ERM Foundation North America announces inaugural Sustainability Fellowship Award recipient

04 November 2011

The ERM Foundation in North America has announced the recipient of its Inaugural Sustainability Fellowship Award: Jesse Randall - Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Jesse has received the award for his proposal to develop a sustainable business initiative called EnergyBLOC. This initiative proposes the sale of virtual ownership of large, centrally-located renewable energy installations called EnergyBlocs. Each EnergyBloc purchased would reduce the consumer’s electricity bill by 50 kilowatts (kW).

In addition to the award Jesse (pictured left) will receive mentoring from ERM Partner Robert Livermore who is based in the company’s Scottsdale, AZ office, and who is a member of the ERM Foundation Board of Directors. This mentoring will include monthly meetings to check progress and give insight to current market trends; integrating Jesse into ERM through participation on sustainability practice conference calls and/or projects; evaluating the effectiveness of his proposal and try to establish contacts and introductions to invigorate his business concept; and assisting in the review of his project and provide editing for publishing its outcome.

David Murtha, President of the ERM Foundation-North America Board of Directors, said: “In awarding the inaugural sustainability fellowship, The ERM Foundation-North America moves a step closer in achieving its goal of making a real difference around the world.  This fellowship program is in part, another way that the North American Foundation is supporting ERM colleagues’ across North America and their wish to give something back.”

Jesse, an MBA candidate at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, said: “Winning in a specialized competition like this speaks volumes as to the validation of the concept. Often, with an idea as specialized as EnergyBLOC, it can be difficult to communicate the big picture to the world at large. However, when you get the idea validated by a group as specialized in the world of environmental matters as much as the blue-ribbon selection panel for the ERM Foundation Fellowship program, you know you’re on the right track.”

ERM Foundation Sustainability Fellowship
The Sustainability Fellowship was created to support entrepreneurial graduate students who want to implement their visions for a more sustainable world.  The Program was launched in February 2011 for the 2011-2012 Academic Year and is supported by a special fund previously established by former senior partners at ERM to support new and innovative programs for the ERM Foundation in North America.  In addition to a monetary stipend of US$15,000 for the selected Sustainability Fellow, the top five Fellowship finalists were given an opportunity to interview for a compensated internship position at one of ERM’s global offices. 

Applicant proposals underwent blind reviews by an internal panel from the ERM sustainability team, and then the top 10 proposals underwent a more in-depth blind review by an external panel of industry and academic experts in the field of sustainability.  Plans are already underway to begin the 2012 Sustainability Fellowship competition, and the Sustainability Fellowship application will be posted on shortly, with the deadline for receipt of the 2012 Phase I application in December 2011.

About the ERM Foundation in North America

The ERM Foundation-North America, created in 1994, is a unique and valuable partnership between the North American Foundation and ERM employees that provides financial and human resource support to community and grass roots environmental efforts around the world. Each year, employees throughout North America raise, distribute, and monitor funding to projects in our local communities and around the globe. Supported by contributions from current and former ERM employees, together with in-kind contributions and financial support from ERM, the North American Foundation has awarded more than US$1.9 million to not-for-profit organizations around the globe.


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