EDF

The unifying theme of our work with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has been to use the value chain framework to study environmental issues; specifically to identify technologies that can minimize environmental impacts in diverse industries while also creating opportunities to generate U.S. employment. As part of this analysis, we seek to understand the roles of all the players in the value chain and to find leverage points where companies can be leaders in implementing environmental best practices.

CGGC’s relationship with EDF started with a series of four reports under EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program (2008-2009). These reports analyze the structure and dynamics of four industries with the objective of identifying lead firms in each chain that could serve as leverage points for adopting environmental best practices. Two more reports within the Corporate Partnership Program on “China Hotspots” (2010) analyzed the diffusion of two clean technologies in the United States (high-efficiency motors and industrial powder coatings), to identify the actors and factors needed to facilitate their adoption in China.

In the Manufacturing Climate Solutions (2008-2009) series, value chain analysis is used to shed light on U.S. “green job” opportunities linked to carbon-reducing technologies in 12 industries. Each of the 12 reports look at the linkages between low-carbon technologies and U.S. job creation, including labor and skill requirements. The initial report (Chapters 1-5) was released in November 2008 and looked at five technologies. In 2009, an additional 7 reports were produced (Chapters 6-12) on technologies ranging from electric heat pump water heaters to public transit buses.

In the Gulf Coast Restoration (2011-2012) report series, CGGC produced three reports on behalf of EDF that analyzed the value chain of firms capable of restoring coastal wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta, an area under threat from human-induced damage and natural disasters. The reports address the question, “"If restoration were to occur on the scale needed, what kinds of jobs would be created, and where?”

In 2010-2011, CGGC produced four reports and two firm case studies for EDF. The four reports were on lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, the shrimp fishery industry in Sinaloa, Mexico, the U.S. smart grid, and opportunities to enhance industrial energy efficiency. CGGC’s most recent project with EDF (2015) focused on identifying actors and opportunities for the solar energy value chain in North Carolina.

The Solar Economy: Widespread Benefits for North Carolina

imageThe report describes a solar “value chain” of investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns, the report states. The economic impact of N.C.’s solar industry extends beyond its solar facilities, though.
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Geosynthetics: Coastal Management Applications in the Gulf

imageCoastal management projects to restore the Gulf Coast nearly all use geosynthetics-polymer-based materials that can improve structure performance, reduce project time and cost, and lessen environmental impact. This study analyzes 84 firms linked to geosynthetics and coastal management, providing jobs in the five Gulf Coast states and 31 others.
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Restoring Gulf Oyster Reefs: Opportunities for Innovation

imageSeveral natural and man-made stressors are destroying Gulf Coast oyster reefs, jeopardizing a resource that protects the shore, filters water, and increases marine fisheries production. Restoring oyster reefs will maintain these valuable ecosystem services, and support a network of 132 innovative small and medium sized businesses across 22 states.
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Restoring the Gulf Coast: New Markets for Established Firms

imageNatural and human activities have damaged the Gulf Coast, threatening a valuable ecosystem vital to several billion-dollar industries such as seafood and tourism. Restoring the Gulf Coast can protect these assets while creating much-needed U.S. jobs, by engaging at least 140 firms across nearly 400 locations.
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U.S. Smart Grid: Finding New Ways to Cut Carbon and Create Jobs

imageTurning the electric power system into an "energy internet" can reduce CO2 emissions, stimulate technology innovation, expand the use of renewable energy, and create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
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The Multiple Pathways to Industrial Energy Efficiency: A Systems and Value Chain Approach

imageIn most companies, significant opportunities exist to improve energy efficiency, and many of them pay for themselves. However, organizational and financial barriers often prevent companies from capturing these savings. Closing this “efficiency gap” can have a big payoff for companies and society as a whole. To understand these barriers and identify strategies to overcome them, the report examines why and how product manufacturers adopt energy-efficiency improvements in their internal operations and supply chains. This report was sponsored by EDF's Energy Program.
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Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles: The U.S. Value Chain

imageIn the global race to provide advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, the United States is off to a fast start. We found 119 sites spread out across 27 states, all playing key roles across the value chain.
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Case Study: A123 Systems - Local Markets and Competitiveness, A Value Chain Analysis

imageAfter years of manufacturing in China, advanced battery maker A123 Systems is also aggressively adding jobs in the United States, responding to federal incentives and a promising U.S. market for electric vehicle batteries.
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Case Study: Cree, Inc. Local Markets and Global Competitiveness: A Value Chain Analysis

imageCree is adding jobs in the United States, but also in China--where the main attraction is not low-cost labor, but rather a large market for LED lighting products.
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A Value Chain Analysis of Wild-Caught Shrimp in Sinaloa, Mexico

imageThis report illustrates the value chain of wild-caught shrimp landed in Sinaloa, Mexico and the environmental implications of fishing practices in the region. It highlights opportunities to link U.S. market interest for this product with development of environmentally sustainable fishing practices in the Gulf of California.
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U.S. Adoption of High-Efficiency Motors and Drives: Lessons Learned

imageMotor systems used by manufacturing industries play a large role in national energy profiles. In the United States, industrial motor systems account for about 17% of total electricity use. U.S. adoption of more efficient motors and motor systems could save an estimated 62-104 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, at a cost savings of $3-5 billion. This research was sponsored by the Corporate Partnerships Program of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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The Development and Diffusion of Powder Coatings in the United States and Europe

Powder coatings eliminate VOCs released during industrial coating processes and offer additional environmental and economic benefits over petroleum-based coatings. The report traces the history of powder coatings in the United States and Europe, identifies the powder coating value chain structure, the ability of key players to affect the industry, and some challenges of the Chinese powder coating market. This research was sponsored by the Corporate Partnerships Program of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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A Value Chain Analysis of the U.S. Beef & Dairy Industries

imageLivestock farms are a major source of greenhouse gases. Certain practices in feeding and manure management can reduce these and other environmental impacts, but how do you encourage 967,440 U.S. farms, ranches and feedlots to adopt these best practices? We find that the strongest leverage for effecting such change lies in the downstream players in the value chain.
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A Value Chain Analysis of the U.S. Pork Industry

imageOver-use of antibiotics in hog production poses the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, seriously threatening human health. Reducing antibiotic use, however, poses challenges to hog farmers. By analyzing the value chain, we can better understand the industry’s dynamics, preparing the way for further work to find ways of protecting public health that also make good business sense.
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A Value Chain Analysis of Selected California Crops

imageCalifornia is the most diversified agricultural economy in the world, generating more agricultural value than many countries. In the value chains for two selected crops—grain corn and processed tomatoes—we identify the players positioned to encourage environmental best practices.
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