Billion Dollar Green Challenge

Founding Year: 2011



Mark Orlowski (Executive Director)

Mission: “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.”  The Sustainable Endowments Institute,  in collaboration with 16 partner organizations, has launched The Challenge.  Revolving funds loan money to specific projects, which then repay the loan through an internal account transfer from savings achieved in the institution’s utilities budget. 53 public and private institutions are currently participating, including Georgia Tech, Harvard, the Universities of Wyoming, Minnesota and Arizona, etc.    There are a number of significant funders, with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, initiators of Sustainable Endowments Institute (2005, Cambridge MA) being key.  An Advisory Council of approximately 30 includes influencers such as Blaine Collison of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


  • Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) – A web tool that helps institutions manage and analyze project-level energy, financial and carbon data. GRITS provides an intuitive interface to better track performance data from energy efficiency and other resource conservation measures. It also offers access to a Project Library, which includes the name of the institution, description, and detailed performance data for each of the more than 1,000 projects currently being shared.  Subscriptions to GRITS through the Affiliates program are open to any institution, whether or not it has a revolving fund, and allows for those outside the Billion Dollar Green Challenge to access GRITS.  Recordings and material from events and webinars are available on the website, e.g., “Implementation Strategies for Campus Green Revolving Funds”.  At least $114M in revolving funds have been committed to date.


  • A small library of guidelines, reports, case studies, etc.



Billion Dollar Green Challenge contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


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