Internship Location: Milwaukee

Organization Type: Private Sector

Policy Area: Environmental

This summer, I spent ten weeks as the Energy Analyst Intern at Kohl’s Retail in their corporate offices. The Energy Team works in the Store Operations and Experience Department to reduce the company’s carbon emissions and is led by Jordan Ivans. My task this summer was creating strategy, design, and policy recommendations for how the company can become net-zero carbon and energy by 2050. This means how can the company eliminate all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Kohl’s has publicly declared their commitment towards reaching this goal and my work involved how to transition existing stores and new stores towards using less energy. There are projects already set in place for adding solar and changing light fixtures to LEDs, so my main research was on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. I recommended that they invest in Variable Refrigerant Flow technology while also considering smaller measures such as triple-glazing their store windows, adding battery storage to their solar systems, incorporating daylight harvesting to store entrances, and using recyclable materials during the construction phase of new stores. Not only did I research, but I also created a handbook that determines ideal existing stores to add solar to. This internship involved collaboration with many other teams such as the engineering, risk and compliance, planning and design, and real estate team. They helped me understand their methods so I could research technologies that would best suit Kohl’s current values and operations for future implementation.