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.

564 resources

Innovative Financing Options and the University Solar Deployment Process

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (DC)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (CO)

This workshop session will highlight new, high-impact ways in which higher education institutions can finance solar deployment, including making investments via endowments. In this session, EPA will review emerging solar ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
  • Conference Presentations
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Getting Traction with Large-Scale Renewable Energy Procurement: Finding Your Sweet-Spot and Effectively Communicating About It

  • George Washington University (DC)
  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

Technology cost reductions and favorable market economics make large-scale renewable energy an increasingly compelling choice for campuses to make step-change improvements in their GHG footprint while also reducing long-term cost ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Being a RE-Volv Solar Ambassador on your Campus and in your Community: Practical and Curricular Training and Experiences

  • Coastal Carolina University (SC)
  • RE-Volv (CA)

Re-Volv is a solar seed fund non-profit organization from San Francisco. It sponsors teams of college students each year to work with community non-profits and provide them solar energy. Establishing ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Diverse Paths to Success: Three High-Impact Infrastructure Projects that Reduced Energy Consumption and Emissions

  • Bowling Green State University (OH)
  • Rider University (NJ)
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Sightlines (SC)

Despite lower utility costs and longer payback periods, sustainability outcomes across Higher Education continue to improve through investment in utility & systems upgrades. According to data from the joint 2016 ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Aligning Endowment Investments with the Paris Climate Agreement & the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Edison Energy (CA)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Global Endowment Management (NC)

The past few years have seen a surge in interest and activity around how endowment investment practices can be better aligned with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals. In large ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Next Generation Campus Green Funds

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • New York University (NY)
  • Evergreen State College, The (WA)
  • Mohawk College (ON)

Through the use of green funds, colleges and universities have the ability to empower students who are passionate about bringing clean energy and sustainable projects to their campuses. This joint ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
  • Conference Presentations
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Students Contribute Record-Breaking $6 Million to Student Green Energy Fund

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The purpose of the Student Green Energy Fund is to provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to present formal proposals to a governing Fund Council with the goal ...


Funding Strategies for Non-Traditional University MS4 Stormwater Programs

  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)
  • University of Virginia (VA)

Stormwater programs have historically been stymied by lack of proper funding resources. Unlike drinking water and sanitary sewer utility services that long ago transitioned to enterprise funds, a stormwater utility ...


McGill University's Sustainability Projects Fund

  • McGill University (QC)

The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) is a crown jewel of McGill University’s sustainability efforts and a best-practice model for universities. The SPF’s main goal is to build a ...


Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • ICF International (VA)

Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management combines the expertise of energy professionals and college administrators from dozens of institutions to establish best practices for designing and managing ...


A comparative analysis of the anti-Apartheid and fossil fuel divestment campaigns

  • University of Waterloo (ON)

Divestment from the fossil fuel industry is campaigned as a means to address carbon-induced anthropogenic climate change, much like the anti-Apartheid divestment movement that was campaigned as a mean to ...


Fossil fuel divestment: implications for the future of sustainability discourse and action within higher education

  • Salem State University (MA)

This paper provides a critical overview and analysis of the student-led fossil fuel divestment (FFD) movement and its impact on sustainability discourse and actions within US higher education. Analysing higher ...


Greening Federal Grants: Why there is a need to connect efficiency to federal funding for research at universities

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (CO)

This webinar will includes two parts: PART 1: The Department of Energy (DOE) will provide an overview of the DOE Smart Labs Accelerator Program which was launched at the 2016 ...

  • Posted May 4, 2017
  • Videos & Webinars
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LEED Certification of Campus Buildings: A Cost-Benefit Approach

  • Seton Hall University (NJ)

No comprehensive study has been done within the higher education sector to see if Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification makes sense economically. This study helps fill the ...

  • Posted March 20, 2017
  • Publications
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The business case for high performance green buildings: Sustainability and its financial impact

  • Johnson Controls, Inc (WI)

This paper endeavours to present building owners, managers, architects and design/builders with a compelling business case for considering a green building for their new construction projects. A green building ...

  • Posted March 20, 2017
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Carbon Tax

  • Whitman College (WA)

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) Sustainability Committee passed a self-imposed carbon tax on February 7, 2016. The tax is designed to raise money for the Green Fund, a ...

