Creating a Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund: A Guide for Students

AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, has released a new guide intended to help campuses overcome a major barrier to implementing sustainability projects.

The how-to manual, entitled "Creating a Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund: A Guide for Students," describes an innovative and powerful mechanism for financing sustainability projects, such as energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations, on campus.

The high initial cost of many sustainability projects can often deter campuses from implementing them, despite the fact that such projects often have long-term cost savings. A revolving loan fund helps overcome this challenge by providing zero or low interest loans to fund money-saving sustainability projects. A portion of the savings generated from these projects is then reinvested into the fund until the loan has been paid off. The guide provides step-by-step directions for establishing such a fund, based on the experiences of the authors in setting up a revolving loan fund at Macalester College.