Download a guide to planning eco-friendly meetings.
If sustainability is important to you, you’ll be happy to know that it’s also a priority for Grand Rapids. Named “America’s Greenest City” by Fast Company magazine, Grand Rapids has received worldwide recognition for its sustainable efforts.
Our City Commission defines sustainability as "living today without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to live equally as well or better." Grand Rapids is blessed with abundant natural resources, and we are committed to protecting and preserving this very special environment.
Our FY2017-FY2021 Sustainability Plan builds on the significant progress of the past decade. In 2009, Grand Rapids became the first U.S. city recognized by the United Nations as a Regional Centre for Sustainable Development. Other recognitions include:
Nation’s Most Sustainable City, US Chamber of Commerce
1st Place, Mayor’s Climate Protection Awards
1 of 5 Model Cities for Sustainability, Earth Day Network
1 of 8 inaugural cities for the Climate Resilient Communities program
1 of 12 Cities Leading the Way in Sustainability, billmoyers.com
1 of EPA’s Top 20 Local Government Purchasers of Green Power
Most Progress on Water Conservation Award, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
The city's sustainability efforts are assisted by the active support of the world’s first Community Sustainability Partnership, formed in 2005 as a means to share sustainable experiences and aspirations. Today, more than 270 local partners – private, public, service and academic organizations - are working together to advance sustainability in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids has been named America’s Best River Town (Outside magazine), Best Town for Mountain Biking (Outside magazine) and #6 Fishing City (Field & Stream) – a recognition of the natural resources we work hard to preserve.
LEED by Example
Our local building and design industries have long been at the vanguard of environmental progress with their dedication to LEED principles. An acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED spells out in detail what constitutes a "green building."