The EDF Climate Corps Fellowship Complements Sustainable Management Education at PGS

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By Q&A

Published 8.19.13

At Presidio Graduate School, sustainability is ingrained in the curriculum. As a result, students Carley and Scott chose to participate in EDF Climate Corps and augment their studies with professional experience. Read below to learn why and how they have become change agents for energy efficiency at Genzyme and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. 

Carley Klekas

Name: Carley Klekas

Hometown: Park City, UT

School: Presidio Graduate School

Host Organization: Genzyme

 

Q: What are you working on this summer?

A: I am working on an energy management system (EnMS) for Genzyme. I’m creating a practice to help each business unit manage their energy in a standardized and strategic way across the organization. This will empower each Genzyme business unit to manage energy and hold them accountable for corporate carbon and energy reduction goals. The intent is to bring the energy program at Genzyme to a policy level which will foster employee engagement, mitigate the cost of unnecessary emissions and educate sites on the fundamental elements of continual energy improvement. 

Q: What is the most difficult part about tackling this project?

A: One challenge will be getting the EnMS prioritized throughout the organization. Genzyme places high value on its environmental programs. However, it may be a challenge to coordinate all sites to adopt this new program due to a variety of factors such as budget allocation, availability of resources, lack of employee engagement and site specific barriers to energy efficiency.

Q: Have you found ways to overcome this?

A: After I’m finished creating the EnMS, it will be used to get senior executive buy-in and support. With their top down prioritization, hopefully we will be able to allocate responsibility out to the different facilities.

Q: What is one thing you have learned this summer?

A: In the past, I’ve learned about sustainability and energy efficiency in classes. At Presidio, sustainability management is ingrained in the program. However, it’s very different to be at a company and experience the things you learn about in school. It’s a different way of learning that is incredibly valuable. Getting to know first-hand the reality and the challenges that businesses face is a unique opportunity.

Q: What is the best part of working at Genzyme?

A: My supervisor, Steve and I are very much on the same page as far as being passionate about the environment and energy efficiency. It’s nice to work with people that have the same drivers and passions as you. It creates a unique common ground that is extremely important to making progress a reality.

Q: What is the mark you want to leave on the world?

A: I want to help make sustainability a priority for the business world. I want to bring excitement and develop engagement with others to demonstrate the importance of environmental and social good. I am passionate about increasing sustainable behavior and making environmental concerns a decision factor for corporations. I can see the immense positive impact for companies, for employees and for the planet.

Scott BrightName: Scott Bright

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

School: Presidio Graduate School

Host Organization: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

 

Q: Why did you join EDF Climate Corps?

A: I’m studying sustainable business and am very passionate about sustainability, the environment and business in general. Also, growing up in a beautiful place like Hawaii allowed me to recognize the threats businesses and industries can pose on the environment. Finally, I have several classmates that had participated in EDF Climate Corps in the past and spoke very highly of their experiences.

Q: What is one project you’re working on?

A: I’m working with the properties department to help present the business case for LED light solutions to be used in retrofitting and renovating office spaces.

Q: What has been the most difficult part about tackling that project?

A: Aligning various interest groups and stakeholders, engineers, interior designers, project managers and electricians. Being a mediator between these groups was originally challenging. It was hard to know what the underlying goals were at first because of all the different input of various groups.

Q: What is one thing you’ve learned this summer?

A: Aside from learning a ton about lighting solutions, I’ve also gained a lot of confidence as a project manager. I feel very well-positioned at my host organization as it allows me to leverage my strengths of communicating with a lot of different interest groups. I’ve discovered I really enjoy working within this type of consulting role.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

A: My supervisor is very upfront and said, you have ten weeks, and you need to have an end in mind. Figure out how you’re going to accomplish that by setting your goals and working backwards.

Q: What is the mark you want to leave on the world?

A: I recognize that I’m value driven and not fundamentally motivated by financial gain. I read a quote somewhere that said, “The mark of a new billionaire isn’t defined by someone who can make a billion dollars, but rather, by someone who can positively affect the lives of a billion people.” I plan on continuing to work on projects and with companies that are focused on positivity influencing the lives of others.

To read more interviews with tomorrow’s leaders in sustainability, check out the EDF Climate Corps Blog

About EDF Climate Corps

EDF Climate Corps (edfclimatecorps.org) taps the talents of tomorrow’s leaders to save energy, money and the environment by placing specially-trained EDF fellows in companies, cities and universities as dedicated energy problem solvers. Working with hundreds of leading organizations, EDF Climate Corps has found an average of $1 million in energy savings for each participant. For more information, visit edfclimatecorps.org. Read our blog at edfclimatecorps.org/blog. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/edfbiz and on Facebook at facebook.com/EDFClimateCorps.

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