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MBAs to Find Savings at Facebook, Dunkin’

Five new companies have joined an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) program that employs MBA students to find efficiency savings.

Facebook, Dunkin’ Brands, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts have all joined the EDF Climate Corps initiative for summer 2011, increasing the program’s roll to over 30 companies.

The program places MBA students as fellows at companies, where the students work to find energy efficiency opportunities.

This year’s applicants include students at Columbia, Duke, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Stanford and Yale.

Since its inception in 2008, EDF Climate Corps has helped 66 Fortune 1,000 companies to save $439 million in operational costs and avoid 557,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year—equivalent to taking 86,000 SUVs off the road, EDF said.

So far companies have initiated or completed 84 percent of the energy savings identified by 2008 and 2009 fellows, EDF said.

Past examples of efficiency savings include:

  • Jen Snook (pictured), an MBA at Duke, found changes to an existing AT&T lighting project that could result in an 80 percent savings in energy use across more than 100 million square feet of space.
  • Michigan MBA Nick Fassler found upgrades that could reduce lighting costs at Hospital Corporation of America by 30 percent. When the changes are rolled out to most of HCA’s hospitals, the company could save $7.8 million in electricity costs and avoid 52,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
  • New York University MBA Jonathan Stone identified ways the Dow Jones printing plant could reduce annual energy costs by nearly $180,000 and avoid over 900 metric tons of GHG emissions.

Last year the number of companies involved in the program more than tripled.

Companies participating in 2011 include:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
CA Technologies
Dow Jones (News Corporation)
Dunkin’ Brands
Gaylord Entertainment
Hospital Corporation of America
Ingersoll Rand
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kettle Cuisine
Procter & Gamble
RBS/Citizens Bank
VivaKi (Publicis Groupe)
Washington Gas
Quality Technology Services (QTS)

The final deadline for companies to apply to join EDF Climate Corps is March 18. For more information see the EDF Climate Corps website.

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