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Vanderbilt Green Fund

Vanderbilt Green Fund

The Vanderbilt Green Fund (VGF) was designed to systematically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of Vanderbilt University by funding student-initiated projects with both environmental and economic benefits, and by enabling students, faculty, and administration to engage in the process of transitioning to a clean and sustainable energy future. Any student, faculty, or group associated with Vanderbilt University can propose a project for consideration.

VGF provides up-front capital to projects with three primary focuses:

  • Innovation Proposals: these focus on on-campus projects that increase utility efficiency and promote sustainability efforts in an attempt to reduce utility consumption on campus. Examples include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy use, installing clean sources of energy, reducing water use, reducing sewage or pollutants, and spurring behavioral change to reduce energy or material consumption through education. Example projects have included solar-powered hot water heating system for Currey Tennis Center, Green Lights real-time energy display kiosks in Commons Houses, and electricity-producing elliptical exercise equipment for the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center.
  • Academic/Educational Proposals: these focus on sustainability enrichment and experiential education. Examples include educational installations, guest speakers, field trips, seminar series, conference attendance, student-run mini-conferences, and film screenings. Examples of past projects includes educational opportunities and expansion of the Vanderbilt Community Garden, shower timers for water conservation, and a Recycloasaurus recycling art installation on Greek Row by the Kefi Group.
  • Laboratory Proposals: these focus on improving the sustainability of laboratory operations. Examples include offsetting the increased purchase price of energy/water efficient equipment, e.g. ultra-low freezers, green labware and chemicals, and behavioral change such as a Shut the Sash awareness program or a Green Lab certification and recognition program.

The Office of Housing and Residential Education and Plant Operations make a combined annual input to the VGF of $150,000. The VGF is open to any additional donations from alumni, students, faculty, staff, university departments, grants, or the University endowment.

Green Fund proposals are first evaluated by a student committee organized jointly by VSG and SPEAR. Only the top candidates that the student committee are interested in funding are forwarded on to the Green Fund Working Group which is comprised of 6 administrators, 6 students and one faculty member.

Read the full VGF Charter here.


Get Involved

If you would like to volunteer to join the student evaluation committee or have questions about the Green Fund or about submitting a proposal for consideration, please contact one of the following:

Simon Silverberg, VSG Chair of Residential and Environmental Affairs Committee

Alex O’Shaughnessey, SPEAR Green Fund Chair

Chelsea Hamilton, Sustainability Outreach Coordinator (SEMO)


Past Green Fund Projects

2018 Projects:

  • Green Roof
  • Dual Flush Toilets
  • Stevenson Occupancy Sensors
  • Residence Hall Energy Competition
  • Utensil Dispensers and Usage Awareness
  • Raising Awareness for Cold Water Laundry Settings

2017 Projects:

  • Solar Picnic Tables
  • Vandy Van bus shelter for Hank Ingram, in conjunction with Senior Design class
  • Bike repair stations for Kissam, Rand, and Blakemore
  • Covered bike rack
  • Motion Sensors for stairwell lights
  • ReCardio Elliptical Machines at Alumni Hall
  • Expansion and improvement of the Vanderbilt Community Garden and aquaponics development

2016 Projects:garden

  • Green roof installation at Rand Dining Hall
  • Retrofit of all urinals in Vanderbilt Football stadium, Dudley Field, with ultra low-flow models
  • Vending Miser additions to vending machines campus-wide to save energy
  • Tennis Center heating reconfiguration
  • Hydration Stations installed in Rand Hall, Blair, Peabody Library, and Garland Hall
  • Solar hot waterExpansion and improvement of the Vanderbilt Community Garden and apiary development

2015 Projects:

  • LED Bulb Retrofits for Commons Bathrooms
  • Solar-powered hot water heating system for Currey Tennis Center
  • recyclosaurusSolar panel electricity-generating system for Currey Tennis Center

2014 Projects:

  • Hydration Station installations in Buttrick Hall, Furman Hall, Stevenson Center, and Wilson Hall
  • Kefi Recyclosaurus
  • EcoTube/EcoTank carbon emissions reduction system start-up funding
  • ReCardio Elliptical Machines at VRWC

2013 Projects:

  • IMG_0520Green Lights real-time energy  display kiosks in Commons Houses
  • Occupancy sensors in Carmichael Towers
  • Campus-wide low-flow, high-efficiency showerhead retrofits

2012 Projects:

  • Solar Dok solar-powered picnic table at Commons Center
  • Solstice charging units at McTyiere House, Branscomb House, and Buttrick Hall
  • Re{cycle} student bicycle rental program