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Green Certification

The Green Certification program is designed to recognize, assist, and promote units that are taking steps toward reducing their environmental footprint. Units demonstrate their commitment through initiatives for communication and education, energy efficiency and conservation, waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, and procurement. Green Certification seeks to motivate environmentally friendly behaviors by providing definitive guidelines and reducing confusion about best practices.

The application process for 2013-2014 is now closed! We will begin accepting applications for 2014-2015 in November 2014.
Click here to view a complete list of the 2013-2014 Green Certified spaces (expiring in October 2016).
Click here to view a complete list of the 2012-2013 Green Certified spaces.

Certification Benefits

  • Certified units will be recognized at MSU’s Earth Week event.
  • Certified units can use the Green Certification seal on recruitment materials and other communication materials to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship and participation in the culture of conservation
  • Certified units will recieve a Green Certification window cling.
  • Buildings in which all units earn Green Certification will receive a plaque recognizing the building as “Green Certified.”
  • Buildings in which all units earn Green Certification will have a special designation on environmental stewardship building reports.

Certification Categories

MSU units and on-campus students can earn Green Certification by completing online self-assessment forms available on the Be Spartan Green website. In acknowledgement of the distinct functions within the university, certification forms were created for five categories: information technology spaces, science laboratories, kitchens, campus living spaces, and offices. Certification is good for two years. Units with multiple functions should complete the forms for all applicable categories, which are defined as follows:

  • Offices–work areas and conference rooms specifically assigned to academic, administrative, or service functions
  • Information technology spaces–areas used as data or telecommunications centers with applications that are broad enough to serve the overall administrative or primary academic equipment needs of a central group of users or unit
  • Science laboratories–areas used for experimentation, professional research and observation, training in research methods, structured creative activity within a specific program, or sponsored research
  • Kitchens—areas used to prepare and/or provide food within residence halls, concessions, coffee shops, convenience stores, or other similar facilities
  • Campus living spaces— Student Green Pledge— covering individuals living in Residence Halls or University Apartments
  • Campus living spaces— Floors— covering floors of Residence Halls or University Apartments

Full descriptions of the Green Certification characteristics are available here.

If your organization is interested in starting your own certification practice, please be aware that this is work is licensed under Creative Commons. You can use this certification as a guide and modify it to suit your needs as long as you share your product with the Michigan State University Office of Campus Sustainability at

Creative Commons License

Green Certification Program
by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Certification Process

  1. Visit Be Spartan Green Green Certification site.
  2. Click on "Login tab" and enter your MSU email address ( for the Username and your associated password.
  3. Click on the Certifications tab and select the appropriate type.
  4. Fill out the form and answer all questions as indicated.
  5. Once completed click on the Submit button.
  6. Green Certification Renewal Cycle

You can save your work and return to it later if need be.

  • Certifications are good for up to two years.

Complete the selected form or forms by checking “yes,” “no,” “N/A” (not applicable) “or plan to”. Check “yes” only if the laboratory identified above exhibits a characteristic 75 percent of the time. For further explanation of each item, click on the question. For additional information, contact the Office of Campus Sustainability at

Promotional Materials

Certification Assistance

For help filling out you Green Certification application, you can view the Green Certification Presentation on our YouTube channel, or if you have questions about the certification process or completing a form, e-mail the Office of Campus Sustainability at

Download the General Information sheet

Download the Memo from President Simon