GSA's mission is to connect and empower preK-12 schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global sustainability.
Uniquely created by schools for schools, the GSA is a global Peer-to-Peer Network of schools represented by Sustainability Coordinators -- faculty, staff. and students -- working together to solve climate and conservation challenges. GSA Member Schools collaborate locally and virtually to share and implement sustainable best practices, and promote connections between schools, communities, and the environments that sustain them. We do this by: creating forums; exchanging resources; offering original programs and curriculum developed by Member Schools; and connecting youth to nature. GSA schools set and meet goals, and quantify progress. They coordinate governance, operations and curriculum to advance sustainability.
GSA envisions a healthy, abundant, equitable, ecologically diverse world, connected through a global community of schools. In this vision, schools worldwide work together across boundaries to achieve an environmentally sustainable future that respects and protects all living things and wild places without depleting the resources on which they depend.
Schools can play a vital stewardship role to UNITE people across socio-economic, geo-political and generational boundaries, CREATE healthy, supportive learning environments, CONNECT youth to nature, EDUCATE the greatest number to embrace a shared understanding about social, environmental, and economic interdependencies; and DEVELOP the values, long-term vision, and skills to live together sustainably.
Check out our PREZI on who we are and what we do!
GSA ACTION PATHS
I. Grow The Movement
GSA is building a global sustainability movement by uniquely working with and through Sustainability Coordinators, representing all members of the school community—students, administrators, faculty, facility managers, business officers, and parents. GSA Member Schools and the Peer-to-Peer relationships within the GSA network are its heart and soul. GSA helps schools to set and meet climate and sustainability goals and raise environmental awareness in their communities. By connecting and empowering these points of light and action worldwide, GSA is growing the sustainability movement. Membership already includes more than 3,000 member schools in 42 US states and 27 countries representing more than 2 million students -- by word of mouth alone.
II. Reduce Our Footprint
GSA supports school communities worldwide to reduce their environmental footprint and measure progress. You cannot reduce what you do not measure. By signing the GSA Climate Commitment, schools set and meet goals, and track results. By sharing best practices, they create a ripple effect, demonstrating that similar solutions are not only possible, but desirable. The GSA website enables schools to share their progress with schools worldwide.
III. Educate The Greatest Number
GSA’s Crowd-sourced Wiki: A priority of the GSA is to facilitate sharing of experience and best practices. A unique repository of programs, case studies, and curriculum provided by member schools that provide pathways to reduce our footprint, the website interlinks through individual School Profile Pages that enables all schools to quickly and easily find helpful resources, tools, templates and collaborative partners. GSA Publications, including The Green Journal, a collection of essays written and edited by school members, and Forums such as Ask The Experts, offer Peer support to schools to develop and implement sustainability strategies.
Green Cup Challenge™: GCC has already reached thousands of schools, making saving energy into a fun community effort that creates “buy in” on campus—from the students to the facilities manager—because of the near real-time feedback. This friendly competition between schools produces quantifiable [energy, water and waste] reductions and financial savings, and increases momentum to expand school greening efforts. A large percentage of energy saved and concomitant CO2 emissions reductions and cost-savings resulting from GCC efforts are permanent. Green Cup Challenge 4-year CO2 emissions reductions equal more than 4 million pounds.
GSAx Community Events: GSA member school hosted events range from 20-person Workshops to 1,000+ person Resource Fairs (the scale is determined by the host). Designed to connect and empower, GSAx events unite the community by bringing together stakeholders with resources including NGOs and green businesses.
IV. Connect Youth To Nature
“As soon as I heard what the Sc3 was, I wanted to be there. I’ve stared at environmental questions for 45 years. I want to be of whatever help I can to the younger generations, to give them hope that they can make the world better. I want them to know that I care deeply about them and that an older generation is arm in arm with them, no matter how dark it gets.” -- Barry Lopez
The Student Climate & Conservation Corps engages students worldwide to take action along the four GSA Sustainability Tracks: grow the Movement; Reduce Your Footprint; Educate the greatest Number; and Connect To narure. The Sc3 Congress has graduated more than 500 students who are working in their schools and communities to help to create a sustainable future.