The ERM Foundation in North America recently announced Valerie Moye as a Top 5 finalist in its 3rd annual Sustainability Fellowship award. Valerie is a first year Master of Environmental Management student at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies focusing on sustainable urban and industrial systems.
Valerie received Top 5 recognition for her plan to develop an open source greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory platform for cities. Her project aims to crowdsource data standards and software to make urban GHG monitoring more efficient. An open data standard would make local emissions data available in machine readable formats. This open data would then be interoperable between a variety of websites and apps, encouraging use and innovation by governments, citizens and entrepreneurs. In addition, Valerie also proposed a free web-based software that would manage and analyze GHG emissions data for resource-strapped local governments. This software would be open source, meaning that anyone could access, contribute to, or customize the software code to meet their specific needs. Valerie notes that “climate change is a global issue. We should have a transparent and collaborative process to develop the technical tools that measure our cities’ climate impacts.”
Cities are a strategic leverage point for climate change mitigation. Urban areas contribute 70-80% of greenhouse gases globally. Access to high quality GHG emissions data at the local level would enable smarter policies and adaptive program management. Academics, non-profits, and entrepreneurs could also benefit by having easy access to standardized community-scale GHG emissions data. By decreasing the technical and financial barriers to urban greenhouse gas monitoring, cities can spend less time counting carbon and more time implementing climate action programs.
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. This year the ERM Foundation awarded one $15,000 award to the Sustainability Fellow and $5,000 awards to the Top 5 Finalists. In addition to the monetary stipend, awardees receive mentorship from designated ERM staff and the 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.
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.