LOS ANGELES, CA - In a statewide first, Loyola Marymount University has sold approximately $90 million worth of "green bonds" via the California Educational Facilities Authority to construct new, sustainable student housing on the university's Westchester campus.
Green bonds are financing instruments that earn the special green designation because their proceeds will be used for environmentally friendly or sustainable projects. LMU is the first university to sell green bonds through CEFA.
"LMU has always strived to make our campus as environmentally responsible as possible, and by selling green bonds, we're expanding that undertaking to include our financing as well," said University Treasurer Caroline Wilhelm. "While it's exciting to take this step, it's also a path LMU knows well."
The new student housing, which will replace several older dormitories at LMU, will include energy-efficient design and construction, and is expected to qualify for LEED Silver certification. The buildings will be constructed in accordance with the university's Master Plan, a development agreement between LMU and the city of Los Angeles that was approved in 2011.
The project will increase the number of students living on the main LMU campus, thus reducing its carbon footprint by cutting down the number of car trips taken by non-resident students commuting to and from campus.
"Loyola Marymount's commitment to sustainability is embraced at all levels of the university, including our finance operations," said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Fleming. "Selling green bonds is a natural fit for the university. This action reaffirms our ethos and helps expand the marketplace for those seeking environmentally responsible investments."
LMU has long been a leader in campus sustainability efforts, with endeavors ranging from the 90,000 square feet of solar panels on university buildings to its on-site recycling center. The Sierra Club recently included LMU in its list of the 20 greenest colleges and universities in North America.
Last year, LMU became the first Jesuit Catholic university to sign on to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing, pledging agreement with the global network's guidelines for incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions.