Many infrastructure upgrade or retrofit projects can have high upfront costs that deter some campuses from implementing them, despite the fact that these projects often result in proven medium- or long-term cost savings. Green revolving funds, also known as “revolving loan funds” or “sustainability revolving loan funds,” provide dedicated funding for schools to invest in resource efficiency projects while capturing the cost savings from the reduced resource use. It is a revolving loan fund that provides capital for high-performance campus design, operations, maintenance, and occupant behavior projects.
A campus green revolving fund can help make larger sports greening initiatives possible by funding infrastructure upgrades across athletics and recreation facilities. They can be particularly valuable for greening upgrades at recreation facilities, which may not have the same access to funding from corporate sponsors or alumni donations that the athletics department typically benefits from.
Once the sports greening facility upgrades with the fastest return on investment have been exhausted–in other words, “low hanging fruit” projects such as building recommissioning and lighting upgrades–money from a green revolving fund can help launch the next tier of sports facilities retrofits. These might include installing onsite renewable energy, overhauling the HVAC system, or upgrading the building automation system.
The resources listed below highlight several different funds that may provide useful strategies for implementing your campus green revolving fund within your sports greening work. These resources also provide valuable models for establishing a campus green revolving fund if your school doesn’t yet have one.