  • Posted March 13, 2017
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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)
  • Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) (PA)

This paper examines the shifting role of the university and college advancement office in a national trend toward advancing sustainability in higher education and presents a range of ideas in ...

  • Posted March 3, 2017
  • Publications
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Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance Issues Into Institutional Investment: A Handbook for Colleges and Universities

  • Responsible Endowments Coalition (PA)
  • Amnesty International

The purpose of this handbook is to assist colleges and universities in implementing investment policies that consider environmental, social, and governance issues. Each section of the handbook supports the development ...

  • Posted Jan. 27, 2017
  • Publications
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Lessons Learned from Two Longstanding Green Funds

  • Portland Community College (OR)
  • Utah State University (UT)

Let's take a look at how one community college and one university are playing a vital role in reducing green house gas emissions and working towards achieving carbon neutrality ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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Green Funds: How Students Use Their Money to Build a Better Campus and Community

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of Utah (UT)

This session covers 2 case studies: A green fund at UC Berkeley and a student-driven Revolving Loan Fund at the University of Utah 1. The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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We're Divesting! Where can we Move our Money?

  • National Union of Students

Working with others in the Divest-Invest movement this workshop will present the steps that can be taken once a fossil fuel divestment commitment has been secured. The workshop will cover ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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Climate Leadership Network Carbon Offset Projects Networking

  • Clarkson University (NY)
  • Second Nature (MA)

This networking meeting will focus on the development of carbon offset projects for colleges and universities. An advisory group formed after a networking session at last year's AASHE conference ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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Using Campus Solar Deployment Roadmaps to Guide University Investment

  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI)

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has been working to develop approaches and define opportunities for on- and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Finance 201: Financial Analysis and Your Campus Projects

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • Second Nature (MA)

Campus sustainability professionals must frequently build the business case for their work. While they are well versed in environmental issues, knowledge of financial terms may be necessary to write a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Higher Education Endowments & the Paris Climate Agreement: Investing for a Sustainable Future

  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Cambridge Associates (VA)
  • Impax Asset Management

Higher education has been leading by example on climate change, striving for climate neutrality in campus operations and promoting education, research, and community engagement for climate solutions. In recent years ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Getting it Done - Building a Team and Value Proposition for Large Scale Renewables - Part 2

  • American University (DC)
  • George Washington University (DC)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

This two part working session will help participants overcome two hurdles that have held back a wider adoption of large-scale renewable projects in the higher education: (1) establishing a team ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Getting it Done - Building a Team and Value Proposition for Large Scale Renewables - Part 1

  • American University (DC)
  • George Washington University (DC)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

This two part working session will help participants overcome two hurdles that have held back a wider adoption of large-scale renewable projects in the higher education: (1) establishing a team ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Sustainability in Higher Education Retirement Plans.

  • Green Retirement, Inc.

Higher education institutions are critical in advancing sustainability. Given the threat of climate change to human health and wellbeing, sustainability must permeate all aspects of an institution's fabric. A ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Embolden Facilities and Finance Office Collaborations for Sustainability

  • APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities (VA)
  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) (DC)

Two major national association organizations - representing facilities and business offices - will highlight collaborations, programs, and developments regarding sustainability that cross boundaries for success. Collaboration with these units, within a campus ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Financing Sustainability and How to REALLY Talk to the Business Office

  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Slippery Rock University (PA)
  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) (DC)

Two experienced vice presidents of finance will briefly discuss some of their accomplishments in sustainability and their partners at the campus that have helped or hindered. They have changed laws ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Internal Carbon Pricing: Designing and Implementing Campus Climate Policies with Vassar, Swarthmore, and Yale

  • Swarthmore College (PA)
  • Vassar College (NY)
  • Yale University (CT)

In the absence of federal or international carbon markets, higher education has a momentous opportunity to model institutional capacity to put a price on carbon. The goal of this panel ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Learn how to Launch a University Surplus Program and Start Making Real Money for Sustainability While Reducing Your Waste

  • Drexel University (PA)
  • Temple University (PA)

Universities invest in equipment and facilities to stay competitive. While these acquisitions are needed, much of the 'obsolete' equipment offers value to a secondary market. Nationally, universities are extracting value ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The State of Campus Green Funds in 2016

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

In 2013, AASHE published the How-To Guide: Campus Green Fund Implementation. Green funds have evolved since the original publication, identifying a need to review and discuss new green fund trends ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Catalyzing a Culture of Sustainability on Campus: the Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) of McGill University

