Investment & Finance

Introduction

Collectively, colleges and universities invest hundreds of billions of dollars. Like other decisions that institutions make, these investments have impacts that are both local and global in scope. Institutions with transparent and democratic investment processes promote accountability and engagement by the campus and community. By using the tools of sustainable investing, institutions can improve the long-term health of their endowments, encourage better corporate behavior, support innovation in sustainable products and services, support sustainability in their community, and help build a more just and sustainable financial system.

598 resources

Lewis & Clark College Fossil Fuel Divestment

  • Lewis & Clark College (OR)

Fossil Fuel Divestment - The Board of Trustees at Lewis & Clark College voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuel holdings in the endowment


Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions

  • Democracy Collaborative (DC)

'Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions' focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities ...

  • Posted Oct. 23, 2020
  • Publications
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Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for College & University Endowments

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)

Investing in racial equity involves developing and committing to business practices that proactively identify and counteract racial inequities within a company or an organization, and allocating capital to intentionally and ...

  • Posted Oct. 23, 2020
  • Publications
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Barnard College Climate Science List

  • Barnard College (NY)

Climate science list - In 2019, Barnard College published a Climate Science List, a 490-page reference guide for the responsible divestment of endowment funds away from fossil fuel companies that dispute ...


Making the Business Case for Campus Sustainability

  • Gordian (SC)

In this report, Sightlines (a Gordian company) highlights how environmental sustainability programs at higher education institutions would reduce operating costs via increased efficiency measures as well as attract sustainability-minded students ...


The Ivory Tower Tax Haven: The state, financialization, and the growth of wealthy college endowments

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Popular anxiety about economic inequality has been compounded by the lavish consumption of the super-rich. In the domain of higher education, there are parallel signs of growing popular resentment towards ...

  • Posted July 10, 2020
  • Publications
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The HESFS for higher education funding, employment and sustainability

  • MEF University

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop a higher education funding and employment system that obviates barriers to sustainable development and helps engrain the notion of sustainability into ...


Building Trust and Community: The Transformative Experience of the Green Revolving Fund at Agnes Scott College

  • Agnes Scott College (GA)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • City of Decatur (GA)

Agnes Scott College initiated the college’s Green Revolving Fund (GRF) in 2011 as a practical solution to a common challenge shared by colleges and universities that have committed to ...


Sustaining a Student-Led Environmental Movement at San Diego State University: Leveraging Collaboration to Create an Environmentally Sustainable Endowment

  • San Diego State University (CA)

As the global economy grows, environmental activists increasingly work towards more environmentally sustainable investing practices, especially at higher education institutions. As Sustainability Commissioner (2019-2020) at San Diego State University (“SDSU ...


Solar Microgrid Investment in the US: Financial Modelling Challenges for a University Based Project

  • California State University, San Marcos (CA)

Unlike economies that are still experiencing growth, established markets like the United States have a difficult time generating returns with large upside potential for investors. If an exceptional return is ...


UVA’s Equity & Environment Fund: Catalyzing student-driven, intersectional projects that connect and advance the work of community leaders

  • University of Virginia (VA)

Historically, many UVA student-led projects focused on the environmental issues of sustainability, without much connection or thought to how these projects connect or address social or equity issues. To help ...


Sustainability funding in higher education: a literature-based review

  • Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to report a literature review on sustainability funding in higher education and an analysis of the theoretical influence on academic research. The theoretical ...


Gridmarket is Offering Free Assessment of Savings Through Clean Energy for AASHE Members

  • GridMarket (NY)

GridMarket is offering AASHE members a free remote distributed energy opportunity assessment. GridMarket will leverage its proprietary analytics platform to identify your institution’s potential financial savings, resiliency benefits, and ...


Building a Resilient Recycling Operation Against Market Forces, Financial Pressures, & Contamination Developments

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

Recycling rates had plateaued. By 2016, even with the best of internal marketing and operational changes, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was left to the devices of a decentralized collection and ...


Climate change and the fossil fuel divestment movement in Canadian higher education: The mobilities of actions, actors, and tactics

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Situated within the broader climate justice movement, the fossil fuel divestment movement calls for both public and private divestment of financial holdings from fossil fuel companies. This paper examines the ...

