Sometimes it’s hard to find funding for sustainability upgrades.

VERHOFF: “Doing traditional facilities projects, like replacing a boiler is not sexy. Nobody wants to do that.”

Money embedded in a plant.

That’s Brandon Verhoff, Saint Louis University Director of Sustainability and Benchmarking. To overcome this challenge, he is trying to establish a green revolving fund at his university.

Money in the fund would be used to cover the capital costs of sustainability projects, such as efforts to reduce energy waste.

VERHOFF: “And the idea behind it is that we would be paying the fund back, through the savings that we have.”

For example, retrofitting a building with a more efficient heating system will cost a hundred thousand dollars, yet is projected to pay for itself in just three years.

VERHOFF: “Then we would have to pay that portion of the dollars, $33,000 a year, out of our utilities budget every year back to the fund. So that at the end of the 3 years we would be able to then do another project.”

The revolving fund is still in the planning stage, but Verhoff hopes it will soon be attracting investors.

Saint Louis University is not alone. Green revolving funds have become popular as institutions look for ways to acquire the money needed up-front to make sustainability improvements that pay for themselves over time.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Copyright protected.

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