Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund

What is the SRLF?
The Whitman College Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) is a $50,000 line of credit designated for campus improvements that significantly benefit Whitman's sustainability efforts by conserving resources and improving efficiency. All loans are expected to generate savings that result in a 100% payback within no more than five years. Approximately $10,000 is available each year. The SRLF will be replenished through the savings accrued from the implementation of the projects.

The SRLF supports projects which:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce energy use
  • Increase renewable energy
  • Reduce water use
  • Reduce pollutants
  • Improve campus efficiency
  • Increase education on efficiency and sustainability

Even more information available on revolving loan funds from AASHE.

How do I apply?
Funding is available for projects proposed by Whitman students, faculty, staff and departments. A complete application will include:

  1. A detailed project implementation plan and timeline
  2. A description of the sustainability benefits and savings from the project over a five year period and its lifetime
  3. A tie-in of the project to Whitman's Environmental Principles
  4. A financial plan spreadsheet (available below)
  5. Confirmation (signature) from the Physical Plant or contractor indicating commitment to implementing the project if funding is awarded
  6. Stakeholder confirmation and approval

Proposals will be reviewed by the SRLF Proposal Review Committee. The Treasurer's Office and the Campus Sustainability Coordinator manage the project review process and the fund.

Past Projects with Payback Period and Cost:
Phoenix paper saving (2010): 2 years $450
Physical plant lighting (2010): 4 years, $4,300
Water saving shower aerators (2010): 2 years, $350
Student Agriculture at Whitman (2010) 1 year, $600
Solvent recycling (2010): 4 years, $9,110
Trust rentals weatherization and lighting (2010): 3 years, $9,430
Library hand dryers (2012): 3 years, $7,890

Advice for a Successful Proposal

  • Contact staff from the Physical Plant and department or building you plan to work with. Including them in the project brainstorming process and budget breakdown will help guide the development of the project.
  • Highlight educational aspects of the proposed project. Suggest ways your project can educate the Whitman community or intentions you have in realizing larger sustainability goals through this project.
  • Indicate how you will measure success. While the financial success of your project will be demonstrated through your payback calculations, highlight how increasing campus efficiency through your revolving loan will reach larger sustainability goals.
  • Think outside the box. If the SRLF cannot cover your entire project, look to alternative funding and grants to supplement your request. This can bring projects that would pay back in over five years within the limit. 
  • Research similar projects at other institutions to learn from their challenges and opportunities. 

Application Resources

SRLF Application - Word, PDF

Financial Plan Spreadsheet

Sample applications: Model Farm Project and Penrose Library Hand Dryer Project

Similar funds at other colleges

Outdoor Environmental Leadership Fund

What is the OELF?
Two generous alumni established this fund in 2005. The goal of the fund is to support the development of environmental leaders by providing support to the Environmental Studies outdoor field trips and projects as well as to subsidize participation on need-based scholarships. Funds are available for:

  • Environmental studies regional’s (weekends of off-campus study by environmental studies students and faculty)
  • Special projects related to environmental studies such as for students to attend environmental conferences
  • Scrambles for new students
  • Environmental studies regional studies courses
  • Outdoor Program trips
  • Campus clubs or groups (environmental conferences, leadership trainings etc.)
  • Faculty-led excursions of an environmental nature. The term “environmental” is constrained loosely, so as to include natural history, natural resource management, and issues of social science such as environmental justice.

How do I apply?
Proposals will be solicited at least twice a year from the Environmental Studies Committee, the Outdoor Program, and student environmental groups at Whitman College. Requests should clearly state the environmental and/or outdoor and/or leadership purposes of the proposal. Alternate and/or additional sources of funds should be listed. Requests from students should have faculty (ideally an Environmental Studies professor) or Outdoor Program (the Director or Assistant Director) approval.

Requests for funds may be submitted at any time, but are not necessarily evaluated more than once a semester. Proposals should be emailed to Bob Carson (, Administrator of the OELF. Contact him to learn the date of the next evaluation and/or to discuss your proposal in advance of submission. The proposals will be evaluated by a committee consisting of four environmental studies faculty and the Director or Assistant Director of the Outdoor Program. 

Past Projects:

  • Alternative spring break: resource management of the Karuk Tribe, northern California
  • Support for students to do water quality sampling in Walla Walla Valley
  • Support for students to attend the Sierra Leone Conference
  • Environmental studies regional: John Muir weekend, Big Sink, Blue Mountains
  • A winter expedition into the Idaho wilderness
  • Support to send 15 students went to the Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, OR
  • Support to three students to participate in an environmental writers' conference in Oregon's Wallowa Valley
  • Support to send about a dozen students for summer environmental internships, mostly within 100 miles, but as far away as Boston and Seattle
  • Support to send 10 students to Washington D.C. for the National Powershift Conference
  • Partial support for several students teaching about sustainable agriculture and eco-stoves in Guatemala
  • Outdoor Program trips coordinator position for a student in fall
  • Funding for students to attend Outing Program related training courses(e.g. avalanche safety, Wilderness First Responder)

Green Fund

What is the Green Fund?
The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) Green Fund was established Fall of 2010 with an initial investment from the ASWC Savings Fund. The purpose and chief goal of the Green Fund shall be to transform student sustainability policy initiatives into realities that enrich the campus in practice and principle.

Initiatives should demonstrate the promotion of sustainability and must be executed on campus.  Campus Sustainability Coordinators may be called upon by the Finance Committee to serve in an informal, advisory capacity as to help the Finance Committee adjudicate the feasibility and effectiveness of proposals.  Initiatives demonstrating returns on investment within a given time will be given heavier weight. Consent of any effected college entity (e.g. the Physical Plant) is required prior to review of application.

Application materials can be found here.

In addition to the Green Fund, ASWC provides a variety of funds to support student initiatives.  The Travel and Student Development Fund along with the Service Learning Fund provide additional sources of funding for projects. 

More information on ASWC funding can be found here.