Grand Valley State University's L.V. Eberhard Center, located in downtown Grand Rapids, was one of the first four venues in the state to earn the Green Venues Michigan Leader certification from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).
Green Venues Michigan encourages entertainment venues, convention centers, and similar facilities to implement environmental initiatives and cost-saving "green" practices to conserve energy, reduce water consumption, protect air quality, reduce waste, and participate in environmentally preferred purchasing.
"This accreditation is the mark of environmental responsibility of venues which are committed to ‘green' business practices that make environmental and economic goals their top priority," said DELEG Director Stanley "Skip" Pruss. "Green Venues Michigan is also helping to ensure the viability of our venues and the thousands of jobs related to Michigan's hospitality industry."
In granting the certification, DLEG noted that the Eberhard Center has implemented several environmental initiatives, including:
• A recent energy audit to identify energy saving opportunities.
• Photocells & time clocks to control indoor and outdoor lighting.
• A computerized energy management system.
• A comprehensive recycling program.
• Food waste composting.
"We are so pleased that the Eberhard Center was one of the first in the state to make the commitment to the environment and adopting cost saving green practices," said Bureau of Energy Systems Director Amy Butler. "The Bureau of Energy Systems is looking forward to providing technical assistance to other venues who would like to be a part of this program.'
David VanderSloot, Director of Conference Planning and Hospitality at Grand Valley State, said: "The L.V. Eberhard Center is an important resource for the people of West Michigan. As host to thousands of guests each year, the Eberhard Center showcases Grand Valley's commitment to green practices in a very tangible and visible way."
Other facilities earning certification included the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings; and Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn.
Green Venues Michigan is a voluntary, non-regulatory certification program offered through the Bureau of Energy Systems in DELEG at no charge. The Bureau of Energy Systems provides technical assistance to those who are interested in implementing "green" strategies and earning certification. The GVM program certifies facilities based on environmental initiatives such as air quality, energy efficiency, solid waste reduction, toxic waste management, water conservation, purchasing and communication. There are three levels of certification: Partner, Steward, and Leader, which can be earned by completing a self-assessment checklist and achieving a minimum number of requirements and points.
The Bureau of Energy Systems promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy resource development to Michigan's residents, businesses, and public institutions. For more information about the Green Venue Michigan program and to download the GVM application packet and self-assessment checklist, visit www.michigan.gov/eobnp and click on the Green Venues Michigan link under Programs towards the bottom of the page.