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.

239 resources

Student Design Fund

  • 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 ...


Green revolving funds: A sustainable investment

  • 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 ...


LEED Certification of Campus Buildings - A Cost-Benefit Approach

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 April 14, 2016
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Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing: A Survey of Endowments and Their Affiliated Foundations

  • 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 April 8, 2016
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Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing: Endowment Management in a Warming World

  • 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 April 8, 2016
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The Reinvestment Handbook: Green Endowments Initiative

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 April 8, 2016
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Intentionally Designed Endowments Primer

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
  • Publications
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Evaluating Campus Green Funds: Student Review of Campus Impacts

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Student sustainability grants for research, scholarship, projects and travel at Ohio State

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Launching a Student Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee: Successes and Challenges

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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The Evolution of a Campus as a Living Lab Grant Program

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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Creating and maintaining a Student Managed Action Fund

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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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

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Cashing in Carbon: Selling Carbon Reductions to Leverage Campus Sustainability

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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Intentionally Designed Endowments

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Sustainability without sacrifice: How URIs are saving money & reducing GHG emissions by investing in energy efficiency

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Finance 101: How can Campus Sustainability Officers and Business Officers Speak the Same Language?

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Taxing Campus Air Travel to Create a Climate Action Fund

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Non-Profit Non-Starters? Using Creative Economic Levers on Campus

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Mass College Green: Alternative Financing for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Lessons from Fossil Fuel Divestment at SF State and De Anza College

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Building the Business Case for Sustainability in Higher Education

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Students & Climate Change Intervention: Investment Office Insights

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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We Got Our Campus Green Fund! But How Do We Actually Spend It?

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Developing Green Revolving Funds to Reduce Environmental Footprint

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Green Fund Programs: Implementation and Improvement

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Leveraging Student Fees to Facilitate Student Led Initiatives

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Green Energy Fee Grant Program: Making campus more sustainable - one project at a time

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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What Are We Advancing? Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education: Integration of the University and College Development Office

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Sponsored Theater Presentation: Sterling Planet

  • 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 Feb. 26, 2016
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Student sustainability grants for campus projects at Ohio State

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

All across America, institutions struggle to expand programming and to provide meaningful learning opportunities to their students during times of shrinking budgets, increasing costs and reduction of state support. Oftentimes ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Connecting Academic Work with Funds to Address Campus Sustainability

  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs (CO)

In order to educate future sustainability leaders we must bridge the academic operational divide by connecting student coursework with funding to address real campus sustainability projects. We must begin to ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Green Fund Implementation Guide- Campus Green Fund Collaborative

  • Butler University (IN)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • McGill University (QC)
  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • University of Vermont (VT)

The Campus Green Fund Collaborative (CGFC) is a non-registered group of campus sustainability staff involved with coordinating and managing green funds on their respective campuses. In partnership with the Association ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Fossil Fuel Divestment: A Growing Student-led Movement for Climate Justice

  • Brandeis University (MA)
  • Unity College (ME)
  • Responsible Endowments Coalition (PA)
  • Green Century Capital Management (WI)

Launched on just a handful of campuses in 2011, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign has expanded exponentially in just a few short months - escalating the demand for bold climate action ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Plenary: Investing in Energy Efficiency through Green Revolving Funds

  • Agnes Scott College (GA)
  • Catawba College (NC)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

An increasing number of colleges are establishing green revolving funds to tap into new sources of capital and scale up their institution's commitment to investing in reducing carbon emissions ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Playing Like A Team: Advancing Campus Sustainability By Greening Sports

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Green Sports Alliance (OR)
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (DC)

With help from organizations such as AASHE and the U.S. EPA, colleges and universities across the nation are implementing campus-wide sustainability programs to enhance their environmental performance. Many of ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Divestment: Successful Case Studies

  • College of the Atlantic (ME)
  • Unity College (ME)
  • Responsible Endowments Coalition (PA)

With active campaigns on over 250 college campuses, divestment from fossil fuels has shifted the sustainability conversation significantly over the past year, pushing the “operational boundary” for campus sustainability, and ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Show Me the Money! The Benefits of Investing in Energy Efficiency through Green Revolving Funds

  • Agnes Scott College (GA)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

Whether your college is striving to reach its carbon-reduction goals or is considering divesting from fossil fuel companies, green revolving funds (GRFs) offer a compelling investment opportunity. With a median ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Sustainable Investing for Endowments: Solving the Problem

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Inc. (MA)

Our presentation focuses on empowering and motivating universities to adapt to a new world of sustainable investing. The presentation will address the limited amount of sustainable investment strategies currently available ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Green Capital Projects: How to Get Cash Flow and Reduce Emissions

  • Sweet Briar College (VA)
  • Stone House Group (PA)

Sweet Briar College realized the need to reduce energy cost and consumption on campus after four environmental engineering students conducted an energy audit in 2008. The audit inspired the College ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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New Funding Sources to Drive Campus Clean Energy/GHG Leadership and Innovation

  • Ball State University (IN)
  • Valencia College (FL)

This workshop introduces an entirely new funding source for colleges dedicated to pursuing aggressive clean energy efficiency goals: the voluntary carbon market. With announcements poised to be made at the ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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A Cap-and-Trade Model for RIT Commuters

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

As climate change awareness grows, several U.S. colleges and universities are tracking their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and have signed the American and University Presidents Climate Commitment (AUPCC), pledging ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund: A Unique Application With A Proven Track Record

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

A major research university developed and launched its Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund (SIRF) in fiscal year (FY) 2010 with the goals of investing wisely in projects that promote sustainability, accelerating ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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How to Build a Career Saving the Planet? Just Ask

  • Bard College (NY)

What skills and experiences do you need to become people of power, people with the ability to affect the future, within five to ten years? What does it take to ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Hands on Sustainability: Leveraging Green Revolving Funds to Ignite Collaboration

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

Utilizing case studies of Green Revolving Funds (GRF) participants will work together in small groups to develop a pitch to campus decision-makers to start and manage a GRF. Groups will ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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How North Carolina's largest community college is meeting sustainability goals, addressing deferred maintenance and saving $350,000 a year in energy costs

  • Central Piedmont Community College (NC)
  • Trane (TX)

Recently completed improvements at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), North Carolina’s largest community college, are expected to generate $350,000 in annual energy savings while increasing sustainability. These improvements ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Case Study: Establishing a Green Revolving Fund at Appalachian State University

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Working with the University Sustainability Council and University Foundation, Appalachian State University (ASU) is pursuing the development of a Green Revolving Loan Fund (GRLF) to support University projects that promote ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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How to Start a Renewable Energy Project at the Community College – Trustees Are Your Best Friends

  • Austin Community College (TX)

It is no secret, renewable energy project is expensive. Return on

investment may be too long to attract any budget minded decision makers at your college, especially in our tough ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Connecting People to Products and Services: Creating Active Citizenry Through Knowledge Systems

  • College of Charleston (SC)

In 2005, The College of Charleston joined the Fair Labor Association in response to pressure from students, faculty, and staff, to be more cognizant of the impacts of their corporate ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Student Sustainability Fund vs Green Fee

  • DePauw University (IN)

Titles matter. This spring, DePauw University's Student Government set aside $10,000 from the Student Activity Fee to advance sustainability on campus. Rather than solely focus on "green" or ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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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