Georgia Tech Joins Launch of $1 Billion “Green Challenge”

The Georgia Institute of Technology is joining 32 other leading institutions today to launch the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. The goal is to invest a cumulative total of one billion dollars in self-managed, green revolving funds that finance energy-efficiency upgrades on campus.

Billion Dollar Green Challenge
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The Billion Dollar Green Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Details about The Challenge are available at http://greenbillion.org.

“From our focus on environmental stewardship in our buildings and grounds to our energy conservation and recycling programs, Georgia Tech has gained a national reputation for embracing sustainability practices,” said Steve Swant, executive vice president of administration and finance. “Our investment in this green revolving fund program will help support our continued sustainability efforts.”

Most recently, Georgia Tech was named as one of 16 colleges on the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll and has earned Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation. Besides using environmentally friendly cleaning products, Georgia Tech requires that all vendors provide green products. During the 2010 season, the Institute’s game day recycling program netted 21 tons of recyclables during six home games.

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge launches publicly on October 11 at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Pittsburgh. With more than 2,500 participants, including representatives of Georgia Tech, the conference is the largest gathering to date on higher education sustainability.

In advance of the launch, 33 institutions, including Georgia Tech, have already joined the Challenge’s Founding Circle by committing to invest a cumulative total of more than $65 million in green revolving funds. In addition to Harvard, Stanford and ASU, other Founding Circle institutions include Caltech, Dartmouth, George Washington, Middlebury, the University of British Columbia and Weber State University.

The Challenge is inspired by the exceptional performance of existing green revolving funds, which have a median annual return on investment of 32 percent, as documented by Greening The Bottom Line, a report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.