GVSU receives top ranking from national sustainability survey

The Sustainable Agriculture Project is one of many sustainable projects at Grand Valley.
The Sustainable Agriculture Project is one of many sustainable projects at Grand Valley.
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Grand Valley State University again became the only university in the state and one of 61 in the country to receive gold status after completing a sustainability assessment developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) is designed to gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, including education and research, operations, innovation and planning, and administration and engagement. Grand Valley joins gold STARS institutions such as Cornell, Colorado State and Stanford.

“A gold rating helps establish Grand Valley as a leader and community resource in dealing with complex issues where economic environmental, and social welfare issues intersect,” said Anne Hiskes, dean of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, which houses the Sustainable Community Development Initiative. “STARS reporting helps the campus community identify areas of strength and areas for future improvement.”

Of the 282 schools that currently hold a ranking nationwide, Grand Valley’s average score was higher than the national score. The self-reporting assessment included more than 900 questions.

This is the third time Grand Valley has participated in the program. The university received gold status in 2013, up from silver status in 2011. In 2008, Grand Valley was selected as one of 50 universities in the U.S. to participate in the pilot phase of the STARS rating system. The rating system includes bronze, silver, gold and platinum statuses; to date, no institution has reached platinum status.

The full report can be viewed by searching “Grand Valley” at www.stars.aashe.org/institutions.

For more information, contact the Grand Valley Sustainable Community Development Initiative at (616) 331-7366.