New National Green Schools Action Plan
for Local Leaders
According to an influential new report, Local Leaders in Sustainability: A Special Report from Sundance, "few issues facing our society are more urgent than creating schools that are healthy, conducive to learning and sustainable." Yet schools are far too often unhealthy, underfunded and poorly maintained, and that has a direct impact on children and learning. Clark Manus, President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) notes, "The average school is 42 years old, and energy inefficiencies cost it approximately $100,000 a year."
On May 13, the AIA, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and ICLEI USA released Local Leaders in Sustainability: A Special Report from Sundance, which could have a big positive impact. The report offers a national action plan for how local governments can accelerate the greening of America's schools for all the nation's children.
The report came out of the Greening of America's Schools Summit in November 2010, a gathering of community leaders, mayors, superintendents, educators, and students that advanced this vision: every child in America will attend a green school within this generation.
The report points out the many benefits of green schools, and the action plan lists specific steps local leaders can take, such as connecting with the existing green schools movement, building community support, and finding financing for greener schools. It includes case studies from both small towns and big cities.
"The environmental quality of our schools is essential to our future and long-term well-being," said Martin J. Chávez, Executive Director, ICLEI USA and three-term mayor of Albuquerque, NM. "As a result, Mayors and Superintendents came together [at the Summit] to chart a new course toward healthy, sustainable schools where our children can grow and excel. We must now put this blueprint into action so that every child in America can attend a green school."
To see the report, click on the link to the PDF below: