Administrators consider sustainable fund

The Office of Sustainability is considering starting a fund to ensure funding for eco-friendly projects, officials said earlier this month.

Currently in its planning stages, the fund would use money saved from implementing energy- and cost-saving programs to finance future sustainable projects around campus, said Meghan Chapple-Brown, director of the Office of Sustainability. Students, faculty and staff members will be able to apply for money from the fund to implement their own environmentally friendly ideas.

“We would take proposals for projects for different places around campus from students, faculty and staff, saying, for example ‘We need to have automatic lights in classrooms,'” Chapple-Brown explained. “The fund would pay for those lights and the money that we save in energy costs would go back into the fund to fund more projects.”

Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said he thinks the fund could be a successful way to finance green projects around campus.

“I do think that the idea is a good one and I support the establishment of a fund at GW,” Katz said in an e-mail. “Other universities have been successful with these funds.”

University President Steven Knapp said the fund idea came from students, and said he was supportive of the plan.

“I am aware of this thoughtful and creative proposal, which came to us directly from our students, and I very much supported our hiring four students as interns to work on developing it over the course of this past summer,” Knapp said in an e-mail. “Their recommendations are now in the hands of Meghan Chapple-Brown as Director of our Office of Sustainability, who is working on the best way to implement them.”

To ensure a project’s success, Katz said, there would need to be “rules that provide incentives to the various stakeholders” that would encourage them to invest in the fund.

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