MSIA Green Circle Certification Program Guidelines

MSIA Green Circle Certification Program

MSIA created the Green Circle Certification Program to enable our members to take the lead in ski industry sustainability efforts.  We chose a green circle because that symbol is already familiar to our industry and signifies the “easiest path” down a slope or trail.  Our green circle program is designed as your trail map to the easiest path to sustainability.

All MSIA members – Ski Areas, Ski Retailers, Ski Industry Manufacturers Reps, and Associate members – can become Green Circle Certified because it is general enough for all businesses to be able to take part.

An MSIA member property is eligible to receive a Green Circle Certification Designation if the property preforms a minimum of two activities from each of the four categories. 

Activities are listed below.  In addition to the activities listed, a business may design and propose another activity (listed as “other” below and on the linked application). Alternate activities must be approved by the MSIA Sustainability Committee.

Don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.  When you’re ready, please complete the form here [will need to link].

Complete at least two initiatives in each of the four categories:

1. Managing Waste

  • Implement a recycle program for at least two of the following:

A. Paper (office, newspaper, magazines, etc.)
B. Plastic
C. Printer cartridges
D. Cardboard (see information here on free cardboard bailers)
E. Glass

  • Institute a water management program which may include any or all of the following: glasses of water only upon request at restaurants, installing efficient flush toilets/urinals/shower heads/faucets, drought tolerant plantings, efficient irrigation systems, other ideas for water management etc.
  • Implement composting program.
  • Conduct a waste audit to see what your current consumption is and where you could reduce waste.
  • Adopt business/office policies that are waste conscious, including  adjusting printer settings to default to two-sided, offering emailed receipts instead of printed, filing documents electronically as opposed to paper files, no idle policy for employee and company vehicles, etc.
  • Convert from using disposable products to reusable, recyclable or compostable items.
  • Work with local food pantry/charity for immediate use of food reaching end of life.
  • Other – You choose and describe on application.


2.  Energy Efficiency

  • Contact your energy provider for a free energy audit
  • Using alternative energy, renewable fuels or specialized energy-efficient technology in property management
  • Implement an energy-saving program that may include (but is not limited to) LED lighting, motion/occupancy sensors, programable thermostats, etc.
  • Create closing checklists to ensure lights and select appliances are being turned off as opposed to sleep mode.
  • Convert to High Efficiency appliances as they need replacing.
  • Other – you choose and describe on application.


3.  Environmental Protection

  • Buy green, buy local.  Commit to a program to purchase products and services from local Michigan companies.
  • Reduce or discontinue use of products that cause pollution, including polystyrene, K-cups, plastic straws, plastic bags, etc.
  • Adopt the use of alternate cleaning products that are certified biodegradable and earth friendly.
  • Create a program to properly dispose of hazardous materials (batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, oil, chemicals, installation of an oil/water separator etc.)
  • Other – you choose and describe on application.


4. Educate/Advocate/Lead

  • Provide employee trainings on compost and recycling.
  • Promote environmental issues by creating a calendar of local environmental happenings available to employees/public, or providing space for green tips or ideas in an employee/customer newsletter, blog or emails.
  • Encourage employee volunteer days (to give back to the community) and provide some type of acknowledgment for their service.
  • Educate customers with signage about straw use, towels (in lodging facilities) glasses of water when requested (in restaurants), and/or other recycling/composting/reusing programs at your facility.
  • Contact your local legislators about issues that deal with sustainability.  MSIA provides a list of bills we are watching on this page.
  • Support candidates running for office that support sustainability of our environment.
  • Encourage employees and customers to embrace sustainability by making it easy for them to participate – examples: install bike racks, a bike commuter shower, water bottle refill station, recycle bins etc.
  • Install electric car charging station (
  • Create a sustainability plan road map that outlines how to reduce wast by 50% in 2025 and 100% clean by 2030.
  • Other – you choose and describe on application.