The Vanderbilt Green Fund (VGF) was set up in 2011 by members of SPEAR and VSG to systematically reduce Vanderbilt’s greenhouse gas emissions by funding projects with both environmental and economic benefits, and engaging students, faculty, and administration in the process of transitioning to a clean and sustainable energy future.


The fund provides up-front capital to projects on campus that increase energy efficiency and sustainability efforts in the attempt to reduce energy consumption on campus.

The fund evolves as money is spent, recouped, and reinvested. The VGF Committee acknowledges that while projects may reduce energy consumption, they may realize no economic savings.

Vanderbilt Housing and Plant Operations allows $75,000 for the Green Fund every year, according to the resources of Plant Operations and the Office of the Dean of Students. Additionally, the fund is open to any additional donations from administrative re-allocations, student fees, university departments, grants, alumni, payroll deduction for employees, and the University endowment.


Projects for the VGF should aim to accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce energy use
  • Install clean sources of energy
  • Reduce water use
  • Reduce sewage or pollutants
  • Spur behavioral change to reduce energy or material consumption through 
VGF Committee will give preference in funding projects that have both environmental and economic benefit to Vanderbilt University.


The Vanderbilt Green Fund Committee will be comprised of six administrators, six students, and one faculty member. Together, they will come to make recommendations on viable projects for implementation.

Proposed projects will be reviewed based on responses to seven factors:

  1. The Project Description: A basic description of the project that identifies 
preliminary material, location and informational requirements.
  2. The Project Goal: A statement of which principle of eligibility the project falls under and a description of how this project will meet that goal.
  3. The Environmental Impact: The projected impact the project will have on the university’s energy consumption, carbon footprint, and general sustainability.
  4. The Resource and Cost Savings: The projected annual resource, and therefore projected monetary savings of the project.
  5. The Cost: An anticipated budget of: construction costs, design costs, construction management costs (if applicable), demolition costs (if applicable), inspection fees and other extraneous costs.
  6. The Payback Period: The projected payback time based on the calculated savings.
  7. The Schedule: The projected schedule and timeline for design and implementation of project.