Creating sustainable schools can greatly benefit the environment and positively impact students, teachers and the entire community. Making your schools more sustainable saves you money and provides a unique opportunity to make a difference by enticing students to turn their learning into action. Many school boards have sustainability or climate action plans and our programs can help schools and school boards strive to achieve these goals. Knowing where to start can be challenging, but we're here to help you reach your sustainability goals. Discover how you can make a difference and take inspiration from school boards that are making an impact.
Why should you make your school more sustainable?
The first thing that might come to mind is you are starting positive change that can help the environment. It is no secret that large buildings like schools have environmental impacts. From high energy consumption, general waste and transportation emissions, schools can have large carbon footprints. Creating more sustainable schools in your school district can help ease your climate impact and create a greener tomorrow.
Becoming a more sustainable school can excite students. Seeing the impacts of their learning in real time can ignite curiosity to dig deeper and make a difference. Having students involved in the process can inspire future generations and lead to a greener tomorrow. The research report Evidence of Impact of Sustainable Schools suggests that having sustainability at the forefront of student education can impact student behaviour and motivation. Creating a space where students see the school and staff actively care about the environment can have lasting impacts. Making your school more sustainable will make your classrooms a greater learning environment while helping students become the thought leaders of tomorrow.
Your school board can save money! Energy consumption in schools costs money. In the second volume of the 2011 Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report, it was estimated that $339 million was spent on heat and energy for Ontario schools. With the cost of energy going up in Canada, schools have to pay more. By making your school more sustainable, you can reallocate funding to where it is most needed and make a positive difference for your students. The research study Energy consumption analysis of school buildings in Manitoba, Canada, found that Manitoba school buildings had a 29% higher median average of energy consumption than the national average. The article indicated that older buildings significantly impact energy consumption. Making your schools more energy efficient will help you cut costs while reaching your sustainability targets.
GreenLearning’s Work with School Boards
GreenLearning offers programs, resources and workshops to help educators and students create a greener tomorrow. GreenLearning works with both environmental sustainability and education experts to create our content. We strive to create material that allows teachers to save time in lesson planning, and our content being curriculum connected makes it easy to implement in your school or classroom. We want to help you reach your school’s sustainability goals! Take your first step towards sustainability and check out our Energy Revealed program! This program is perfect to help turn your students into energy efficient experts.
Our Turning Learners Into Energy Managers (TLIEM) guided learning experience funded by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation allowed teachers and students to gain greater knowledge about energy and turn that learning into a positive impact in their communities. This free guided learning experience included a one-hour professional development webinar, a live, virtual classroom workshop and an Energy Education Kit! Classrooms also had the opportunity to take part in our Energy Revealed Challenge, where the students implement a school earth hour events in their schools.
School Boards in Canada Working Towards Sustainability
All the school boards listed below took part in our TLIEM education series. These school boards participating in the TLIEM series allow future generations to become more knowledgeable about energy management and directly see their communities change for the better. By participating in the TLIEM learning experience, these school boards fostered ongoing sustainability education, which can have ripple effects in their communities.
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
OCDSB made big waves in 2022/23 - 14 educators were empowered to teach about energy with the professional development webinar and 696 students participated in energy education through this learning experience. Upon completing the series, an educator from OCDSB said, "Your resources are fantastic. So intuitive. There are lots of great resources out there but you really have to dig and it takes a lot of time and I find yours so friendly to use. Thank you! I can't wait to get the students working with the kits and the calculators for a little project." OCDSB has been working hard to reach their sustainability goals. They have green energy installations in 50 locations and are working hard to keep the school district green! Learn more about how OCDSB is making sustainable schools and reaching their sustainability targets here.
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB)
DPCDSB engaged 9 teachers and 272 students participated in the TLIEM education series. This school board has helped foster energy efficiency among many schools! After taking part in TLIEM, an educator from DPCDSB said, "Thank you very much! We learned a lot of useful information about energy consumption!" The DPCDSB is working on a 5-year plan to help curve their schools' energy consumption! Read more about their goals for energy conservation here.
Grand-Erie District School Board (GEDSB)
GEDSB engaged 10 educators, and 298 students participated in our TLIEM and helped turn students into energy managers. GEDSB has been working hard to keep sustainability at their schools' forefront. They have taken great strides to reduce their energy consumption, from introducing building automation systems to implementing renewable energy into its schools. Read more about their sustainability efforts and goals here.
Check Out More School Boards and their Sustainability Goals
If your school board has sustainability goals and targets you are trying to reach, then GreenLearning can help! We have the knowledge, skills and experience to make your schools more sustainable. We offer a variety of resources, programs and webinars to help your school start thinking and taking action toward your sustainability goals. With our website ranking among the top 30 environmental blogs and websites in Canada, we are sure we can help your school board reach its environmental goals.
Make an impact today! Contact us here, and we can help you start your journey towards a more sustainable school.
Hacking, Elisabeth Barratt, William Scott, and Elsa Lee. Evidence of impact of sustainable schools. Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), 2010
Ouf, Mohamed M., and Mohamed H. Issa. "Energy consumption analysis of school buildings in Manitoba, Canada." International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment 6.2 (2017): 359-371
Restoring balance – Results, Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report – 2011 (Volume Two), Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2013.