The Princeton Review, renowned for its reports concerning institutions of higher education, conducted its second annual Green Ratings report that covered 697 institutions in the United States.
The rating is based on a scale of 60-99, considering the institutions' environmental friendliness and environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings. Grand Valley received a rating of 98; the rest of the top four for Michigan were Michigan State University (93), Western Michigan University (92), and University of Michigan (89). Nationwide, only 15 institutions earned the top rating of 99; none of them were in the Midwest.
The criteria for the rating covered three broad areas: whether the school's students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable; how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges and the school's overall commitment to environmental issues.
The ratings are based on information gathered from the colleges, and the criteria and institutional survey was developed through a partnership with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental organization.
Grand Valley continues to be recognized nationally for its sustainability efforts. Grand Valley has 15 structures that have been either LEED certified or are in various stages of being certified by the U.S. Green Building Council — visible signs of Grand Valley’s commitment to making its operations greener and more sustainable. It is the only Michigan school cited in Kaplan College Guide 2009's list of "cutting-edge green" colleges and universities. The university was the recipient of the USGBC’s 2008 Recognition Award and the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2008 National Sustainability Innovator Award. Grand Valley’s Mark A. Murray Living Center was given an Energy Star designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — the first university student housing unit in Michigan to receive such a designation.
“These rankings show that Grand Valley continues to exhibit regional and national leadership in sustainability,” said Norman Christopher, director of the university’s Sustainable Community Development Initiative.