  • Posted March 4, 2020
  • Publications
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Using Endowment Investing to Help Create a Sustainable Economy

  • Lewis & Clark College (OR)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Cambridge Associates (VA)

The half trillion dollars in endowment funds invested by higher education institutions in the United States represent a relatively untapped resource with immense economic and social power. The past few ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Lots of Watts: Building an Energy Cohort to Buy Big Renewables

  • Lafayette College (PA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)
  • Swarthmore College (PA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

Cohorts of colleges and universities are aggregating energy loads to achieve economies of scale when sourcing renewable energy. This workshop helps campuses achieve dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases by sourcing ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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A Proven Upstream Funding Model for Waste Management from the University of Kentucky

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

The University of Kentucky funds several of its materials management programs by charging all university accounts a disposal fee each time they purchase materials and supplies. This system has been ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Democratizing Capital for a Regenerative Economy

  • Center for Economic Democracy (MA)

The Boston Ujima Project is organizing neighbors, workers, business owners, artists and investors to create a new community controlled economy in Greater Boston. Since launching in 2016, Ujima has built ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Fiduciary Duty and University Fossil Fuel Divestments

  • Soka University of America (CA)

One of the founding principles of Soka University of America is to 'foster leaders for the creative coexistence of nature and humanity.' Soka University has one of the highest endowments ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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What is the Potential of Fossil Fuel Divestment in Higher Education? A Data-Driven Analysis

  • Smith College (MA)

Fossil fuel divestment has become a major activist movement in higher education, with campaigns at colleges and universities across the country. This movement has driven critical conversations about institutional responsibility ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Moving Toward Climate Justice Through Divestment and Community Reinvestment

  • Better Future Project (MA)

All colleges have an endowment that they use to invest in a broad range of industries. Divestment is a powerful tactic where institutions can use their political and financial power ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Creating Positive Energy: Using Utility Rebates to Power Student-led Contributions to Society

  • Millersville University (PA)

In the spring of 2019, Millersville University established a Positive Energy Award Program in celebration of the first-year anniversary of the University's positive energy Lombardo Welcome Center. The Positive ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Harvard's Campus Sustainability Innovation Fund: Bringing Students, Faculty, and Staff Together

  • Harvard University (MA)

In 2016, Harvard University enhanced its Living Lab Initiative by launching the Campus Sustainability Innovation Fund. This fund supports projects that use Harvard's campus or the neighboring community as ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Student Approved Projects on Campus: What Could Go Wrong and What Could Go Right?

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

Like many universities, Western Michigan University has instituted a grant to fund student-led sustainable change on campus. What sets Western Michigan University apart, however, is that the allocations of these ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Creating a Strong Alumni Base for Meaningful Engagement and Mutual Economic Benefit

  • Lafayette College (PA)

Many sustainability practitioners seek to engage alumni in various ways: fundraising, expertise, guest speakers, jobs/internships and mentorship for students. Learn from Lehigh University and the University of Virginia about ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Bridge Building: Translating Green Fund Ideas into Practice

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

This networking session offers opportunities for Green Fund project partners to share experiences, ask questions, and connect with others engaged in campus Green Fund efforts. We welcome educators, students, facilities ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Monetizing Campus Sustainability: Converting Operations Into Assets to Increase Revenues

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette (LA)
  • Learfield IMG College (TX)

During the first couple of decades of growth in campus sustainability, 'green' operations were perceived as causing additional costs with limited direct paybacks. However, as sustainability has grown in college ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Local Power: How to Partner With Local Investors to Install Renewable Energy Systems on Campus

  • Luther College (IA)

This session addresses the following question associated with the conference theme: 'How can higher education most effectively collaborate with business, government and civil society to create a sustainable economy?' The ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Connecting Endowment Investing, Experiential Education and Curriculum to Build a Sustainable Economy

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)

This session will discuss the growth of student-managed investment funds pursuing sustainable investing strategies, as well as the growth of sustainable investing curriculum development, highlighting current successful funds and courses ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Creating and Maintaining Public Archives: Green Fund Website Redesign

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

With help from our Student Union Marketing Team, The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) at UC Berkeley has entirely rebuilt its website on a new platform, creating a public archive of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Proxy Carbon Pricing for Identifying Climate-Smart Investments: Lessons From Practice

  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • Smith College (MA)

Given the slow policy response by governments, climate action in higher education has become an essential part of maintaining policy momentum, driving innovation, and fostering social dialog. Carbon pricing has ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Carver and DeLaney Sustainability Endowment

  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY)

The Carver and DeLaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment seeks to encourage and support student sustainability projects on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and/or the local community ...


