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.

209 resources

Sustainability 2020 Membership Required

  • Green Mountain College (VT)

Ten years ago, students in an honors seminar investigated ways to reduce Green Mountain College’s ecological footprint. The class identified the biggest source of carbon emissions–the college’s ...

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Videos & Webinars
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Supporting Solar Energy through a Student-Financed Renewable Energy Initiative Membership Required

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI)

The "Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development" case study series highlights higher education investment in solar energy projects. The purpose of these case studies is to ...

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Publications
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Public College Foundation Investment in Solar Membership Required

  • Wake Technical Community College (NC)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI)

The “Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development” case study series highlights higher education investment in solar energy projects. The purpose of these case studies is to ...

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Publications
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Third-Party, Supporter-Financed Campus Solar: An Approach and a Partnership that Works Membership Required

  • Luther College (IA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI)

The “Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development” case study series highlights higher education investment in solar energy projects. The purpose of these case studies is to ...

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Publications
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Pack Forest at UW Membership Required

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

Pack Forest is a working forest and owned by the University of Washington. Located outside of Eatonville, Wash., the University of Washington’s Pack Forest began with the purchase of ...

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Photographs
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SUNY Polytechnic Institute Sustainability Path Membership Required

  • State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (NY)

Solar PV and small wind turbine demonstration project funded by SUNY Small Grant Sustainability Fund

  • Posted 11 months, 1 week ago
  • Photographs
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Harnessing the Power of Solar Membership Required

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The Science and Engineering Building 2 features solar panels on the outside to help power the building and provide shade during the hottest months.

  • Posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Photographs
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Implementation Model: Tying Energy Costs to Building Occupants Membership Required

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • United States Department of Energy

UC Berkeley's Energy Management Initiative (EMI) targets building occupants through building surveys and energy dashboards, and allocates energy cost responsibility to individual campus operating units to achieve savings of ...


Building Community Investment at New York University Membership Required

  • New York University (NY)

Anchor institutions – large non-profit organizations like colleges, universities, or hospitals that are tied to a place by infrastructure and mission – should be harnessed to positively affect the growth of the ...


Raising Student Voices: Student Action for University Community Investment Membership Required

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)
  • University of San Francisco (CA)
  • Wesleyan University (CT)
  • Case Western Reserve University (OH)
  • Loyola University New Orleans (LA)
  • Fordham University (NY)
  • Duke University (NC)
  • American University (DC)
  • University of Chicago (IL)
  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Responsible Endowments Coalition (PA)

This report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Responsible Endowments Coalition seeks to connect struggling communities to local institutional wealth through engaging student activism. The report profiles three administration-led initiatives ...


Rationale of early adopters of fossil fuel divestment Membership Required

  • Lake Forest College (IL)

Purpose This research uses the social science perspectives of institutions, ecological modernization and social movements to analyze the rationale used by the early-adopting universities of fossil fuel divestment in the ...

  • Posted 1 year, 1 month ago
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Sustainabiliy Impact Fund Membership Required

  • Northwestern University (IL)

This project is a student-led initiative to allow Northwestern alumni to donate to supporting sustainability initiatives on our campus. Titled the Sustainability Impact Fund, this initiative includes directed fundraising efforts ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Middlebury College's Innovative Land Conservation and Financing Project Membership Required

  • Middlebury College (VT)

In 1915, a visionary Vermont environmentalist bequeathed to Middlebury College a large tract of land, located 12 miles from the main campus, part of which became home to the College ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Utility-Scale Solar Farm for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Membership Required

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, and Facilities & Services (F&S) is honored to support the campus wide Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Union College's Presidential Green Grants: Empowering our community to make a more sustainable world Membership Required

  • Union College - NY (NY)

Our greatest resource as an institution is the creativity and energy of our community. Union College’s Presidential Green Grant (PGG) program leverages this creativity and energy by supporting novel ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Institutional Framework for Student-Led Sustainability Initiatives Membership Required

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

The Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) is a self-sustaining committee within the Association for Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN), otherwise known as UNL’s Student Government. The framework of ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
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The Virginia Tech Green RFP Program Membership Required

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Student engagement is an important factor in advancing sustainability at Virginia Tech. The University created the “Request for Proposal for Sustainability Initiatives from Student Organizations Program (Green RFP Program)” to ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Lowell Canal Bridges TIGER Grant: Campus-Community Partnerships Leveraging Transformative Change Membership Required

