MBA Students Help Fortune 1000 Companies Save Energy, Boost Bottom Line

Sometimes helping the environment can be good for a business’ bottom line. Just ask the companies and the MBA students who have participated in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corp. Initiative.

Recently, the Environmental Leader reported that the Climate Corp. has helped 66 Fortune 1000 companies save $439 million in operational costs and prevent 557,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. New companies joining the program this summer include Facebook, Dunkin’ Brands, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

MBA students who are accepted into the program will be placed at these and other companies to help them locate energy-saving strategies. So far, 84 percent of student recommendations have been initiated or completed by the participating companies. The Environmental Leader wrote about a Duke Fuqua School of Business student who helped AT&T achieve an 80 percent savings in energy use on a lighting project, and a University of Michigan Ross School of Business student whose energy solutions will help the Hospital Corporation of America save 7.8 million annually in electricity costs.

Companies participating in the Climate Corp. Initiative aren’t the only ones focused on environmental efforts these days. A new study conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group found the following, also reported by the Environmental Leader:

69 percent of companies plan to increase their investment in and management of sustainability this year. Just over one-quarter (26 percent) plan no change, and only two percent plan to cut back on their commitment.

Which shows that MBAs participating in projects like Climate Corp. aren’t simply learning how to be energy-savvy. They’re also adding experience to their resumes that will make them more appealing to the growing number of sustainability-minded employers.

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