The Center for Green Schools is how we are making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation.
Launched in September 2010, the Center for Green Schools builds upon the leadership, partnerships and programming the U.S. Green Building Council started through its Green Schools and Green Campus campaigns. The Center accelerates the transformation of schools and campuses through conversations with key decision-makers, collaboration with education and environmental associations and by offering tools and resources that help make green schools possible.
Why it matters
About 25 percent of the U.S. population goes to school every day in nearly 140,000 schools, colleges and universities. No one has ever counted the number of buildings, but thousands are barely built to code.
We know that fresh and clean air improves health, daylight boosts concentration, comfortable temperatures increase focus, and improved acoustics enable communication. By transforming the physical environment of a learning institution, we have the ability to impact how students, teachers and communities engage in their world.
A green school also serves as an interactive teaching tool, imparting lessons of stewardship and kinship, preparing students for life beyond its walls.
Studies have shown that green schools use less water and energy and can save an average of $100,000 a year on operational expenses. That is enough savings to hire at least one teacher, purchase 200 computers or buy 5,000 textbooks.
Through the Center, the U.S. Green Building Council is escalating its work with legislative, executive and educational decision-makers through:
- Green schools caucuses in the U.S. Congress
- A “50 for 50 Initiative” with state legislatures across the country
- The nationwide Mayors’ Alliance for Green Schools
- The Coalition for Green Schools, which represents more than 10 million members collectively and is comprised of organizations such as the National PTA, the National School Boards Association, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
The center is creating new resources and advocacy tools to support USGBC student groups on college campuses and a national network of more than 1,000 Green School Committee volunteers. Through it all, the center is focused on providing trainings and helpful resources to those who need it most – K-12 schools serving lower-income families, under-resourced institutions and community colleges.