ALLENDALE — GrandValleyStateUniversity is the only Michigan school cited in a new guide of "cutting-edge green" colleges and universities that are committed to sustainability.
GrandValley was one of 25 green private and public colleges from across the nation to be featured in the Kaplan College Guide 2009, which this year focused on environmentally responsible schools and green careers.
Wendy Wenner, dean of GrandValley's College of Interdisciplinary Studies, said the university's inclusion in the guide is a recognition of an institution-wide sustainability initiative.
"This is recognition of GrandValley's commitment to applied sustainability. Our interdisciplinary approach encompasses faculty, staff, students, and the community and is part of a comprehensive strategy," Wenner said. "Our commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability empowers our students to positively affect the global community now and in the future."
GrandValley projects and programs that support the sustainability initiative include nine buildings constructed to U.S. Green Building Council standards, as well as a thriving partnership with The Rapid transit system.
In the classroom, GrandValley has established an environmental studies minor and a sustainability emphasis within the Liberal Studies major. GrandValley has signed the AASHE Presidents Climate Agreement and the Talloires Declaration and participates in the AASHE STAR Campus Sustainability Rating Pilot Project.
This is only the latest recognition GrandValley has received for its sustainability efforts. The university was the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council'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.