What is a green school?

Green schools strive to achieve success in three pillars. Over 60 organizations in the United States and abroad use these pillars to describe their work on green schools, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award program.


Reduce environmental impacts & costs

Case study: Thurgood Marshall Elementary School


Improve occupants' health & performance

Case study: Learning Gate Community School


Increase sustainability literacy

Case study: Adlai E Stevenson High School

Learn more

Why green schools?

Successful green schools are better for students, teachers, and communities. They teach students how to lead a changing world, and they support student understanding by modeling sustainable behavior through green operations and building practices.

Top 5 ways we can help green your school

  1. Learn new strategies and connect with other leaders at the Green Schools Conference and Expo.
  2. Bring sustainability into the classroom with standards-aligned, bilingual, project-based learning from the online K12 curriculum platform, Learning Lab.
  3. Choose a day of action to move your school’s sustainability initiatives forward, and get guidance and mini-grant funding through Green Apple Day of Service.
  4. Track your progress and benchmark against other schools’ performance in energy, water, waste, transportation, and environmental health through the Arc platform.
  5. Get recognized for the progress your school has made in reducing environmental impacts and improving environmental health with LEED certification. More than 2,000 schools are LEED-certified.