Colgate University's Green Revolving Loan Fund (GRLF) is an internal fund earmarked for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability projects that generate cost-savings over time while reducing carbon and ecological footprints. Savings are tracked and reinvested into the fund to finance the next round of green investments.

How it Works

Members of the campus community may propose a project by completing the GRLF application and sending it to the Director of Sustainability, John Pumilio. Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • Specific environmental benefits such as resource conservation or greenhouse gas reduction
  • Ability to measure or estimate outcomes
  • Ability to identify resultant savings and repay the fund, normally within 3-5 years, with a maximum payback period of ten years.
  • Potential for community education, engagement, and collaboration


Up to 10 percent of fund can be allocated to projects that don’t have a payback, such as the installation of resource metering.

If a proposal is approved, the revolving fund finances the cost of the upgrades as a loan. The savings from a project’s implementation repay the loan, plus 10 percent, thereby growing the overall pool of money to fund future projects.

Example Project

The first loan from the fund financed the replacement of 88 light bulbs in Little Hall. That $1,300 project cut about 33,000 kilowatts of energy use each year, taking less than a year to repay, and saving the university nearly $20,000 during the expected lifespan of the new energy-efficient bulbs. 

Click here for a full list of all projects financed by the GRLF.

Learn more and submit a proposal

For projects to be considered, a Green Revolving Loan Fund Application must be completed and sent to the director of sustainability for initial review. Additional details, and the form, can be found at:

Learn more and submit a proposal