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School Sustainability Leaders Network

Since 2011, the Center for Green Schools has managed the School Sustainability Leaders’ Network (SLN), a growing group of nearly 300 sustainability staff working at the district level to promote greener, healthier K-12 schools that also serve as sustainable teaching tools for students who attend them. Network members, representing over 8 million students and billions of dollars in construction and operating budgets across the U.S., are driving the sustainability agenda in their organizations.

“The Sustainability Leadership Network is so intentional about creating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, filling in research gaps to support our work and celebrating successes. The annual School Sustainability Leadership Summit is the best professional development I have all year.” — Network member

Programs and opportunities

Often working as a department of one and across many functions, the leadership development, networking, and peer-to-peer educational opportunities offered to SLN members are designed with the unique needs of this group of changemakers in mind. Members find value in the free offerings including an annual summit, regional trainings, competitive fellowship positions, monthly best-practices webinars, and daily connections and resource sharing.

  • Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship: Existing school district staff who allocate at least 50 percent of their time to sustainability-related work are eligible to apply for a competitive, year-long fellowship. Fellows develop skills on topics such as effective communications, sustainability management, and leadership through personalized training and technical support. In addition, Fellows receive funding to participate in conferences and events of their choice, attendance at the Green Schools Conference and Expo and the School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit. The application period for the Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship program is open each summer. The online application is released through an article on the Center for Green Schools website each year. Learn more about the fellowship program.
  • Annual School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit: Members of the SLN look forward to gathering for the School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit every year in conjunction with the Green Schools Conference. Attendees take part in training, peer-to-peer best practice sharing, and networking. This event provides a dedicated and supportive space for K–12 sustainability leaders to focus on bigger programming goals, gather ideas and resources, and engage in hands-on activities led by expert presenters. Learn more about the annual summit.
  • Virtual learning and networking: The Center hosts monthly webinars and webinar series on various sustainability topics such as electric buses, solar and energy storage, zero waste strategies, sustainability scorecards, outdoor education and more. View upcoming events and recordings of past webinars. Members stay in touch daily through a social networking platform called Yammer, where they can access the latest news, events and opportunities in the green school industry. Members also use the platform to gather input and access resources from peers who are working on similar initiatives.
Get involved

If you are involved in sustainability programming at a school or school district, we would love to welcome you to the School Sustainability Leaders Network. We also welcome hearing from companies interested in supporting the work of the SLN and finding scalable solutions to accelerate the adoption of healthy, green school practices across the U.S. Contact us to get connected to the network and stay in touch about events and opportunities, or to share your ideas.