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Projects Updates for Billion Dollar Green Challenge

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  1. Article about Billion Dollar Green Challenge

    The Chicago Tribune included a mention of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as one of two schools in Illinois that have joined the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

  2. GRITS one month trial period January 2014

    F&S is working with Shoshana Blank, the Senior Research Fellow & GRITS Project Lead at the Sustainable Endowments Institute, on a trial tracking and reporting system for the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).  Mike Marquissee is entering some historical data in to the system.  F&S is also sharing access to the trial site with the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) Program Advisor, Micah Kenfield. 

    Initial reactions at F&S are very positive.  The GRITS system has a low annual cost, and it provides a simple and robust tracking system for the RLF.  This would be an upgrade from the spreadsheet tracking we are currently using.  The program also provides reports on payback, energy saved, fund growth over time, and more.  Additionally, there is a Project Library resource, which shares conservation project information from other GRITS participants.

  3. note from Billion Dollar Green Challenge

    Hi Morgan and Mike,

    It was great to speak with you both today and learn more about the revolving loan fund at UIUC. Your green revolving fund would be well-fit for the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

    I have attached an information packet with all you need to know about The Challenge. If you want to sign-on to The Challenge, sign page 15. If UIUC has a $2 million revolving fund, it would cost $1,000 a year to be on The Challenge.

    I also attached the document with estimated lifespans for various energy efficiency equipment.

    I'll be in touch in early November to get you GRITS trial access, unless I hear from you sooner!

    Actually, Morgan, I see that you will be attending the Climate Leadership Summit hosted by Second Nature in Boston next month. Our office is actually down the hall from Second Nature. My boss, Mark Orlowski, will be at the Summit, and could always meet to answer questions. Also, if you want to meet up with me, I could meet by the conference as well. Just let me know if that would be helpful.




    Shoshana Blank
    Senior Research Fellow &

    GRITS Project Lead

    Sustainable Endowments Institute
    A Special Project of
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

    18 Tremont Street, Suite 930

    Boston, MA 02108

    Office: (617) 528-0334

  4. GRITS 1.0

    Launch of GRITS 1.0

    On Earth Day, the Sustainable Endowments Institute will be launching the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) 1.0, a tool that streamlines tracking and calculation of project-level energy, financial and carbon data for sustainability and efficiency investments. On April 17, we will host a special webinar to provide a preview of GRITS 1.0 and the GRITS Affiliates program before its public launch (April 22). For information on the webinar and the GRITS Affiliates program, please see below for more details and how to register.

    What is GRITS?

    GRITS 1.0 is an online tool that offers a bridge between management and performance reporting by creating a space for institutions to track, analyze and share data on specific projects or groups of projects--well beyond the capabilities of spreadsheets. GRITS provides an accessible platform to better manage financial and environmental project performance.

    What can you do with GRITS?

    • Access and learn from the field-tested projects of peer institutions (the Project Library has hundreds of projects and is growing rapidly)
    • Facilitate investments in efficiency projects by enabling fund administrators to easily and clearly communicate with stakeholders
    • Simplify calculations of project-specific carbon and financial savings on both annualized and estimated life-of-project timeframes
    • Create customized reports that tell the story of current and anticipated project performance.

    The improvements offered in GRITS 1.0 are the culmination of more than two years of development and collaboration with participants in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

    Interested in a tour? Email to see first-hand the improved GRITS tool.

    Special Preview Webinar of GRITS 1.0 on April 17

    In partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Endowments Institute will host a webinar to provide a special preview of GRITS 1.0 and the GRITS Affiliates program before its public launch on April 22. Many institutions in the United States and Canada have requested access to the GRITS web-based platform to better track project-level energy, financial, and carbon data, and we are excited to offer access to GRITS to all institutions.

    The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 17 at 2:00 PM EDT. Please RSVP for this free webinar at

    Introducing GRITS Affiliates

    What is GRITS Affiliates?
    GRITS Affiliates is SEI's new program that opens access to GRITS 1.0 to all institutions and organizations.

    Offering GRITS 1.0 to a wider community will build on the important work that is already being undertaken, strengthen best practices in the field, and help more institutions realize vital environmental and financial benefits. Members of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge will still have the advantage of a more cost-effective program for using GRITS. Challenge members will also benefit from new project-specific and fund-specific data provided by GRITS Affiliates that will help further expand the Project Library.

    GRITS Affiliates will be available to schools and organizations outside The Challenge by subscription.

    Interested in GRITS Affiliates? Sign up for free trial access by emailing