C3 Intern Spotlight: Michael Bateman


Our two summer interns, Michael Bateman and Stephanie Watson, recently wrapped up their internships with the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative. We’re grateful to both for the huge contribution they made to the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative’s programs, including the Better Business Challenge and soon-to-launch Home Energy Challenge!
Before they left, we asked them to share some of the highlights, takeaways, and bits of advice from their internship that others, including local businesses and residents, can use to shrink their carbon footprint.
We first shared our chat with Stephanie. Next up is Michael, who was responsible for incubating the details of the upcoming Home Energy Challenge based on C3’s vision. Among his work highlights: He helped populate the Home Energy Challenge website with great resources and content, created a model for the cost and impact of the program itself, and created the Better Business Challenge's Energy Catalyst Toolkit along with previous UVA intern Caroline Denney.
What do you consider to be one of your biggest successes or rewarding experiences over the course of your C3 internship?
Although school is definitely a rewarding experience, it can be frustrating being stuck in the world of theory. Having the opportunity to DO rather than just THINK has been fantastic; specifically, I think of when Caroline Denney and I finally finished version 1.0 of the Catalyst Toolkit. When I saw it printed for the first time, I was excited to have worked on a project that was going to directly help businesses reduce their impact on the environment. I felt a huge sense of validation when the first Challenge participants began requesting various resources contained within the toolkit – real businesses were using the documents, spreadsheets, and information that I had gathered and created!
Based on your C3 experience, what is the biggest takeaway or piece of advice you can offer to others who want to do more to reduce their environmental footprint?
At a gathering of faith leaders from around the community, one man offered this advice: The first thing you do when you want to lose weight is to step on the scale. Likewise, the first thing a person, business, or organization must do when they want to reduce their footprint is to "step onto the scale."
If you don't know how much you're emitting, you won't be able to make progress toward reducing your impact. You need a baseline to measure your progress against. Taking some time to calculate your personal carbon footprint, or your business' carbon footprint, is essential – what gets measured gets done. Once you have this baseline you can establish a goal and action plan for how to achieve it. That’s what great about C3’s energy profile calculator on cvillechallenge.org that we’ll be launching this fall.
What are your plans for the future?
I graduate from my master’s program at UVA in the summer of 2019. I'll hopefully go on an adventure after the end of the program – perhaps the Inca Trail – and then I'd like to move out to Denver.
The C3 team wishes Michael much success in his future endeavors!