Webinar: Student Power to Fund Renewable Energy: A New Take on the Solar PPA

  • Southern Oregon University (OR)
  • AASHE (PA)

As campuses look to expand on site renewable energy generation, one of the greatest barriers to implementation is often initial project funding. Over the last year and a half, students ...

  • Posted Aug. 29, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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State of the Recycling Industry

  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

"State of the Recycling Industry: Education & operations best practices for a challenging recycling market"

Originally took place May 30th 2019

Presenters:

Neil Seldman President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Topic ...

  • Posted Aug. 22, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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Step Away from the Spreadsheet: Online Tools are Making Sustainability Management in Higher Education Easy

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • US Green Building Council - San Diego Chapter (CA)

Management of sustainability data in higher education has experienced an exciting evolution over the last few years. Whereas spreadsheets used to dominate, there are now a variety of online tools ...

  • Posted Aug. 7, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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RFQ for Large Scale Renewable Energy consultant

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

This template will assist you in drafting a REquest for Qualifications for a consultant to assist in acquiring renewable energy via a Large Scale Renewable Energy (LSRE) project. Adapt at ...


How Students Can Achieve Campus Sustainability: The Sustainability Climate Initiative Fund

  • University of Utah (UT)

Edmond Andrews, the University of Utah Sustainability Climate Initiative Fund (SCIF) Manager, explains what SCIF is and how it works.

The Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF) is the University of ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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Aggie Green Fund

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Aggie Green Fund (AGF) is a funds granting program under the Office of Sustainability that invites sustainability ideas from all members of the University community (students, faculty, and staff) to ...


UVA Clark Hall Delta Force Renovations

  • University of Virginia (VA)

The University of Virginia's Office of Sustainability within the Facilities Management department developed and currently runs the Delta Force Initiative, an internal performance contracting program. that increases energy efficiency ...


Columbia University transitions to electric intercampus buses to reduce emissions by 70%

  • Columbia University (NY)
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) (NY)
  • New Flyer (MB)

In 2018, Columbia University introduced six new battery-electric transit-style buses to its intercampus shuttle network as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from campus operations, improve local air ...


Generating Positive Community Energy with Millersville University's Zero Energy Lombardo Welcome Center

  • Millersville University (PA)

Millersville University leveraged the positive energy performance, utility rebates and cost savings associated with its new zero energy Lombardo Welcome Center to establish a fund that supports community engagement related ...


Associations Between Higher Education Sustainability and Alumni Giving

  • Harvard University (MA)

Remaking higher education campuses to meet climate commitments will have real and significant costs, yet many campuses are financially constrained. For most institutions, alumni giving is a significant, yet declining ...


Seattle University’s Decision to Divest from Fossil Fuels

  • Seattle University (WA)

One of Seattle University’s largest accomplishments in sustainability leadership has been the university’s recent decision to divest from fossil fuels. In September 2018, after six arduous years of ...


Does green management matter for donation intentions?: The influence of environmental consciousness and environmental importance

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Purpose – Several factors are known to influence donations to university athletic departments including previous donations and university affiliation. This research aims to build on prior work by examining whether a ...


University of Vermont Points of Intervention Fair

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The theme surrounding the University of Vermont's Earth Week was Points of Intervention (POI). Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) added UVM to their stops of college on their POI ...


Parametric analysis for cost-optimal renewable energy integration into residential buildings: Techno-economic model

  • Illinois State University (IL)
  • Hanyang University

Determining the optimum penetration of renewable energy systems and their associated aggregated technical and economic benefits is a growing concern for both researchers and policy makers. The purpose of this ...

  • Posted March 31, 2019
  • Publications
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Colleges That Funded Scooter Startups Don’t Love Them on Campus

  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Bloomberg (NY)
  • Bird (CA)

This article examines why campus safety offices and the endowment managers may feel differently about scooter startups.

  • Posted March 30, 2019
  • Publications
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Central College Student Green Fund

  • Central College (IA)

What is Green Fund? The purpose of the Central College Student Green Fund is to promote innovative student projects that further the vision of sustainability at Central College.

Who can ...


Sustainable Energy Initiative

  • Western Carolina University (NC)

The WCU Sustainable Energy Initiative is a committee of students, faculty and staff advisers that are responsible for allocating money towards the implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements, research ...

This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Investment & Finance Partners