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.

Eligible Projects

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.

Awards for 2014

I. Revolving Doors by Cecily Larison | $46,500

An MIT study found that revolving door usage for just one building reduces air loss by eight times, and implementation of revolving doors could “save almost $7500 in natural gas amounting to nearly 15 tons of  CO2.” The door is slated for Sarratt.

II. EcoTube and EcoTank by Param Jaggi | $5,000

EcoViate supports the research of carbon-collecting exhecoviateaust pipe capture device for vehicles. This Green Fund project proposes to implement the EcoTube and EcoTank on to each gas ­powered golf cart on campus and Vanderbilt fleet vehicles once they are phased in as rentals.

III. Recyclosaurus by the Kefi Project | $2,500

This project is to reduce pollution and increase awareness. A wireframe dinosaur near Branscomb would be filled with aluminum cans. Students would be able to watch as more and more cans accumulate, making them aware of the amount of waste that is generated, and all of the cans will be recycled when the dinosaur is completely filled.

IV. Hydration Station Rapid Water Bottle Fillers | $5,000

Rapid water bottle filling stations have been installed in Lewis, Carmichael Towers 3, Wilson Hall, Furman Hall, Buttrick Hall and Stevenson Center Library, for a total of 54 rapid filling stations on campus.

V. Recardio by Margaret Muldoon and Saira Suri  | $25,000

ReRev is a company that retrofits gym equipment to reroute the energy being given
off as a heat by-product. The technology, ReCardio, captures the kinetic energy from the gears of workout equipment and feeds the energy back into the building’s electricity grid.


Awards for 2013

I. High-Performance Showers by Skylar Hutto | $10,000

Throughout campus, 820 existing shower heads were fitted with high-performance, low-flow heads over the summer of 2013. This retrofit is predicted to save 28.5 million gallons of water each year at a savings of $12,000.

II. Occupancy Sensors in Common Areas by Matt Cooley, Drew Martin and Julie Schnur | $15,000

Fifty occupancy sensors were installed throughout common areas such as bathrooms and kitchens in Towers.

III. Green Lights by Michael Diamond and Sam Smith | $25,000

Screens that show real time energy usage in the Commons Houses.

Awards for 2012

I. Solar Docks by Morgan Goldberg | $11,400

Solar charging stations accessible for students throughout campus.


These and future sustainability projects are made possible by contributions to the Green Fund. It is now easy to designate your online contributions to Vanderbilt specifically for the Green Fund, and play an important role in making Vandy even more environmentally friendly!