant in Port Said, the largest Indian investment in Egypt.
OPPO unveils thinnest smartphone and much awaited N3
Singalore, Oct 29 (IANS) Leading global electronic gadgets maker OPPO launched the latest edition of its N series smartphone at a grand event here Wednesday, featuring its unique rotating camera, as also another which it claimed was the world's thinnest yet.
How culture affects physiology
New York, Oct 29 (IANS) People who are born in aggressive environments may pass on traits that make it more likely for future generations to react to certain situations in a violent manner, found a research, underscoring how culture could affect biology.
Russian rocket with space freighter launched
Moscow, Oct 29 (IANS/TASS) Russia launched Soyuz-2.1a rocket with space freighter Progress M-25M from Baikonur space centre Wednesday, Russian space agency Roscosmos told TASS.

Latest from the Network

Chloe Grace Moretz: I'm a geek
Chloe Grace Moretz is a ''geek'' when she's at home. The 17-year-old actress - who can be seen playing a prostitute alongside Denzel Washington in new action thriller film 'The Equalizer' - insists she lives a pretty...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
High powered MRI scans identify language centres in brain
Vienna, Oct 29 (IANS) A study from the Medical University of Vienna found how 7-Tesla ultra high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to clearly show the brain areas responsible for speech processing...
Read more on Business Balla
Timothy Spall sees 'certain parallels' with William Turner
Timothy Spall sees ''certain parallels'' between himself and William Turner. Spall, 57, plays the influential painter in his new film 'Mr. Turner', for which he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, and...
Read more on Movie Balla
Trinidad cricket board condemns Windies players pull out
Port-of-Spain, Oct 29 (IANS/CMC) The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has condemned the recent decision by the West Indies cricketers to abort their tour of India. The condemnation came in the form of a motion...
Read more on Sport Balla
Binge drinking hampers memory in long run
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) High doses of alcohol during adolescence may continue to affect the brain even after drinking stops, leading to structural changes in the brain and memory deficits, says a significant study....
Read more on Celebrity Balla
EU: inspiring innovation through 3D-printed robot
Brussels, Oct 29 (IANS) The European Union (EU) said that it has a 3D-printed robot ready to be introduced in schools to cultivate the creativity of students studying mechanics, computer sciences, electronics and 3D...
Read more on Politics Balla
'Confident West Indies will appear in 2015 World Cup'
Sydney, Oct 29 (IANS/CMC) John Harden, 2015 Cricket World Cup chief executive, has said he is confident that the former champions West Indies will appear at next year's event in Australia and New Zealand. Harden...
Read more on Sport Balla
NASA cargo spacecraft explodes minutes after launch
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) In a shocking incident, an unmanned commercial rocket carrying crucial scientific cargo for the International Space Station (ISS) exploded moments after lift-off Tuesday evening. Orbital...
Read more on Politics Balla
Sleep disturbances linked to higher Alzheimer's risk in men
London, Oct 29 (IANS) Elderly men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than men without self-reported sleep disturbances, says a study. "We demonstrate that men...
Read more on Business Balla
Champ Bailey Retires From the NFL
Former Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey retired from the NFL on Oct. 28.Bailey ends his career as one of the top shutdown cornerbacks in league history, per Ben Swanson of the Broncos' official website:"Longtime...
Read more on Sport Balla