Education. Action. Leadership. Transformation.
Addressing climate and conservation challenges, GSA’s mission is to connect and empower schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global sustainability. GSA believes schools are transformational hubs of their communities that build resilience, transform markets and policy, shift behavior, and prepare the next generation of innovators to become environmental stewards.
Uniquely created by schools for schools, the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) is a global Peer-to-Peer Network of pre-K to grade 12 schools represented by their sustainability coordinators, students, faculty, facility managers, and administrators who work together to solve climate and conservation challenges.
Since 2007, the GSA has grown organically to include participation by 5,000 public and private schools in more than 43 U.S. states and 47 countries representing more than 3 million students. Membership ranges from small rural schools to the largest school districts in the U.S. -- including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Orlando – as well as other international day and boarding schools.
Membership in the GSA is free, but requires a Commitment to take action on any or all of three tracks: 1) Reduce the member school’s climate & ecological impact; 2) Educate & engage community; and 3) Connect to nature & place.
GSA’s action tracks mirror the EPA Green Ribbon program pillars with our unique twist based on global members' feedback. Within Track 1, GSA asks schools to select one of two climate commitment levels: a) Climate Champion - Reduce my school’s carbon footprint by at least 30% within 5 years, and achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2020; and b) Climate Steward - Calculate my school’s carbon footprint by establishing an energy and carbon emissions baseline, and achieve carbon reductions over time
Within the GSA network, everyone has something to learn and something to teach.
Schools listen to schools. GSA is a catalyst that galvanizes schools into action, making them all global leaders in their own communities. GSA’s authenticity creates the leverage needed to amplify and scale sustainable solutions. By highlighting members’ climate and sustainability progress, the GSA lifts everyone up to accelerate positive change for a sustainable future.
GSA creates forums through which members collaborate locally and virtually to share and implement best practices, exchange resources and promote connections between schools, communities, and the environments that sustain them. All GSA programs are created and steered by member schools.
Providing experiential STEAM learning opportunities, GSA programs integrate education and action. This includes searchable member school profile pages with measurement & verification data collection, crowd-sourced website platform that aggregates resource information and best practices, competitions such as the Green Cup Challenge™ (energy, recycling, water and videos), purchasing consortia, GSAx regional school-hosted events, advocacy campaigns, student leadership training and professional development, publications and original member curriculum.
Providing tools for managing change, GSA fosters collaboration today that supports schools and school districts to set and meet their individual and collective sustainability goals in order to ensure a safe and sustainable tomorrow.
“When the New York City Department of Education wanted to adopt an ambitious sustainability agenda, we needed to make a strong public statement about the importance of climate stewardship. Joining the Green Schools Alliance showed clearly that New York City schools were committed at the highest level to facing our environmental challenges. The fact that GSA was created by schools and for schools made it the logical partner for recognizing our unique position as educators in this effort. As the first public school system to join the GSA, I am so excited to consider our colleagues joining us in a collective force for positive change.” John Shea, CEO, NYC Division of School Facilities
GSA envisions an equitable, healthy, abundant, safe and resilient, ecologically diverse world, connected through a global network of schools as transformational hubs of their communities. In this vision, schools collaborate across generational, geo-political and socio-economic boundaries to achieve a sustainable future that respects and protects all living things and wild places without depleting the resources on which they depend.
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