Launch a green revolving loan fund for your campus
Green Revolving Loan Funds (GRFs) are self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements on campus, achieving reductions in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while regenerating funds for future projects. Tools such as The Green Revolving Investment Tracking System are available to streamline the tracking and calculation of project-level energy, financial and carbon savings data for all sustainability projects and efficiency improvements.
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge was launched by The Sustainable Endowments Institute in 2011 and is now co-managed by Second Nature (higher education institutions) and the Sustainable Endowments Institute (local and state governments and others). In 2018, there are over 60 institutions participating, more than two-thirds of which were colleges and universities.
This 2014 two minute interview from NPR's Marketplace with then SEI director Mark Orlowski, explains how endowments can invest in GRFs as part of their investment strategy. Done properly, these investments can help campuses avoid substantial costs by upgrading to more efficient technologies and improving design to lower demand for energy. Over the years, these savings can add up to significant returns on the original investments.
The Implementation Guide co-published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute & the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education provide practical guidance for designing, implementing, and managing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college or a university.