Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction - Internship in Business Planning

Position Posted April 1, 2009

Internship in Business Planning 

Summary: As part of Duke University’s ongoing leadership in sustainability and as a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, Duke has been developing a campus Climate Action Plan with draft greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies. A key area being examined is carbon offsets and particularly how Duke can catalyze local or regional offsets that have many co-benefits for the surrounding community. While the university intends to be as aggressive as possible with on-campus carbon reduction, the Campus Sustainability Committee accepts the reality that offsets will be a part of Duke’s overall climate neutrality plan. 

In examining the potential to eliminate – or offset – carbon emissions completely on its campus, Duke has determined that no entity exists in the Carolinas that is capable of coordinating the purchase and sale of offsets, much less generate offsets that abide by the high standards to which the campus would adhere.  Therefore, the Sustainability Office is examining the potential ways Duke could establish a high quality offset aggregator in the Carolinas that could serve as a trustworthy developer and broker of offsets to fill this void. As a part of this program, the Duke Sustainability Office invites applications for a 3-month business planning internship position. The Associate will be overseen by the Carbon Offsets Initiative Program Director and will work directly with the Duke University Sustainability Committee on developing a business plan that outlines a business model for the offset aggregating initiative. 

The business plan will provide the framework for how carbon offsets will be developed and financed, will set a timetable for the initiative in general and specifically project implementation and growth, and will devise the best methods for capitalization, contracts between the carbon offsets initiative, carbon offset generators, technology providers, and final purchasers, and will develop a structure for partnerships, ownership, and profit sharing for the new initiative, with a five-year growth plan. 

The business plan is expected to include (1) a description of the business and legal structure of the initiative, including program area structure (e.g., program areas could include offsets for methane capture, forestry, and energy), staffing needs, and partner network; (2) products and services offered by the aggregator, such as educational services to other institutions; (3) identification of the customer base; (4) potential revenue streams for the business (e.g., a revolving fund structure and/or membership fees or shares for start-up costs; potential foundation and governmental support); and (5) payment structures for participating offset providers.  
The business plan will require extensive market research and consultations with business experts in the voluntary carbon offset market and experts on greenhouse gas emission legislation and state programs.  The draft produced by the graduate intern will be reviewed and finally approved by the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative Program Director, the Executive Vice President of Duke University, the Duke University Sustainability Program Director, and the Duke University Sustainability Committee.  

Requirements: Master’s degree or working towards a Master’s degree in business, environmental management, environmental policy or similar program.  Preferred degrees include MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business or MEM from the Nicholas School Masters of Environmental Management program.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required. 

Experience: Experience in developing a business plan is ideal. 

Start Date: ASAP. This is a three month position with possibility for extension.  
To apply, attach a cover letter, resume, contact information for two faculty references and 1-2 professional references, and a writing sample, attn: Heather Hosterman at with “Business Associate” in the subject line. 

Duke University/Health System is an Equal Opportunity Affirimative Action Employer

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