The Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) is a revolving fund used to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions on campus. The energy savings from CERF projects are routed back into the fund for five years after project payoff—thereby growing the fund to support future projects.
Calvin seeded the student-proposed effort in September 2009, and the college's Environmental Stewardship Committee approved policies governing CERF in March 2010. The first CERF project reduced electricity usage on campus by automatically putting computers to sleep when not in use. With thousands of computers on campus, this adds up to significant energy cost savings.
Students are involved in project analysis, providing an opportunity for supplemental learning on energy stewardship and fiscal responsibility. In September 2010, the West Michigan Business Review cited CERF among other campus activities when it recognized Calvin with the “Greatest Green Initiative” award.
Who governs CERF?
The faculty Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) reviews all projects and approves those that meet CERF requirements, including sufficient return on investment. ESC is integrated into the governance structure of the college.
Who benefits from CERF projects?
Calvin College benefits financially from the direct energy savings. Students’ learning is also enhanced by being involved in projects and by performing real world analysis during project reviews.
Traveling? Offset your carbon!
Travel is a significant source of additional greenhouse gasses. Discover how you can offset the environmental impact of your trip through a contribution to CERF.
CERF in the news
- Change the bulbs
- Student-led efforts save Calvin money and energy
- Green Awards 2010: Calvin College
- Empowering sustainability: Calvin taps students’ green ideas
- Gail Heffner, ESC Chair
- Matthew Heun, CERF Supervisor
- John Sherwood, CERF Intern
- Lucas Timmer, CERF Intern
CERF mission statement
The purpose of the Calvin Energy Recovery Fund is to pursue our calling to be stewards of God’s creation by implementing a process through which Calvin’s Campus can promote and realize a goal of energy stewardship and accommodate renewable and sustainable energy- and cost-saving projects.