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MS Students Implement Energy Management Initiatives as EDF Climate Corps Fellows

MS in Sustainability Management student
EDF Climate Corps Fellow and current MS in Sustainability Management student Mona Benisi posing with the logo of her host organization, Syniverse Technologies.

14 M.S. in Sustainability Management (MSSM) students were selected to be a part of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps Fellowship program this summer. Through this 10-week fellowship, over 100 graduate students from around the country are placed within leading organizations including companies, cities, and universities to serve as organizational change agents for energy management. Since its inception in 2008, Climate Corps fellows have found $1.2 billion in total net operational costs and opportunities to cut $1.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

“Despite projections of more than $1.2 trillion in energy savings available to the U.S. economy, many organizations are still missing the opportunity to grow their profits through effective energy management,” stated Victoria Mills, Managing Director of the EDF Climate Corps. “EDF Climate Corps is designed to seize the financial and environmental rewards of energy efficiency, while putting in place the energy management practices that deliver systemic and lasting reductions in costs and emissions.”

The EDF created the Climate Corps to help organizations overcome the barriers that might prevent them from investing in energy efficiency. Given that buildings consume 70% of the electricity in the U.S. and emit more than a third of greenhouse gases, energy efficiency is an opportunity to cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions. MS in Sustainability Management students, using the skills gained from their coursework, worked on energy management projects for organizations such as the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Colgate-Palmolive, Caesars Entertainment, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Many of the students attributed their success in the EDF Climate Corp Program to the course Analysis for Energy Efficiency taught by Luke Falk.  “The course was instrumental in helping us get into the EDF Climate Corps program. Prof. Falk’s dedication and knowledge helped us feel prepared to hit the ground running in our organizations this summer,” said Julia Moshkin, who worked with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

MS in Sustainability Management student Madhura Karnik worked with Volvo Construction Equipment this past summer as an EDF Climate Corps Fellow.

“For me, the main reason I selected this fellowship was because I wanted an opportunity with a specific project and a tangible deliverable to present at the end of my 10 weeks,” said Mona Benisi, current MSSM student who spent her summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow. “EDF Climate Corps is a well-thought-out program with training provided, specific work plans, check-in calls and goals for achieving results and making an actual impact in a short time. I also was attracted by the EDF Climate Corps Network possibilities and being able to come into contact with different students and professionals from across the country – from whom I will be able to learn more than just the insights I gained in my fellowship.”

You can read more about some of the MSSM students’ projects with the Climate Corps in this recent post featured on the EDF Climate Corps Blog.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. The program requires the successful completion of 36 credit points. Those credit points are divided among five comprehensive content areas: integrative sustainability management, economics and quantitative analysis, the physical dimensions of sustainability, the public policy environment of sustainability management, and general and financial management. Visit our website to learn more.           


Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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