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) is a fast growing university nestled within our host community of the City of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell enjoys an authentic urban character structured ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Development of a Carbon Capital Methodology for use by the Higher Education Community Membership Required

  • Ball State University (IN)

Over a multiyear period, Ball State University collaborated in the development and piloted the implementation of a new methodology by which colleges and universities can qualify their carbon reduction credits ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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The Green Action Fund at Kansas State University Membership Required

  • Kansas State University (KS)

The Green Action Fund (GAF) at Kansas State University was initiated in 2013 as a joint project of the Office of Sustainability and the Student Governing Association (SGA). The GAF ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Student Design Fund Membership Required

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

The Student Design/Research Project Fund is a new and innovative sustainability project from the University of Tennessee. It created a pool of money to where applicants can apply for ...

  • Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
  • Case Studies
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Green revolving funds: A sustainable investment Membership Required

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • College of Saint Benedict (MN)
  • University of Dayton (OH)
  • Blessed Earth (KY)
  • Saint John's University (MN)

There has recently been a groundswell of interest in sustainability in all its forms, and two organizations — Green Seminary Initiative and Seminary Stewardship Alliance — have emerged to provide resources and ...

  • Posted 1 year, 3 months ago
  • Publications
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LEED Certification of Campus Buildings - A Cost-Benefit Approach Membership Required

This is the first comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings certified within the higher education sector. 16 institutions of higher education (IHEs) were surveyed ...

  • Posted 1 year, 4 months ago
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Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing: A Survey of Endowments and Their Affiliated Foundations Membership Required

  • Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (DC)
  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (DC)

Commonfund Institute, NACUBO and AGB survey builds upon the 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments by delving in to responsible investing practices, policies and portfolio strategies. Topics covered include:

  • Defining responsible ...

  • Posted 1 year, 4 months ago
  • Publications
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Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing: Endowment Management in a Warming World Membership Required

  • Responsible Endowments Coalition (PA)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

This report provides an analysis of climate-related portfolio risk faced by educational and philanthropic endowments and presents three pathways toward reallocating an endowment portfolio into fossil-free investment opportunities, across asset ...

  • Posted 1 year, 4 months ago
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The Reinvestment Handbook: Green Endowments Initiative Membership Required

The Reinvestment Handbook is a resource for the next generation of responsible investors. It is designed to help students better understand their university endowment, the key pillars of SRI funds ...

  • Posted 1 year, 4 months ago
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Intentionally Designed Endowments Primer Membership Required

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)

The Intentionally Designed Endowments Primer was developed to help endowment stakeholders establish a baseline understanding of the key issues related to aligning investment practices with institutional mission and values. It ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Evaluating Campus Green Funds: Student Review of Campus Impacts Membership Required

  • University of Houston (TX)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Motivated by the work of the Campus Green Fund Collaborative and its AASHE publication, How-To Guide: Campus Green Fund Implementation, the Office of Sustainability at the University of Texas at ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Student sustainability grants for research, scholarship, projects and travel at Ohio State Membership Required

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

For the first time, Ohio State's sustainability offices are jointly managing a grants program for student projects in the areas of energy, environment and sustainability. The program helps to ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Launching a Student Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee: Successes and Challenges Membership Required

  • Ohio University (OH)

In 2014, Ohio University established a new student group, the Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee (SIAC), with the financial backing of The Ohio University Foundation. The mission of SIAC is 'to ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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The Evolution of a Campus as a Living Lab Grant Program Membership Required

  • California State University, Chancellor's Office (CA)

This session will introduce the California State University Campus as a Living Lab Initiative, the grant program designed to support sustainability in the curriculum. With two years of experience running ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Creating and maintaining a Student Managed Action Fund Membership Required

  • University of Northern Colorado (CO)

A growing way to create and build sustainability projects on campus is to create a student fund. These are often managed by students themselves, yet despite the enthusiasm and innovative ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Investing in a Cooler Planet: the movement to divest colleges and universities from fossil fuels and reinvest in the new economy Membership Required

  • Carleton College (MN)

Since 2011, when campaigns first started popping up at a handful of colleges, the fossil fuel divestment movement has exploded onto the college activism scene and beyond. There are currently ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Cashing in Carbon: Selling Carbon Reductions to Leverage Campus Sustainability Membership Required

  • Boston University (MA)

