University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

Minneapolis, MN (12-23-08) – Mark Schiller, a senior at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, was one of several students and organizations to receive “Carbon Buster Awards of Excellence” from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. Several other University of Minnesota students, as well as a nonprofit human services organization and a rural telephone cooperative, were also honored.

Klobuchar established the Carbon Buster awards program “to put the spotlight on some of the best efforts by Minnesotans to raise public awareness and show what can be done to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas pollution and combat global warming.” To enter the competition, undergraduate students at Minnesota colleges used pictures, essays or videos to demonstrate how they’re raising awareness, reducing global warming and combating climate change. Awards were given to the top essay and multimedia entries.

Schiller, a marketing and entrepreneurship major, is an energy analyst in the corporate environmental affairs department of Best Buy. In his winning essay, he discussed the actions he has taken at Best Buy, the Carlson School and Mankato State University (MSU) to reduce the carbon footprint of each organization.

He says, “At MSU, I was president of the only environmental student organization on campus and served as head organizer for two conferences that focused on climate change and renewable energy. I also helped gather 1,200 signatures on a petition asking MSU to calculate and reduce its carbon footprint.”

Schiller continued his environmental activism after transferring to the Carlson School of Management in Fall 2007. He recently made a presentation to staff and faculty on how to use an environmental lens to find ways to reduce energy and materials in your job. “A key point was that the school could save over 500 pounds of CO2 and more than $50 in electrical costs per week if the computers in the computer lab were turned off at night. It takes 534 mature trees to absorb 500 pounds of CO2 in one week.”

Schiller and Carlson School Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs Mary Maus Kosir started the Carlson School Green Team which has launched composting, energy-reduction, double-sided printing and Yellow Pages-elimination initiatives. He is working on a website spotlighting these efforts and an Environmental Business Earth Day event.

As an energy analyst at Best Buy’s environmental affairs department, Schiller identifies stores that have high-energy usage, determines contributing factors, and creates solutions. These actions are helping Best Buy meet its EPA goal of an 8% reduction in its carbon footprint per square foot of retail space by 2010.

“I am honored to receive the Carbon Buster Award of Excellence from Mrs. Klobuchar,” says Schiller. “The international business community has a huge opportunity to learn, share and innovate ways to significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The more organizations embrace this opportunity, the less we will need government regulation, and the less of a problem climate change will be for future generations. I believe that sustainability is not a trend; it is the new way of doing business.”