Daemen College is among a group of 33 leading colleges and universities that are committing $65 billion dollars to an innovative energy financing initiative. With the motto “Save Energy, Grow Money,” the Billion Dollar Green Challenge has invited colleges, universities, and other nonprofits to invest a total of one billion in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency upgrades. The Challenge launched publicly on October 11, 2011 at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Pittsburgh. With 2500 participants, the conference was the largest gathering to date on higher education sustainability.
“We are transforming energy efficiency upgrades from perceived expenses to high-return investment opportunities,” said Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
“Daemen College has been following this model for a number of years, and remains an innovator in initiating many energy-saving projects,” noted Daemen President Dr. Edwin Clausen. “Recent examples include the Research & Information Commons, which received a Gold LEED certification, and the Visual & Performing Arts Center, which is also targeted for LEED certification. Both buildings are centered on innovative, energy-saving concepts and materials.”
In addition, over the years Daemen has implemented many energy-saving projects, some including lighting retrofits; boiler upgrades; energy studies; geothermal-exchange heating and cooling (Visual & Performing Arts Center); and water-saving initiatives.
Early participants in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge include Harvard; Stanford; Dartmouth; and George Washington University.