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GVSU named top performer by national sustainability association

  • A photo of the Allendale Campus.

Posted on November 09, 2017

Grand Valley State University has been named a top performer by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), achieving high-ranking spots in the categories of overall top performer and waste minimization. 

Grand Valley is included in AASHE's 2017 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication that highlights the performance of colleges and universities in 17 impact areas. Nationally, Grand Valley ranks fourth for waste minimization and seventh for overall top performer for master's level universities.  

"Sustainability is one of Grand Valley's core values and it requires teamwork and participation from everyone," said Norman Christopher, director of the Office of Sustainability Practices. "Leadership and excellence from faculty, staff and students continue to take us to new and higher levels on our collective sustainability journey."

The rankings were measured from data that came from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). The assessment gauges the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, including education and research, operations, planning and administration. It included more than 900 questions, and this is the fourth time Grand Valley has participated in the program. 

Grand Valley became the first Michigan university to receive gold status in 2013 and has maintained its gold status ever since. This year, the university's score increased from 66.05 to 70.80. Yumi Jakobcic, campus sustainability coordinator, credits the improved score to incremental increases across the board. 

"We continue to offer more classes containing sustainability-related content and the number of professors engaged in sustainability-related research has increased," Jakobcic said. "Our biggest improvement was in the waste category due to the university's Surplus Store, and our score for buildings increased as well." 

View the university's STARS report at and the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index here

This is the latest recognition Grand Valley has received for its sustainability efforts. In August, the Sierra Club ranked the university 39th out of 173 schools as one of the country's greenest universities. In September, Grand Valley was named one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges by Princeton Review. In 2014, the university formed the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council, focused on planning and advancing sustainability as a campuswide goal and value. 

For more information, contact the Office of Sustainability Practices at