This article was updated May 2018.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) established the Center for Green Schools in 2010 to help focus its green school efforts and affect change for this critical building type – no other buildings speak more to the power of green building than the places where our children learn.
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council believes that everyone, from the kindergartener entering the classroom to the Ph.D. student researching in a lab, should have the opportunity to attend schools that sustain the world they live in, enhance their health and well-being, and prepare them for 21st century careers. The Center works with school decision makers, community volunteers, and thought leaders in the public and private sectors to drive progress at the intersection of sustainability, education, public health, and the built environment.
Center for Green Schools Fellowship Program
- The Center’s Fellowship Program has its roots in the Katrina-stricken Recovery School District in New Orleans. In 2008, USGBC saw the profound impact and value of having a sustainability champion providing on-the-ground support and expertise needed to rebuild the community’s devastated school infrastructure. The district has since fully embraced environmentally sound practices: Dozens of LEED-certified or registered schools are now open or under construction and tremendous improvements have been made to facility operations and maintenance practices.
- Today, the Fellowship program provides partner school districts throughout the country with a dedicated, on-site expert who collaborates with leadership and staff to bring sustainable and environmentally responsible practices into schools. The Fellows provide clear direction, comprehensive training and valuable resources for students, staff and faculty. For more information on the Fellowship program contact Anisa Heming, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Apple Day of Service
- Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service events.
- Since 2012, more than 750,000 volunteers in 73 countries have had an impact on the learning environments of 7 million students and teachers around the world.
- To learn more about the Green Apple Day of Service, visit mygreenapple.org.
Green Schools Conference and Expo
- Annually, the Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE) connects green school champions nationwide for two days of learning and collaboration in support of equitable, healthy and high-performing schools.
- The largest gathering of K-12 green schools advocates in the country, the Green Schools Conference & Expo brings together teachers, school and district administrators, facility directors, sustainability and energy managers, government officials, non-profit leaders, students, design professionals, and more.
- • The 2018 GSCE took place May 3-4 in Denver, Colorado. The conference was collocated with the annual Rocky Mountain Green conference, the largest green building conference in the Rockies.
- In 2018, GSCE will take place April 8-9 in St. Paul, Minnesota. It will again collocate with the IMPACT conference, the largest green building conference in the Midwest. For more information, visit greenschoolsconference.org.
Guiding Policy and Investment
- The Center puts forth international, U.S. federal, state, and local policy priorities annually, focused on increasing financial support for school facilities & operations and on furthering sustainability literacy in schools.
- At the U.S. federal level, our current aim is to lay the groundwork for school building improvement through better facilities data, enabling future advocacy for investment and policy change. At the state level, we strengthen our wide network of state legislators, each of whom introduces and advocates for transformative green schools policies in his or her state.
- Learning Lab is an online platform that provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action.
- To learn more and access Learning Lab, visit learninglab.usgbc.org
- LEED Lab is a multidisciplinary immersion course in which higher education students assess the performance of existing facilities on campus, select one building, and facilitate the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) process with the goal of certifying the facility
- For more information, visit centerforgreenschools.org/impact