In June 2013, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brought together stakeholders from academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors to envision a future where our schools support thriving, healthy, and regenerative communities. Participants agreed on a shared vision where all students graduate educated for a sustainable future through the integration of the environment, economy, and equity, with the ability to apply systems thinking to problem solving and decision making by 2040. Fifteen subject matter experts undertook the task of recommending key actions that, collectively, outline a pathway to achieve our ambitious goal. This National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability intends to propel efforts to affect policies and practices through collaboration, alignment, and large-scale implementation.
This paper presents a summary of the state laws, analysis of national survey data, the research results concerning data and opinions on the effectiveness of the laws, and detailed analysis of the similarities and differences of the laws.
"Powering Down: Behavior-Based Energy Conservation in K-12 Schools," follows the experiences of five public schools that have reduced electricity use by an astonishing 20 to 37 percent through behavior-based strategies alone. The paper, which was written with lead author Kate Crosby, looks to these schools as models for others and examines common strategies for every school to reduce its energy usage.
The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have teamed up yet again to release the fifth annual edition of the unique, free guidebook saluting the nation's most environmentally responsible green colleges.
The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition profiles 332 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. This book is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges.
The Whole School Sustainability Framework was produced through years of research by the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University and was produced and published by the Center for Green Schools. It Illustrates how every school can establish the conditions necessary to support their journey toward sustainability. The framework is organized into three components of schools—organizational culture, physical place, and educational program—and is supported by literature and case studies from social science, business, education, and building sciences.
The Campus as a Living Lab: Using the Built Environment to Revitalize College Education was developed in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges’ SEED Center and targets colleges that have greened their campuses, or are thinking about greening their campuses, creating real-world teaching tools for students across an array of academic and technical programs.
The goal of this Implementation Guide is to provide practical guidance for designing, implementing, and managing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college, university, or other institution. The GRF model is widespread, with at least 79 funds in operation in North America representing over $111 million in committed investment as of late 2012. GRFs have proven their ability to reduce operating costs and environmental impact while promoting education and engaging stakeholders.
The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient and Inspiring Learning Spaces is a free downloadable resource for K-12 schools and communities that demonstrates how schools can implement healthy and resource-efficient building improvements. The guide is the first product of a joint initiative of Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools.
Since McGraw-Hill Construction's Education Green Building SmartMarket Report was published in 2007, schools have been demonstrably on the vanguard of green building, and we are happy to report that our latest research confirms that they continue to be leaders in green building.
This toolkit offers K-8 teachers a lesson plan, including an interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School, to teach students the importance of conserving water and personal actions they can take in school and at home.
This guide will help K-12 administrators, teachers, parents, and students interested in pursuing LEED to understand the importance of healthy indoor air, how it manifests in schools, and actions that can be taken. It includes an interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School and an interactive web module.
Learn how to develop and implement a major school-based sustainability project with this guide for K-12 school leaders and planners. Read the interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School, take a one-hour online course, and conduct a professional development in-person workshop using the tools in this guide.
This guide is intended for K-12 administrators and teaching staff, as well as building professionals working on K-12 projects – or for individuals who educate these audiences. Using Learning Gate Community School as a case example of how to harness a LEED-certified building as a teaching tool, the guide includes short- and long-format case studies and a professional development workshop, complete with a presentation.
This document outlines the essential tools you’ll need to successfully complete portions of your application for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools voluntary recognition program.
USGBC Students Guide to Transforming Your Campus, Community and Career is written for the student who wants to change their school, their environment, their community and their future. It is a step-by-step guide to starting a powerful and functional student group, identifying the greatest needs on campus and creating a campaign to address them. This guide is intended for every major and every class year, for students already involved with USGBC and for those just forming a relationship with us. It is chock full of ways to engage sustainably conscious students, staff and faculty and drive them to success. We encourage you to print the toolkit for your own student group. Download our print guide to see how.
Outlines a national action plan that mayors and local leaders can use as a framework to develop and implement green schools initiatives. The report also provides a comprehensive review of the benefits of green schools; a summary of local, state and federal policy solutions; leadership profiles of green school advocates; and case studies from both large cities and small communities. Together, these resources serve as a roadmap on the journey to green schools.
