October 14, 2011
Universities and colleges across the U.S. are pledging millions of dollars in eco-friendly investments. 32 universities are committing a total of one billion dollars in green revolving funds that will finance energy-efficient upgrades. The Billion Dollar Green Challenge initiative is inspired by the performance of existing green revolving funds which have a median return on investment of 32 percent. The investments are also helping to create jobs in college communities while lowering operating costs on campus.
The green revolving funds finance energy efficient upgrades like lighting and water efficiency retrofits, installing composting equipment and converting tractors to run on bio-fuel. The upgrades all offer a quantifiable monetary saving or return. A portion of the returns from the projects are then reinvested in the fund and used for future green projects.
Harvard, Standford, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University and Stanford University are just some of the schools participating in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. George Washington University is also taking part in the challenge. The school already committed $2 million dollars to its Green Campus Fund last spring which will count toward the challenge. Part of the fund has already been invested on projects like occupancy sensors for lights and boiler replacements.