NEBHE is a partner on a new report titled Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management, which provides practical guidance for designing, implementing and growing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college, university or other nonprofit institution.
The newly expanded guide establishes best practices from interviews with presidents, facility managers, sustainability directors, and chief financial officers. The guide includes sections on designing the various components of a GRF, a 10-step roadmap for designing and implementing the fund, more solutions to common obstacles and has added sections on technical guidance for assessing projects and tracking the fund.
A GRF is an internal investment vehicle that provides financing to parties within an organization for implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainability projects that generate cost-savings. These savings are used to replenish the fund for the next round of green investments. The guide is a co-publication of the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and was developed with the consulting firm ICF International.
The guide is part of a suite of resources associated with SEI’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which catalyzes the creation of GRFs. It responds to the need for assistance in developing and managing these funds which have a quickly growing presence in higher education, with a 60% increase in the number of GRFs in operation between 2010 and 2012. In total, colleges have committed more than $111 million in capital to their own GRFs, which have financed more than 900 energy-efficiency and resource-reduction projects on campuses across the country.
The Guide to Implementation & Management comes as the GRF model is expanding to new sectors including healthcare institutions, K-12 schools and municipalities. The model has potential to continue expanding into private companies, government and beyond. The guide joins a host of other tools which provide support for smart implementation that takes advantage of emerging best practices, allowing GRFs to continue capturing financial and environmental benefits, engage and educate campus communities, and build the business case for sustainability.