William & Mary

All About the Green Fee

Green Fee History 

In the Spring of 2008, a group of students created a proposal (pdf) for a student Green Fee that raised $200,000 a year for sustainability projects, student research, and a green endowment. After the fee's approval by the Board of Visitors, the Committee on Sustainability was tasked with soliciting proposals for projects funded by the fee twice a year. The 2008-2009 academic year was the first year of funding for the fee.

Submit a Green Fee Project Proposal 

The College’s Committee on Sustainability (COS) seeks proposals for research that advance the President’s Policy on Sustainability and the goals of COS. Projects will be supported for up to 12 months with funds from the Green Fee. Renewals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested parties should complete a cover sheet with their proposal and send it to Calandra Waters Lake, the Director of Sustainability at waterslake@wm.edu. The Spring 2016 deadline to submit proposals is Friday, March 4th at 5pm. 

Proposals may be submitted by any individual or group within the College (faculty, staff or students), and on behalf of any academic or administrative unit or school of the College, including but not limited to Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Law, Marine Sciences, Facilities, Dining Services, Residence Life, Transportation, Student Activities, etc. Proposals submitted by students should include the participation of a Faculty Advisor acting as a mentor for the project. Student projects may involve academic credit if conducted as Independent Study or Internships approved by the appropriate unit. Those wishing to submit a proposal are encouraged to speak with COS representatives about their idea and to submit a draft proposal before the deadline to receive feedback on the project.

Proposals should address an important issue for the sustainable future of the College. They may involve research designed to explore innovative approaches to sustainability, or studies that provide new and useful information that will aid COS decision-making in the future. Proposals that require seed money or start-up costs leading to larger efforts involving extra-mural funding are encouraged. Proposals for equipment or projects that retrofit or renovate existing facilities to improve energy efficiency, landscape management practices, or operational transformations are also of great interest to COS. To view descriptions of previously funded projects by semester, please see the menu to the left. Depending on the number of project proposals received, the Steering Committee may not fund the full amount requested for all projects.

The COS Steering Committee will announce Green Fee funding decisions once each  semester. In the semester following the receipt of funds, the Project Leader should submit a brief interim project report describing the status of work and any results achieved. A final report is due upon completion of the project.

Important information to consider when crafting your proposal: 

1.  If your proposal includes items that must be shipped, you must calculate shipping costs into the total request of your proposal.

2.  When purchasing products for your project, try to source from local vendors as much as possible.

3.  If you are purchasing promotional items like T-shirts, reusable bags, water bottles, etc. for your project, you must work with a College purchaser, like Cathy Pacheco cpacheco@wm.edu at the W&M Bookstore.  Employees who regularly purchase items like these on behalf of the College can make sure that you get a good deal and that the Green Fee money is spent wisely.

4.  Keep track of all your receipts.  You will need the originals for reimbursement, and you will need to turn in copies of your itemized receipts for your 6 month interim project report and your 12 month final project report.

5.  If your project involves installing something on College property, you must include installation costs in your project request.  Contact Dan Patterson dppatt@wm.edu in Facilities Management for more information.

6.  Continuing effort and costs for the maintenance of free standing structures or plots are the responsibility of the requestor and should be worked into the department or office budget.  Maintenance costs can not be included in the Green Fees grant request.  Maintenance costs for long term projects (such as changing out lighting systems) that replace or add to the structure or facility will normally be borne by Facilities Management; however, the requestor should check with Dan Patterson dppatt@wm.edu prior to submission of any project for a definitive answer.

7.  All student projects must have a faculty or staff advisor who must agree to supervise the project.  All faculty or staff who propose projects must check with their supervisor before submitting a proposal.

Questions?  Contact Director of Sustainability at waterslake@wm.edu or contact COS co-chairs Dennis Taylor at dltayl@wm.edu or Lynda Butler at llbutl@wm.edu.