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Green Reinvestment Fund

Overview

2020: $2.5 million initial seed funding; 2030: $6.1 million facility retrofits funded; 650 metric tons lower annual CO2 emissions.

The Green Reinvestment Fund (GRF) is an internal revolving loan fund for Vassar’s energy efficiency projects. Cost savings from projects funded through the GRF are repaid to the GRF until the total project cost and a 10% surcharge are recouped. All further savings support campus operations at large.

Ready to Go

The Green Reinvestment Fund has an initial target of $2.5 million for seed funding. Vassar has already received $750,000 in commitments for the fund, including $300,000 already provided for FY21. The first GRF projects start this fall.

Ready to Grow

Vassar’s Energy Master Plan has already identified over $10 million in energy efficiency projects with short payback periods. Technology breakthroughs may provide even better opportunities in the years to come.

Ready to Lead

Only eight of Vassar’s peer institutions have any form of revolving loan fund for energy efficiency, and only two are larger than $1 million. The GRF offers Vassar the ability to lead its peers in the projects it undertakes and how it pays for them.

Anticipated Performance and Administration

Cumulative GRF Performance, for fiscal years 2021–2030 (in millions)

Year-over-year growth (from fiscal year 2021 through fiscal year 2030) for the Green Reinvestment Fund. Cumulative seed funding of $2,500,000 results in a payback of $3,600,000 over ten years. This results in $6,100,000 in total reinvestment in campus facilities through the Fund by 2030.

Projections for the performance of the Green Reinvestment Fund (GRF) are based on anticipated savings from energy efficiency projects proposed in Vassar’s Energy Master Plan. These projects, mostly capital-intensive facility retrofits, have been vetted by a Certified Energy Manager for payback, viability, and sustainability. They have an average payback of approximately five years. As new technologies emerge, opportunities for even more significant savings and impact may arise.

Stewarding seed funding responsively and responsibly is a core principle of the Green Reinvestment Fund. The GRF has a strict set of management principles drawing from best practices and using the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS), the higher education industry standard for revolving loan funds like the GRF.

Every potential project is evaluated according to a strict rubric by a steering committee of campus administrators, a faculty representative, and a student leader. A quarterly review of project performance by Facilities Operations and Sustainability staff reconciles projections with real-world performance. The results are reported publicly on a routine basis to promote transparency and accountability.