ErbWire: Energy and Climate

Back to Fall 2010,
Thought in Action at the Erb Institute

Ross experts discuss effects of Gulf oil crisis

Tom Lyon


Christie Nordheilm


In a podcast posted on The Erb Institute web site, Director Thomas Lyon and Ross School Marketing Professor Christie Nordhielm discuss the possible fallout of the April BP PLC explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which created the worst offshore oil disaster in history.  The faculty members talk about the oil disaster’s impact on energy and environmental policy and the perils of marketing environmental stewardship.

MORE:  AudioNews Story

Hoffman: U.S. must act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Andy Hoffman


The Erb Institute Associate Director Andrew Hoffman was a contributing author to the report “Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change,” part of a three-part study on climate change released by the National Research Council in May.

Substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require prompt and sustained efforts to promote technological and behavioral changes, according to Hoffman’s report.  Hoffman recommends the U.S. establish a greenhouse gas emissions “budget” that sets a limit on total domestic emissions over a period of time and provides a clear and measurable goal.  However, the report warns, the longer the nation waits to begin reducing emissions, the harder and more expensive it will be to reach an emissions target.

Another of Hoffman’s publications, Carbon Strategies:  How Leading Companies Are Reducing Their Climate Change Footprint, was released in August in Korean.  The book offers a clear, practical guide to sustainable climate policy for business leaders, corporate change-makers and students.

READ MORE:  National Academies of Science report

EDF Climate Corps interns work to reduce energy usage

Nick Fassler

Nick Fassler

Six students from The Erb Institute were among 51 students who interned at 47 companies this summer as part of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)-sponsored Climate Corps fellows program.  Four Erb students were Climate Corps fellows in 2009.

EDF started the Climate Corps program in 2008 to help large, market-leading companies realize energy, carbon and cost-saving strategies by enlisting the talents of the nation’s top MBA students.  EDF selects, trains and embeds the students in Fortune 1000 companies in diverse sectors.  Students work with management teams to identify areas in operations and the supply chain that can benefit from energy-saving reductions.

Students and the companies where they worked:

  • Graham Brown, Erb ’12, The JBG Companies
  • Daniel Cantor, Erb ’12, Franklin Templeton Investment
  • Yih-Wei Chien, Erb ’12, JCPenney Company
  • Nick Fassler, Erb ’12, HCA Healthcare
  • Brian Hartmann, Erb ’12, Bloomberg L.P.
  • Jamie Mikkelsen, Erb ’11, Target

Students who were EDF Climate Corp interns in 2009 include:

  • Hunt Briggs, Erb ’11, Biltmore Farms
  • Greg Buzzell, Erb ’11, Accenture
  • Sarah Shapiro, Erb ’11, Cisco Systems
  • Ryan Whisnant, Erb ’10, SunGard.  He is now director of sustainability at SunGard, a software and technology services company.


Alumnus and student lead webinar about U.S. forest carbon market standards

Colm Fay

Gabriel Thoumi


Alumnus Gabriel Thoumi, Erb ‘08, and Colm Fay, Erb ’12,disscus how adoption of finance and insurance standards for forest carbon in the United States could change risk management for forest carbon projects in a Webinar hosted by Among the topics they address in the hour-long program titled “Implementing Finance & Insurance Standards for the U.S. Forestry Carbon Market” are insurance products currently available for forest projects and how companies insure projects that are expected to be active for more than 40 years.  Thourni is a project director with Forest Carbon Offsets LLC, which helps landowners document, register and commercialize the carbon sequestration services of their property and supports conservation and sustainable forestry practices.


Huron River Ventures receives $6 million in State of Michigan investment


Ryan Waddington, Erb ’99, and his new venture capital firm Huron River Ventures recently won the State of Michigan Accelerator Fund RFP and will receive $6 million in state funding from the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board.  Huron River Ventures, based in Ann Arbor, focuses on alternative energy and other high-tech sectors in the state.  Huron River Ventures was one of two funds to receive seed money from the state.

READ MORE: Crain’s Detroit

Hoffman’s 1st sabbatical stop:  Yellowstone National Park

Andy's Yellowstone Biodiesel Truck

The Erb Institute Associate Director Andrew Hoffman, who recently was promoted to full professor, begins his 2010-2011 sabbatical this September at Yellowstone National Park.  In addition to continuing to do research and teach on climate and energy issues, Hoffman will use the sabbatical to explore new research directions, including the roles and motivations of managers.  His plans include:

— Working with the National Park Service to reduce Yellowstone’s carbon footprint and exploring opportunities for collaborations between the U-M and the National Park Service.

— Teaching at universities in Switzerland, at Concordia University of Montreal, Canada, where he will work with Erb post-doctoral scholar Judith Walls on a co-authored paper, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management Sustainability Lab, and a K-12 school in New Hampshire’s Green Mountains.

Hoffman has published more than 70 articles and seven books on a range of research topics, including institutional change, organizational culture and corporate strategies as they relate to environmental and social issues.  He returns to Ann Arbor in May.

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One Response to ErbWire: Energy and Climate

  1. […] ENERGY & CLIMATE Andy Hoffman in Yellowstone […]

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