Awards & Recognitions

University Sustainability Awards and Honors

  • For the TWELFTH YEAR IN A ROW, Grand Valley State University has been named one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review (Grand Valley again named a Green College by The Princeton Review - GVNext (
  • Grand Valley was named a top performer in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index (Grand Valley named a top performer in national sustainable campus index - GVNext (
  • Grand Valley placed in the top 40 of the country's greenest universities by the Sierra Club, the largest national grassroots environmental organization in the U.S.
  • For NINE YEARS IN A ROW (Since 2013), Grand Valley received a GOLD RATING from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) (Grand Valley receives gold status from national sustainability group - GVNext (  Grand Valley was the first Michigan university to achieve this certification in 2013, and has a rating of 74.9, up from 70.8 in 2019.
  • Grand Valley ranked second in the national Game Day Challenge for DIVERTING NEARLY 80 PERCENT OF WASTE at a football game.
  • Grand Valley has received additional sustainability awards and recognitions from KAPLAN COLLEGE GUIDE, SUSTAINABLE ENDOWMENTS INSTITUTE, AND U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL.
  • During GVSU’s 2010 reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (, officials noted: “The university’s AWARD-WINNING SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE serves the missions of education and outreach and PROVIDES NATIONAL LEADERSHIP.”
  • Peterson’s “Green Jobs for a New Economy: The Career Guide to Emerging Opportunities” listed Grand Valley and the University of Michigan as the two Michigan schools among what editors called “TOP 50 FOUR-YEAR SCHOOLS WITH GREAT GREEN PROGRAMS.” 
  • 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. 
  • Grand Valley ranked 24TH NATIONALLY among all colleges and universities in the recent annual Recyclemania competition.
  • President Emeritus Haas established Grand Valley’s DEDICATION TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT by signing The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. 
  • The City of Grand Rapids and Community Sustainability Partnership were designated the FIRST U.S. REGIONAL CENTER OF EXPERTISE IN EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
  • Grand Valley was featured by BEST COLLEGE RANKINGS on a list of colleges that are doing a GREAT JOB TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY and promoting it in their communities.
  • GVSU’s Facilities Services was the recipient of the Association of Energy Engineers Region III CORPORATE ENERGY MANAGEMENT AWARD
  • Grand Valley and one of its faculty members were recognized for sustainability efforts by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) Grand Valley was named Business of the Year, and Crystal Scott-Tunstall, an affiliate professor of environmental and sustainability studies, was honored as WMEAC's Educator of the Year.
  • In 2018, the Sustainable Agriculture Project received the national Innovative Project Award by the AASCU (Sustainable Agriculture Project receives national innovation award - GVNext (

LEED Building Certification Awards

The Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center on the Allendale Campus has recently been awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, demonstrating Grand Valley's commitment to sustainable progress through innovative design and construction. 

Currently, Grand Valley has 1.9 million square feet of LEED-certified structures – 24 sites and structures in total.

Grand Valley has committed to designing and building to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification levels. LEED buildings use 30 percent less energy, 40 percent less water, and 75 percent less material than regular buildings. 

• 50% of GVSU facilities are at Gold Level
• 37% of GVSU facilities are at Silver Level
• 8% of GVSU facilities are at Platinum Level 
• 5% of GVSU facilities are at Certified Level

Click here for a full list of LEED certified buildings on the Allendale campus.

presentations at the champion awards
Accepting Innovative Project Award
champion awards

Page last modified April 14, 2022