W&M Green to Gold Fund

 The Green to Gold Fund (GGF) is a green revolving fund established in 2016 to reduce William and Mary's impact on the environment and to improve efficiency in ways that create measurable returns on investment. Additionally, the GGF will provide educational opportunities for students and demonstrate W&M's commitment to sustainability. Learn about the GGF's first project, a lighting retrofit of the parking deck.

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What is a Green Revolving Fund?

A green revolving fund loans money to parties for projects that:  

  1. Lead to the reduction of W&M resource use and/or greenhouse gas emissions and
  2. Generate cost-savings

These cost-savings are returned to the fund so they can be loaned to the next green project, thus creating a sustainable resource that reduces W&M's impact on the environment as well as operating costs. For more information on green revolving funds visit the Sustainable Endowments Institute (Billion Dollar Green Challenge).

Goals of the Green to Gold Fund
  • Provide a funding source for projects that lead to the reduction of the University’s resource use and/or greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Empower students, faculty, and staff to create change by soliciting proposals from the entire W&M community.
  • Enable investments in sustainability efforts
  • Create a platform for large-scale change beyond what the current Green Fee program can provide.
  • Demonstrate William & Mary's commitment to sustainability and to being a leader in the field. 
Green to Gold Fund Procedure

The GGF Committee, a representative group of stakeholders, oversees the fund, assists applicants through the proposal process, and chooses the strongest projects for funding. The GGF Committee will accept proposals once a semester if the Fund has the financial capacity to accept them.

Preliminary ideas may be presented for Committee discussion, suggestions, and help with proposal development. Complete proposals with clear targets, financial plans, implementation plans and timelines will be evaluated and selected by the committee.

Any W&M (including VIMS) faculty, student, or staff may submit a proposal, though student-initiated proposals must include a faculty or staff advisor. All proposals must designate a person or persons who will be responsible for carrying out implementation and monitoring over the course of the project's repayment period. Applicants are encouraged to consult with faculty and Facilities Management staff, if appropriate, for suggestions regarding the design and implementation of their project.

GGF approval process
  1. All proposals will be submitted to the Director of Sustainability.
  2. Proposals will be posted online for the GGF Committee to preview.
  3. The GGF Committee will meet to discuss the proposals and to ask questions of the applicants, who will be invited to make a brief presentation to the committee.  
  4. Notification of approved projects will be sent to the applicants and to the Office of Finance along with a request for an index creation.

Proposals will be evaluated in order of the following priorities:

  1. Environmental benefits
  2. Payback period and return on investment
  3. Cost effective use of funds
  4. Measurable outcomes
  5. Risk
  6. Educational benefits

The applicant should use the best available methods to measure annual savings. If exact measurements are not possible, a calculated estimate of savings may be used instead.

Applicants have the option of proposing cost sharing or partial funding of a project.

GGF funds cannot be used for projects that are considered normal maintenance and repair.

In certain circumstances, the GGF Committee may approve a project that does not produce a financial return, but provides highly compelling sustainability advantages. Such proposals will be considered but must not threaten the long-term viability and success of the GGF.

Projects will be expected to begin repayment in the fiscal year following their completion and all awarded funds will be forfeited if the project is not completed within one year of its approval date. Annual repayment will be initiated via an invoice every September.

A brief status report will be required from the leader of active projects every September during the life of the payback period and should detail the current state of the project, the responsible parties, and how it is fulfilling its goals and obligations.  These reports may be submitted via email to the GGF chair and the Director of Sustainability.

For additional details and information about financial terms please download the Green to Gold Fund Charter (pdf).

Submit a Green to Gold Fund Proposal

Questions and applications for funding through the W&M Green to Gold Fund should be sent to the Director of Sustainability, Calandra Waters Lake at [[waterslake]] (phone 757-221-1605). Applications will be forwarded to the GGF Committee for review.

Donors interested in supporting the Green to Gold Fund may contact Robert Waggoner, Office of University Advancement, at [[rdwaggoner]] or (757) 221-1463.