This year, with momentum from the Chevy Campus Clean Energy Challenge, Boston University reached its 2020 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. Through the robust Verified ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Intentionally Designed Endowments Membership Required

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)

For decades the socially responsible investment community has puzzled over the fact that colleges and universities have not been more intentional in aligning their investment practices with their mission and ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Sustainability without sacrifice: How URIs are saving money & reducing GHG emissions by investing in energy efficiency Membership Required

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

Finding a way to prioritize and finance sustainability projects can be difficult for any institution, but may present a unique struggle at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and under-resourced institutions (URIs). To ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Finance 101: How can Campus Sustainability Officers and Business Officers Speak the Same Language? Membership Required

  • Second Nature (MA)

Campus sustainability professionals must frequently build the business case for campus sustainability projects. While they are well versed in environmental issues, communication strategy, and other planning skills, greater knowledge of ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Taxing Campus Air Travel to Create a Climate Action Fund Membership Required

  • Southern Oregon University (OR)

As carbon neutrality deadlines loom on the horizon, many universities are scrambling to find ways to reduce emissions to meet our goals. Reducing our carbon footprint can be difficult as ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Non-Profit Non-Starters? Using Creative Economic Levers on Campus Membership Required

  • Colby College (ME)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of Virginia (VA)

Financial limitations are often a primary barrier to sustainability implementation at colleges and universities. Often, universities share best practices, and occasionally lessons learned, but less frequently do they describe the ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Mass College Green: Alternative Financing for Energy Efficiency Upgrades Membership Required

  • Dean College (MA)
  • GreenerU (MA)
  • Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (MA)

With tighter budgets, leaner staff, and many competing priorities, colleges and universities are finding it increasingly difficult to commit the funds necessary to support energy efficiency and deferred maintenance initiatives ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Lessons from Fossil Fuel Divestment at SF State and De Anza College Membership Required

  • De Anza College (CA)
  • San Francisco State University (CA)

San Francisco State University, Foothill-De Anza Community College District in the Silicon Valley, recently became the first U.S. public colleges or universities to divest from fossil fuels. Students are ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Building the Business Case for Sustainability in Higher Education Membership Required

  • Niagara College Canada (ON)

This concurrent workshop will provide an informative presentation and case study to help professionals communicate the benefits of sustainability projects that can satisfy economic, social and environmental criteria. The economic ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Students & Climate Change Intervention: Investment Office Insights Membership Required

  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (NY)

Focused on campuses with the intention of mobilizing student activists, late in 2012 a "divest from fossil fuel" campaign was begun. Most faith and values-driven institutional investors were attentive to ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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We Got Our Campus Green Fund! But How Do We Actually Spend It? Membership Required

  • George Mason University (VA)

In 2011, George Mason University launched the Patriot Green Fund (PGF). With an annual budget of $100,000 to support student-driven, sustainability-related research and infrastructure improvement projects at Mason, the ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Developing Green Revolving Funds to Reduce Environmental Footprint Membership Required

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

This discussion will explore how students have created green revolving funds on their campuses and the tips and tricks they suggest to other students that are interesting in creating such ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Green Fund Programs: Implementation and Improvement Membership Required

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

This will be an interactive networking workshop that will allow various campuses to check in and see how other schools are running their Green Fund Programs. We want this to ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Leveraging Student Fees to Facilitate Student Led Initiatives Membership Required

  • University of North Carolina, Asheville (NC)

In 2007, the University of North Carolina at Asheville instituted a $20/semester student green fee to create a sustainability fund, and created the Student Environmental Center (SEC), a student-led ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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Green Energy Fee Grant Program: Making campus more sustainable - one project at a time Membership Required

  • Western Washington University (WA)

The Green Energy Fee Grant Program is a Western Washington University grant program that enables the campus community to apply for funding to implement sustainable initiatives on campus. The Green ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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What Are We Advancing? Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education: Integration of the University and College Development Office Membership Required

  • California Polytechnic State University (CA)

The pressing need to develop more financially, environmentally and socially sustainable institutions creates an opportunity to advance the next philanthropic era in higher education – one that promotes a more comprehensive ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
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Sponsored Theater Presentation: Sterling Planet Membership Required

  • Sterling Planet, Inc. (GA)

Even with recent impressive gains in energy efficiency on college campuses, there is still significant room for improvement. At issue is how to implement energy conservation and load management measures ...

  • Posted 1 year, 5 months ago
  • Conference Presentations
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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