About the Fund
Established in 2014, the Sustainability Revolving Fund (SRF) finances sustainability initiatives at the University of Saskatchewan. Projects that result in utility savings either directly or indirectly through behaviour change on campus are funded.
A revolving fund works by reinvesting cost savings resulting from the project back into the fund. Projects that achieve direct utility or operational savings reinvest the inital funding plus an additional 50% back into the fund. This ensures that the fund will continue to grow and be financed by its own efforts.
Revolving funds have yielded substantial returns for more than 70 North American universities and colleges invested in expanding sustainability initiatives. The University has joined 60 of these institutions in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which as pushed many academic institutions to create self-managed revolving funds to implement cost-saving sustainability projects on their campuses.
Who Can Apply
Any student, staff, or faculty within any academic or administrative unit of the University of Saskatchewan may apply to the SRF to fund a sustainability-related project. Building projects must be associated with a building owned by the University, while activity initiatives must be associated with University-controlled activities.
Projects considered for the fund typically range between $1,000 and $500,000. Sustainability initiatives, projects, or programs funded by the SRF must achieve one or more of the following:
- Advances the University's sustainability performance in at least one of these areas:
- Community Engagement, or
- Aligns with the University's Campus Sustainability Plan and/or Climate Action Plan;
- Directly or indirectly reduces utility and other operating costs;
- Reduces the University's environmental impacts;
- Reduces demands on the University's facilities and infrastructure; or
- Provides a stepping-stone for future sustainability improvements.
The first project funded through the CSRF, this retroft replaced the existing halogen lights in the Gordon Snelgrove Art Gallery with LED equivalents. The new bulbs save 83% of the energy that the previous bulbs used and were chosen to meet the specific lighting needs of the art gallery.
This project is replacing toilet and urinals in the Geology Building. Updated toilet fixtures will lower water usage each time they are used. Urinals will have ECO-P sensors installed that allows a typical fill and flush tank urinal to flush only after activation. Normally tank type urinals flush every 20min regardless of use 24/7. It is anticipated that this project can achieve up to 48% water savings.
This project replaced existing the existing HI Pressure Sodium lighting fixtures in the Agriculture Parkade with LED lighting. LED lighting will save energy and also provides a brighter, more evenly light space and has increased safety of the facility. A reduction in maintenance due the extended life cycle of the fixtures also provided operating cost savings.
Ultra-low temperature freezers are used in labs to store specimens at -80oC. Older models use about 12,600 KWh annually and energy efficient models, that use ¼ of the energy are now available. With this funding, the Office of Sustainability is coordinating a ULT freezer rebate program that will provide an incentive for labs to switch out old freezers with energy efficient models.
A flow cytometer is a piece of lab equipment used in cancer research to analyse cell components. Older models are less efficient and emit a significant amount of heat, causing HVAC systems compensate. This funding contributed to the replacement of an older flow cytometer and will result in energy savings for the university.
Executive Committee Members
The SRF is overseen by an Executive Committee which includes:
Toddi Steelman, Executive Director School of Environment and Sustainability (co-chair)
Brad Steeves, AVP Facilities Management Division (co-chair)
Dan Swerhone, Director Operations & Maintenance, FMD
Piya Sen, Director Budget and Special Projects, FSD
Colleen MacDonald, Direction of Planning and Operations, FMD