Oregon State University and 32 other leading institutions announced this week the launch of a $1 billion “Green Challenge,” in which they hope to develop funds to finance energy efficiency upgrades on their respective campuses.
The Sustainable Energy Revolving Loan Fund (SERLF) is a program of the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) Fee Board that provides a local source of low interest financing to help accelerate sustainable energy projects on the Oregon State University Corvallis Campus. The purpose of the fund is to assist projects that make the campus more energy efficient and decrease use of non-renewable energy.
In accordance with the "Green Challenge" (which is sponsored by the Sustainable Endowments Institute) OSU will target growing its fund to about $1 million over the next four years. From 2009 to 2013 OSU's revolving loan fund will have 100,000 available for sustainability energy projects, with a minimum loan size of 5,000 per project. These projects can be proposed and initiated by anyone at OSU. However, campus entities are encouraged to submit projects that have distinct and calculable payback.
Student efforts and leadership deserves recognition for making this fund a reality. Past student leaders made the creation of a revolving loan fund a priority, and the OSU Sustainability Office has worked to set up and administer this program. The next step it to market the program to expand demand for its financing.
Its programs like this that can greatly further sustainability efforts by appealing to a wider range of audiences.