Provides guidance, best practices, policy and planning templates to assist school officials in seeking LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M certification.
Focuses on the O&M best practices and sustainable policies addressed by the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system.
A toolkit and comprehensive guide for state lawmakers who are developing policy solutions that improve the health, productivity, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility of schools in their state.
The Paid-From-Savings Guide to Green Existing Buildings is a guide to help building facilities managers and energy service companies (ESCOs) leverage utility cost savings to fund comprehensive green building retrofits. The resource provides detailed information on how to aggregate green improvement measures to optimize project economics and achieve LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification.
USGBC has partnered with The Princeton Review to produce the third annual Guide to Green Colleges. See why 68 percent of high school students are looking for a green campus in their search for their best fit college.
As college and university leaders from across the United States work to green their campuses, students can and should play a critical role. Hands-On LEED: Guiding College Student Engagement explains how students can be involved in green campus projects and contribute to LEED certification efforts. The guide outlines three options for engaging students: coursework, internships and volunteer opportunities. It details the benefits of involving students and outlines ways to initiate the process of developing an engagement program, such as planning considerations and LEED-related activities and tasks that students can perform. The guide also contains profiles of three campuses that are engaging students on green campus projects with great success.
Hosting a study group? Download USGBC's free guide.
Our union's roadmap to green and sustainable schools, by the American Federation of Teachers.
Roadmap to a Green Campus is a strategy guide for using the LEED green building certification program as a framework for developing and evolving campus-wide sustainability plans. The Roadmap references more than 100 tools and resources to support campus greening efforts, profiles institutional success stories and was created with the support of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
In the past three years, McGraw-Hill Construction has seen tremendous growth in the green education market. In 2008, McGraw-Hill Construction sized the green building market share at 15% of total construction starts by value. By 2011, that share had grown to 45%, a market valued at $19 billion—the largest sector for green by value. Therefore, understanding and growing the green education market is critical to the growth of the green building market overall. This new market research study supports this signifi cant market sizing, and it also confi rms that the penetration of green into the education sector is deep.
Jointly released with McGraw Hill Foundation, this paper is an accessible account of current research connecting school buildings with student health and performance. It also includes a summary of research needed and how individual groups (teachers and students, design professionals, government agencies, etc.) can help in the effort to draw connections between where students learn and their well being. Anyone who needs clear, defensible research to support the need for better, healthier classrooms will find the summary of research into how students breathe, see, hear, move and learn useful.
USGBC and AASHE have partnered with Kyoto Publishing to create the second edition of the Climate Neutral Campus Report. This year’s report focuses on green building campus leadership from stakeholder groups including students, faculty, administration and facilities.
A Study Into the Effects of Light on Children of Elementary School Age – A Case of Daylight Robbery describes the effects of various lighting systems on elementary school students' dental health, attendance, growth and development, vision, and academic achievement.
This report is a 2010 update to the “To LEED or Not to LEED” paper, outlining progress and changes in application of the LEED rating system in building policies at higher education institutions.
Greening the Bottom Line, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) with more than a dozen partner organizations, brings to light current trends based on the first survey ever conducted about GRFs in higher education. Green revolving funds invest in enhancing energy efficiency and decreasing resource use, thereby reducing operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions. The cost savings boost the bottom line and replenish the GRF for investment in the next round of green upgrades.
Learn how LEED for Neighborhood Development can be a useful tool for campus development.
Close to 100 new case studies from 2011, highlighting efforts to dramatically reduce pollution, waste and costs, including recycling, energy efficiency improvements, alternative transportation systems and green jobs training programs. In addition to the new submissions, the database includes more than 650 case studies from campuses across the U.S. spanning more than a decade; the database is searchable by topic, year and school, and includes information on each college’s project goals, successes, challenges, funding strategies and project leaders.
The first in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report was released with McGraw Hill Global Financial Institute and reaches well beyond the world of schools and colleges. The paper examines how the community of sustainability professionals can begin to make a stronger case for the profession and its impact on organizations across sectors.
The second in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report summarizes the role and expectations for sustainability directors in K-12 school districts. Drawing from extensive surveys and interviews with the Center for Green Schools’ network of sustainability professionals, the research concludes with important lessons for those managing and performing in this role.