What is a green school?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education inspired schools to strive for excellence in sustainability when they created the Green Ribbon Award program, which defined the three main components of a green school. Green schools:

Reduce environmental impacts & costs
Improve occupants' health & performance
Increases environmental & sustainability literacy

Learn more

How to green your school

The Green Ribbon Schools criteria help schools to understand where they should end up. But what will it take to get there, and how will you know how far you’ve gone?

To learn about what green steps to take next, consider many of the Center’s green school programs, or our helpful Every School Can Be A Green School: Getting Started Checklist.

Visit our resources page for a full list of research papers, case studies and green school reports. If you’re ready to get serious, the Arc platform can help your school set sustainability targets and track your progress — it can even lead to LEED certification.

LEED for Schools

At the Center, we’re helping to define outcome measures that can be used by schools and organizations to evaluate progress toward each of the three pillars.

If you’ve already made strides toward greening your school building and are looking to certify your school or campus, read about the LEED for Schools rating system for new buildings or existing buildings. More than 1,800 K-12 schools are LEED certified.