  • McGill University (QC)

The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) of McGill University was created in 2010 to catalyze a culture of sustainability on its campuses. The SPF is one of the largest dedicated sustainability ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Establishing a Sustainability Grant Fund to Promote Sustainability Related Research for Students and Faculty

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) established the Sustainability Grant Fund (SGF) to promote and encourage sustainability-related research at TRU and within the broader community. The SGF provides up to $100,000 ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Establishing a Student Green Fund at Your University

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a student-led effort recently succeeded with the establishment of a student green fund. The green fund currently provides approximately $46,000 per year to be ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
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A Unique Partnership With Our Utility Company

  • University of San Diego (CA)

In 2009, the University of San Diego (USD) applied to become part of the Local Governments Partnerships in San Diego through San Diego Gas and Electric. The request was approved ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Furman University's Energy Efficiency Eco-philanthropy Project

  • Furman University (SC)

During the 2015 - 2016 academic year, The Environmental Community of Students, a first year engaged living program at Furman University, received an $80,000 donation from a local donor to ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Novel cost-neutral programs that advance your campus waste reduction goals

  • GreeniPhi (VA)

As budgets are slashed on campuses, realizing ambitious sustainability goals requires novel thinking in order to create self-financed and cost-neutral projects. Experiential fundraisers may not seem to be the clearest ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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UC Berkeley's The Green Initiative Fund: Strategies and lessons learned from renewing a green fund

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Campus green funds have become symbols of empowerment for the student body. By providing funding towards sustainability projects and initiatives, green funds promote innovation, student leadership, and help bridge the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Advancing Sustainability - Green Grants Program

  • New York University (NY)

Since 2007 New York University's Green Grants program has awarded funding to students, faculty and staff with ideas or projects that advance sustainability. Improving the university's environmental performance ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Campus-Scale Water Reuse Solutions to Enhance Water Sustainability in Higher Ed

  • Sustainable Water, LLC (VA)

Water reclamation and reuse is vital for bulk-water consumers, like college campuses, to meet water supply challenges. Campus-scale reclaimed water projects, like the WaterHub® at Emory University, are becoming increasingly ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Business Sustainability 2.0: Moving from Enterprise Integration to Market Transformation and the Necessary Changes in the Business System

  • University of Michigan (MI)

Enterprise Integration has been with us since the mid 1990s. It involves integrating sustainability into existing business logics (such as operational efficiency, cost of capital, consumer demand, etc.) and the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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A Case Example for B-Schools: Energy and Economic Opportunity in Modernizing the Grid

  • Skidmore College (NY)

Changing regulatory environments are creating economic (and business higher ed) opportunity. The current re-envisioning the energy (REV) proceeding in New York before the public service commission represents a regulatory proceeding ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Framework for Implementing Change

  • Green Whys Consulting (TX)

Business schools seeking to integrate sustainability into business education can benefit from the same change management framework leveraged in corporate transformations. 'Change management' is to business education change what LEED ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Colloquium on Sustainability in Business Higher Education Discussion

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

We are agents of change, and realize that sustainability is the future of business and business education. Higher education institutions are in the initial phases of examining this question, with ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Economics of Sustainability: Using Microeconomic Principles to Teach Sustainability

  • Aquinas College (MI)

As a means to support a sustainable business program at Aquinas College, principles of microeconomics courses take on a unique sustainability focus. Here the concepts of consumption and production are ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Utilizing Carbon Offsets To Fulfil the Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitments

  • Ball State University (IN)
  • Colgate University (NY)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • Second Nature (MA)

This session will give an overview of the new guidelines for utilizing carbon offsets as part of the Second Nature Climate Commitments and highlight a sampling of some of the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Renewable Energy for Colleges: Onsite and Virtual Solar Solutions

  • NRG Energy, Inc (CA)

Procuring renewable energy is expanding beyond its obvious value as the environmentally responsible thing to do; now it's increasingly becoming an economically viable option, as well. Colleges and universities ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Funding Campus Sustainability with Student Green Fee Grants: Campus Collaborations are Greater than the Sum of their Parts

  • Georgia Southern University (GA)

Georgia Southern University's Center for Sustainability is partly funded by a $10 student fee, proposed by students. The fees finance a grant program that has funded >$650,000 ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 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