Arizona State University has established a Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund (SIRF) for the purpose of investing in projects that foster and enable sustainability efforts and provide an economic return on investment. Along with this program, The Billion Dollar Green Challenge (The Challenge) was launched simultaneously to encourage other colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self‐managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Participating institutions will achieve reductions in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects. The Challenge seeks to create a vibrant network of institutions and their staff who are working towards implementing cost-saving sustainability projects on campus.
Institutions can benefit from establishing green revolving funds and joining The Challenge in many ways but more specifically, the “revolving” aspect of green revolving funds highlights that energy and other efficiency projects make the institution money over time, and that their upfront costs are in fact investments in the future financial health of the institution. It is often easier for facilities staff to access a dedicated fund for financing projects than to navigate a more complex funding structure each time they want to acquire capital from the college or university. To fully participate in The Challenge, an institution will pay an annual 1/20th of one percent administrative fee (not to exceed $2,500), based on the committed size of its green revolving fund.
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