The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the University of Arizona's Responsible Property Investment Center (RPIC) to help expand socially and environmentally responsible property investing in the United States.

RPIC will use the grant to plan its strategy and growth for the next five to ten years, convene the 4th national Responsible Property Investing Conference, update the RPIC communications strategy and Web site, and develop a prototype Responsible Property Investment Index.

"Responsible property investing encompasses a variety of efforts to address global warming, smart growth, land conservation, and community development in the course of profitable real estate investing," says Gary Pivo, a professor of urban planning and natural resources at the University of Arizona who directs the RPIC.

The center fills a major void in the investment landscape by bringing together leading property investors, managers and developers to share best practices, conduct crucial research and facilitate business relationships in responsible property investing.

RPIC was first established in 2006 as a joint project by the University of Arizona and the Boston College Institute for Responsible Investing, emerging from a series of meetings between real estate executives and socially responsible investors.