STORES - October 2010 - (Page 60)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SUSTAINABILITY Targeting Energy Efficiency Environmental Defense Fund internships help retailers develop energy savings plans BY FIONA SOLTES W hile making site visits to Target distribution centers in recent months, Jamie Mikkelsen was struck by the “vastness” of it all: Not just the size of the physical space, but also the great opportunities for energy efficiencies — and by extension, cost savings. From left: Maria Harris (EDF project manager), Emily Reyna (EDF project manager and former Fellow at Cisco) and John Hailey (senior manager, Work Place Resources Group for Sustainable Development) in the Data Center at Cisco. It’s not that Target was doing anything wrong; it was more that the company was doing so much right with sustainability initiatives that Mikkelsen wanted to come on board. The Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program allowed her to do just that. A student at the University of Michigan working on both an MBA and a Masters degree in science, Mikkelsen spent her summer as one of more than 50 Climate Corps Fellows. Her purpose? To be another “champion” of energy efficiency at Target, bringing external eyes and ears to analyze energy saving opportunities and develop custom energy efficiency investment plans. “It was a great experience,” Mikkelsen says. “I wanted to see how a large corporation tackles environmental sustainability issues.... And retail is a great space for sustainability. There are so many products out there that can be dealt with and improved upon, and ways that can be interfaced with the customer. 60 STORES / OCTOBER 2010 There’s also a real opportunity for eduwith the EDF. They approached us, and cation and really learning what conwe felt like it would be a really good fit.” sumer needs are.” Emily Reyna, a 2008 Fellow who is The program, which began in the sumnow a project manager with the promer of 2008 with seven Fellows, has regram, says EDF looks for numerous cricently added retailers interia in fellowship candicluding adidas, J.C. Penney dates: “Big company” or “Retail is a and Staples. This was the consulting experience; great place for first year of Target’s inenough financial training sustainability. volvement, and spokesto be able to make the busiThere are so woman Erin Madsen says ness case for the energy efmany products the company would “defificiency process; a “proacout there that can nitely consider” participattive, entrepreneurial or be dealt with and ing again. self-starter attitude”; and a improved upon.” “The health and sustainpassion for or past experi– Jamie Mikkelsen, Climate Corps ability of the communities ence in sustainability. in which Target does busi“Companies — and peoness has been incredibly important to us ple in general — pay attention when you since we opened our first store in 1962,” can make a financial business case for Madsen says, “and this fellowship was sustainability,” Reyna says. “If I was a natural extension of that commitment. going to go into a company that didn’t The partnership came about through redo anything in terms of sustainability, I lationships we had already established would say energy efficiency was the place to start. It means easy wins and can show real savings over time.” Integrating efficiency In Target’s case, Mikkelsen was part of an environmental sustainability group already established at the company and was able to grow relationships in other sectors, as well. WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - October 2010

STORES - October 2010
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Customer Experience
Game Changer
Power Players
NRFtech Recap
Concept 2 Watch
Customized Shopping
Consumer Behavior
Software & Analytics
Crowd Control
Payment Fraud
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES - October 2010