National Academies Press: OpenBook

Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports (2019)

Chapter: Appendix E - Sample Charter

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Page 117
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Sample Charter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25567.
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Page 117
Page 118
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Sample Charter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25567.
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Page 118
Page 119
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Sample Charter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25567.
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Page 119

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117 The following charter has been adapted from documents found within the Sustainable Endow- ments Institute’s Green Billion Sample Green Revolving Fund Documents (Green Billion n.d.). Executive Summary The purpose of the airport GRF is to serve as an ongoing mechanism for investing in facility energy efficiency, water and waste conservation, and renewable energy projects. The airport can use internal capital, grants, and other sources of capital to seed the revolving fund and make interest free internal loans to projects that reduce operating costs while lowering resource consumption and carbon emissions. The GRF can be managed by the airport GRF Committee. About A GRF is an internal investment vehicle that provides financing to parties within an organi- zation for implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability projects that generate cost-savings. These savings are tracked and used to replenish the fund for the next round of green investments, thus establishing a sustainable funding cycle while cutting operating costs and reducing environmental impact. A GRF is an important tool for an airport to employ in its efforts to reduce energy use in its facilities and to meet an organization’s public carbon footprint reduction goals. Fund Establishment Airports need to decide which airport line of business leads the GRF. Based on experience in other sectors (e.g., universities), the environmental affairs or sustainability department may be the most appropriate. The fund itself can be managed by the airport’s financial operations depart- ment and overseen by the airport’s GRF Committee (described in the Governance section). Financial Structure The fund provides capital for high-performance facilities design, operations, energy effi- ciency, and occupant behavior projects aimed at reducing the airport’s carbon/environmental footprint and operating budget. The GRF can be open to a wide range of projects from modest in size with a quick payback to larger projects with longer payback periods. While avoiding formal limits is suggested, the A P P E N D I X E Sample Charter

118 Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports committee can generally concentrate on projects within a specific dollar range and payback period (many revolving funds use a range of $5,000 to $500,000 with a payback of 10 years or less). The project selection criteria may evolve over time, but the following criteria can be used to evaluate and prioritize projects under consideration: • Payback period • Resource conservation impact • Carbon reduction potential • Level of public visibility • Schedule overlap with connected larger capital projects Project feasibility—including energy savings, GHGs reduced, and ROI—can be analyzed with the help of internal facilities, planning and engineering staff, and third-party advisors. Financial savings generated by resource conservation projects can be returned to the GRF until the initial investment is paid off. After the payback period is complete, a preset percentage of the annual savings generated from each project can be returned to the fund for the remaining useful life of the project/equipment (lifespan estimates typically provided by the manufacturer of equipment are often between 8 and 15 years, depending on the type of equipment installed) or until the fund reaches its dollar value goal, whichever comes first. By tracking projects within a custom web platform for managing energy/financial/carbon data for GRF projects, this process can be simplified. Alternatively, a detailed and complex spread- sheet can be created to track overall GRF activity, as well as specific project data with numerous formulas to calculate annual as well as lifetime energy, financial, and carbon savings. Funds for projects may be used for the following: 1. Materials or products that constitute the project—often the primary cost 2. Professional work, installation, or design related to project implementation 3. M&V equipment—costs can be minimized except on projects that exceed a preset amount Typical projects include the following: • High efficiency lighting/networked lighting • Lighting and HVAC occupancy sensors • High efficiency HVAC equipment and ductwork • Controls for lighting and HVAC • Insulation and air sealing • Renewable energy • Metering • Cogeneration • Water-saving plumbing fixtures In general, projects that do not exceed a certain dollar amount (commonly $100,000 to $250,000 or another agreed upon threshold) can use engineering data to estimate cost savings, while larger projects may require installation of additional submetering systems to fully capture actual energy savings project performance data. The GRF Committee can decide whether exact or estimated savings are appropriate for each project. If necessary, modified savings repayment plans may be designed or approved either from the start or later in a project’s lifespan by consensus of the GRF Committee. For example, most GRF loans can be considered “full cost loans,” meaning that the internal GRF loan can cover the entire cost of all materials, labor and other costs, such as consultants or metering equipment required to complete the project. In certain cases, when the organization is undertaking larger capital projects, the GRF Committee may choose to make an “incremental cost loan,” whereby

Sample Charter 119 the GRF would provide the difference in capital required between standard technology being installed and higher performance technology that uses less energy or water. In this case, the GRF is only providing a small piece of the overall project cost, which is specific to the upfront extra capital needed to invest in the higher efficiency technology. The savings paid back to the GRF would therefore be based on the engineering data calculating the energy/water saved estimation compared with either the existing equipment or the conventional replacement. In all cases, project proposals can take advantage of local, regional, or federal incentives/ rebates for EE/RE projects. When these incentives or rebates are received, 100% of the funds can be deposited into the GRF account for use in the next round of projects. Governance The airport GRF Committee can meet quarterly (or at a different predetermined interval) to authorize implementation of individual projects and review the M&V of projects completed to ensure that savings are adequately tracked and returned to the fund. The committee can be made up of the following representatives: Chair • Planning/Environmental/Sustainability Director and Airport Director/CEO’s representative Members • Financial Operations representative • Planning representative • Facilities Management representative • Another Partner/Vendor representative The committee may decide to solicit energy and resource conservation ideas from the greater airport community (e.g., tenants, the public) for consideration at committee meetings. Eligible projects must reduce resource use (electricity, natural gas, water, renewable energy) and generate financial savings over its lifetime that exceed the initial investment. The committee can generate an annual report that outlines the impacts of the GRF during the current period and performance since inception. This report can be brief and generated in part through data from online software or other tracking methods, but it can also include a list of projects funded by the GRF. This report can be shared among internal and external stake- holders. The committee may amend this charter at any time by consensus.

Next: Appendix F - Glossary »
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Airports continually balance demands to improve infrastructure within the realities of available budgets. Green revolving funds (GRFs) offer an alternative approach for investing in projects that generate operational savings. These funds work by tracking verified cost reductions from implemented actions, and then transferring those savings to a reserve that provides capital for future qualified projects such as energy system upgrades.

A number of universities have managed GRFs for over a decade. Municipalities are starting to adopt them as well. ACRP Research Report 203: Revolving Funds for Sustainability Projects at Airports includes several non-airport-related case examples that have managed GRFs and two airport-related case examples. Airports require a modified GRF approach because of financial structures, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory requirements, airline agreements, and the wide range of tenant roles.

This ACRP report provides guidance to determine whether this innovative funding approach is suitable for a particular airport and instructions on how to deploy it. Airports that have the ability and determination to launch a GRF will gain a robust method for advancing their sustainability goals.

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