Western Michigan University: Quasi-Revolving Fund

Author: Christina Billingsley
Published: October 2011

Description: Western Michigan University has designed an innovative “Quasi-Revolving Fund” model that demonstrates the institution’s full commitment to incorporating sustainability into campus operations. The Quasi-Revolving Fund recaptures money from cost-savings, similar to a typical green revolving fund, but it also sources capital from the broader utilities, maintenance, and other budgets as necessary in a fluid manner. Therefore, its ability to finance projects is often far more substantial than the fixed pool of capital that comprises most revolving funds. As a result, it does not have a formal and consistent fund size; project finance opportunities are constantly tracked and reviewed as modifications to the overall utilities and maintenance budgets are made. This process allows for the institution to continuously invest in sustainability initiatives that promise a high rate of return without being limited by a lack of capital in the fund itself. The university reports that this combined strategy for funding sustainability improvements through a Quasi-Revolving Fund has achieved a 47 percent return on investment since its establishment in 1980.