Edgewood College Joins Launch of $1 Billion 'Green Challenge'

  • Monday, Jan 9, 2012

Madison, Wis. (October 11, 2011) - Edgewood College joined with 32 other leading institutions on Monday 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.

As part of the Founding Circle, Edgewood College has the distinction of being one of only two institutions in Wisconsin to take the lead in making this commitment. The Challenge is inspired by the exceptional performance of existing green revolving funds, which have a median annual return on investment of 32%, as documented by Greening The Bottom Line, a report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, is also a part of the Founding Circle.

A bright spot in a rocky economy, these profitable investments are helping create green jobs in campus communities, while lowering operating costs on college and university campuses.

"We're transforming energy efficiency upgrades from perceived expenses to high-return investment opportunities," said Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, which is coordinating The Challenge along with 13 partner organizations. "Edgewood College should be commended for rising to The Challenge and investing in energy efficiency improvements on campus."

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, the conference is the largest gathering to date on higher education sustainability.

"The Billion Dollar Green Challenge asks our higher education systems to invest in green revolving funds to support the campus sustainability movement. AASHE supports the Challenge in that these funds will help institutions become more sustainable and will help the higher education community understand the commitment they are making to a just and sustainable future" said Paul Rowland, Executive Director, of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

In advance of the launch, 33 institutions, including Edgewood College, 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 and Stanford, other Founding Circle institutions include Caltech, Dartmouth, George Washington, Middlebury, the University of British Columbia, and Weber State University.

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge has received financial support from the David Rockefeller Fund, HOK, John Merck Fund, Kresge Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, and the Wallace Global Fund.

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About the Sustainable Endowments Institute

The Sustainable Endowments Institute was founded in 2005 as a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Cambridge-based nonprofit organization has pioneered research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices.

About Edgewood College

Located in Madison, WI, Edgewood College is a liberal
arts Catholic college in the Dominican tradition, with 2,500
undergraduate and graduate students. It offers more than 40
academic and professional programs, including master’s
degrees in business, education, nursing, and other fields,
and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. For more
information about Edgewood College, please visit
or call Ed Taylor in Marketing &
Communications at 608-663-2333.