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Grants to Green supports Oxford's sustainability commitment

Emory Report | Feb. 18, 2016

Oxford’s long-standing commitment to sustainability has received a boost with the recent notification that the college has been named a Grants to Green campus recipient. Established in 2008, Grants to Green is a partnership between the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Southface Energy Institute.

The initiative’s aim is to enable nonprofit and educational organizations to have environmentally efficient workplaces through “green” building upgrades or renovations, reducing their environmental impact while improving their bottom line.

“We are delighted to be accepted for Grants to Green,” says Myra Frady, Oxford College chief financial officer and dean for resource planning. “The information we are gaining from this project will further the commitment to sustainability that is already in place at Oxford College and help us find more ways to increase efficiencies in the use of all resources.”

The application for the grant was a joint effort that brought together all aspects of Oxford’s community. The Oxford Green Committee, which spearheaded the effort, is composed of representatives from the administration, faculty, staff, and students. Oxford’s Board of Counselors also took a keen interest, with Chairman Hugh Tarbutton Jr. and others participating in the grant process.

Oxford joins a list of more than 187 organizations throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area that have benefited from Grants to Green. 

Applicants can apply for two types of grants. The first is an assessment award, which rewards the recipient organization with a service, not cash. Engineers from Southface visit the grantee’s facilities to assess energy and water use and evaluate mechanical systems with an eye to how energy and water could be saved. The findings from the assessment are compiled into a report and presented to the grantee for consideration. Oxford’s assessment was completed in January, and recommendations are expected in late winter.

After assessments are completed, recipients are eligible to apply for an implementation grant. Awarded in cash up to $500,000, implementation grants are given on a matching basis, with the recipient organization raising the corresponding funds. These grants must be used to implement some or all of the recommendations of the assessment report.

Grants to Green brings together three Atlanta-based organizations with a large collective impact on the region. Funding is provided by the Kendeda Fund, whose stated goal is to explore how human beings can build a more just and equitable world.

The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, established in 1951 to strengthen the metro Atlanta region by providing quality services to donors and innovative leadership on community issues, drives the initiative.

Southface is a nonprofit organization that provides the engineering and professional expertise for the initiative. It has promoted sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance since its founding in 1978.