Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard Green Loan Fund

The Green Loan Fund at Harvard University has been an active source of capital for energy efficiency and waste reduction projects for almost a decade. The green revolving fund has been a successful self-replenishing tool for encouraging Harvard’s schools and units to invest in projects that generate cost savings and reduce their environmental impacts. Originally funded by the President’s Office at $1.5 million, the now $12 million revolving loan fund provides capital to Harvard for high performance campus design, operations, and maintenance projects. The fund’s low-interest loans have successfully financed projects which save the university electricity, natural gas, water, waste disposal fees, along with other operating costs.

Challenges faced by the fund’s administrators have included promoting the fund across a decentralized campus, soliciting project proposals, and ensuring that projects are successfully implemented and documented. Despite these challenges, the fund has experienced average annual returns of 30 percent, saved the university $4.8 million dollars annually, and reduced Harvard’s environmental footprint.


The higher education participants in The Challenge are managed by Second Nature. To learn more about how Second Nature plans to expand use of GRFs in higher education, visit their page!

Founding Circle


Cambridge, Massachusetts

Green Revolving
Fund Size





Heather Henriksen
Director of Sustainability