Office of Sustainability

picture of runner jogging on paved trail alongside Grand River


When you think about sustainability, your first thoughts are probably about environmental sustainability which refers to how decisions impact land, air and water. At the City, we have many programs and initiatives around this work which you can learn more about on our Environmental Sustainability page. 

Environmental Sustainability

As a municipality, it is important for us to understand the ways our work impacts systems and communities on a broader level. For this reason, we use sustainability as a way to consider how our policies, plans, and programs impact not just the environment, but also the community and the prosperity of our City and beyond.

Sustainability Plan 

We assess Grand Rapids' economic, social, environmental and governance goals and outcomes. Our Sustainability Plan is the five year strategic plan for the City. The Sustainability Plan focuses on making City operations more sustainable. Take a look at our most recent plan to check out how Grand Rapids has become more resilient, healthier and a better place to live.

Sustainability Plan Progress Report Presentation - November 21, 2017(PDF, 9MB)

Sustainability Plan FY17 - FY21(PDF, 1MB)

5th Year Progress Report Sustainability Plan FY11 - FY15(PDF, 8MB)

Community Triple Bottom Line Indicator Report 2008(PDF, 2MB)

Sustainability Plan 2006(PDF, 288KB)

We're sharing our sustainability story! Check out the links below to see what we're up to.






Over the years we've been publicly recognized for our commitment to sustainability. Below are articles citing our permanent rankings.


Energy Services Coalition, Michigan Chapter, 2017 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for energy improvements at our Lake Michigan Filtration Plant


City of Grand Rapids accepted into first ever Racial Equity Here Cohort with Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE)

GRFD becomes accredited agency


Emerging 2030 District Designation

Battle of The Buildings 2nd Place Public Buildings

World's 1st Habitat for Humanity Home

Expanding Excellence Award for Innovation in Customer Service (Water System partnership with 311)


Lonley Planet top 10 US travel desitnation for 2014


DDA Wins Excellence Award


#1 in number of LEED certified buildings per capita - for mid-sized cities - in the U.S

#5 in the number of LEED certified buildings per capita overall in the U.S.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Most Sustainable Mid-Sized City


1st LEED platinum multi-family facility in Michigan


1st LEED Public Art Museum


1st U.S. city to be recognized as a Regional Centre of Expertise

1st Inland City to Join the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

1st LEED certified YMCA


1st LEED Public Transit Station


1st LEED municipal building: Water & Environmental Services

World's 1st LEED-certified school