Businesses need all kinds of resources in order to thrive and one of their best ones are the interns that they recruit. Although traditionally, interns are often seen as not much more than “college students who will work for free in order to get class credit”, a fellowship program that the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is proving that they are far more powerful and relevant than that.
Indeed, you can open up just about any newspaper in the country and read about the developments that are transpiring when it comes to energy efficiency. That’s because as society is becoming more and more aware of how vitally important it is to be eco-friendly, intentional steps are being taken, in every “category of life”, in order to make the world that we live in a healthier and more naturally-productive place.
This is where the EDF comes in. In 2008, they created a program that is called the Climate Corps. Its focus is to train 100 graduate students each year about the fundamentals regarding energy efficiency so that they will be well-equipped to go into Corporate America and share the knowledge that they have with the places where they intern.
So far, thanks to the efforts of Climate Corps, companies like Google, Facebook and Verizon (collectively) have been able to uncover close to a billion dollars in savings that are directly contributed to making wiser decisions as it relates to energy efficiency. A big part of that is due to the fact that the summer internships that the students are given are not just centered around creating an energy strategy, but also setting long-term corporate goals, developing innovative funding opportunities and brainstorming on alternative energy sources that can be realistically implemented in a relatively short amount of time.
Already there are reports to confirm that Climate Corps is making its mark in a really significant way. According to the EDF, there is an 80 implementation rate when it comes to the programs that are recommended to the participating companies. Plus, being that the businesses involved are required to cover the interns’ salaries (traditionally, fellowships do have money involved) and travel expenses, as the EDF is showing them how to save their resources, they are not losing any of their own in the process. Yes, it would appear to be a win/win all the way around.
It would appear that Climate Corps is well worth the investment. Interns at Adidas have helped the company to build cases that reveal what energy resources methods help to benefit the company and which ones put it at risk. And, the interns at Ingersoll Rand have been able to professionalize their energy program by helping the company to identify four major barriers that it had, including a measurement scheme that had proven to have poor verification methods.
These are just a few examples that prove the fact that Climate Corps, undoubtedly, is a part of the World Transformation Movement. Oh, and that interns can be more than people who get coffee and do filing. They literally can be world changers.