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Green School Programs

All students should have the opportunity to attend schools that promote health and wellness in a sustainable environment.

Center for Green Schools

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council believes that all students deserve to attend sustainable schools that enhance their health and prepare them for 21st century careers.

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.

  1. Reduce environmental impacts and costs
  2. Improve occupants health & performance
  3. Increase sustainability literacy

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.

Green Schools National Network

Green Schools National Network (GSNN) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works with educators, government and non-governmental organizations and agencies, and private partners to create broad-based initiatives and successful strategies aimed at fostering healthy, sustainable K-12 schools across the United States. Founded in 2008 by principals, superintendents, and teachers, GSNN is devoted to accelerating student achievement through the implementation of green, healthy, and sustainable practices as outlined in our GreenPrint® for Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Schools.


GSNN provides K-12 teachers, administrators, leaders and professionals with evidence-based resources and tools to maximize financial and natural resources; improve the health and well-being of staff and students; and prepare students with the knowledge and skills for a sustainable future.

Core Values

  1. Educational innovation is driven by sustainability.
  2. Leadership is the key to creating sustainable schools.
  3. Student voices and perspectives are part of the solution for a sustainable future.
  4. High-quality professional learning opportunities inspire educators to transform their classrooms AND our entire educational system.
  5. Innovation is fostered through collaboration with sustainability change makers.


  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.


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