Whether your company is trying to get off the starting blocks, or taking its energy and climate initiatives to the next level, here are proven strategies for getting beyond the low-hanging fruit to the really big savings that energy efficiency can deliver.
The Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps places specially trained MBA students in companies for a summer to build the business case for energy efficiency. These gung-ho students have found over $1 billion in potential energy savings for their host companies, which are now creating new positions to keep the ball rolling year round.
The Iowa Soybean Association has teamed up with Environmental Defense Fund to develop farming technology. Using a new online Eco-Challenge Series, EDF and the soybean growers hope to solve some real-world environmental problems, while making farming more efficient and more profitable.
In 2008, Walmart set an ambitious goal: making the company's top 200 Chinese factories 20% more energy-efficient by 2012. That's a daunting task in any country, but even more so in China, where some factories don't even have electric meters.
"We are all going to be naked," says my friend Andy Ruben in an intriguing TED talk, "so you might as well get buff." Referring to transparency in the corporate supply chain, this statement is pretty radical coming from a senior executive at Walmart.