Last week, the University of Minnesota announced plans to participate in a project that would help schools make environmentally friendly investments when they normally might not do so.
The project, coordinated by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, combines funds from universities across the country and aims to reach $1 billion. The University of Minnesota, the only Big Ten school participating in the project, will invest $4 million. No specific projects have been announced yet, but this is an encouraging step for the University.
Since the University has been a leader in making green investments for several years, it makes sense to lend a hand to other universities that may not be able to follow the same path.
At the same time, the University should be wary of investing money in projects only for the sake of good public relations. Hopefully, the University will play an active role.
If the administration is serious about being a part of the âÄúGreen Challenge,âÄù one of the first long-term projects should be changing older buildings on campus from coal power to a cleaner energy source.
The number of buildings still powered by coal is a major problem at the University. Switching to cleaner power sources is one way the administration can show that participating in the âÄúGreen ChallengeâÄù is more than just a public relations stunt.