The Sustainable Endowments Institute is suspending publication of its College Sustainability Report Card.
The Green Report Card, as it is also known, began in 2007 providing evaluations of campus and endowment sustainability programs. The GreenReportCard.org website has more than 20,000 pages of in-depth data collected over the past five years.
The institute says the data showed that many colleges and universities were not taking full advantage of the economic and environmental benefits offered by energy efficiency upgrades.
The institute say it will focus its efforts on facilitating large-scale investment in energy efficiency through the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which was launched in October 2011.
“We’re suspending work on the Green Report Card in order to channel our efforts to helping decision-makers utilize green revolving funds to cut costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mark Orlowski, founder and executive director of the Institute. “We want to encourage colleges, universities and other institutions to invest in energy efficiency retrofits by transforming them from perceived expenses to high-return investment opportunities.”
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge encourages higher-education institutions to invest a combined total of $1 billion, within two years, in self‐managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.
Green revolving funds invest in energy-efficiency projects that reduce consumption; the money saved in re-invested in future projects. Colleges and universities that join the challenge will reduce operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, and generate funds for future projects.
So far, 35 institutions have committed a total of $83 million for the challenge. They range from Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y., which has committed $26,000, to the University of Vermont in Burlington, which has committed $13 million.
The challenge has 34-member advisory council that offers technical assistance, best practices sharing, access to an advanced web-based tool for managing green revolving funds, project-specific data from peer institutions, and specialized webinars and conferences.