It Starts With You.

Schools that make a Sustainability Leadership Commitment lay the groundwork for fundamental change that will impact students for future generations.

Schools are the core of every society. They foster the minds of future citizens, voters, doers, and advocates who are the driving force for global transformation.

By signing this commitment, your school or district becomes a vital member of a global community that sets goals, takes action, and makes progress. No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, your leadership paves the way for others to follow. Join the 572 principals, heads of school, and superintendents who have already answered the call to action and committed to transforming 7,931 schools.
 

 
"When the New York City Department of Education adopted its ambitious sustainability agenda, we needed to make a strong public statement about the importance of climate stewardship. Making the Green Schools Alliance leadership commitment showed clearly that New York City schools were committed at the highest level to facing our environmental challenges." — John T. Shea, Chief Executive Officer, New York City Department of Education Division of School Facilities.  
 

Sustainability Leadership Commitment: Call To Action


Green Schools Alliance envisions a world where every person is aware of and accountable for the impact they have in creating an environmentally, economically, and equitably sustainable future. The Earth cannot support our current level of consumption. We need to inspire everyone, including the youngest members of our community, that small, conscious efforts relentlessly pursued will protect all life on our planet.

As hubs of communities, schools can help to transform markets, policy, education and behavior, increase community resilience, mitigate climate change, and prepare citizens to think and act in new and creative ways. No individual school or person can solve 21st century climate, conservation, or socio-economic challenges alone. As active participants striving toward this common goal, we must work together now so that future generations can thrive.  
 

LEVEL I:  Sustainability Steward

Our school or district will set goals, take action, and monitor and share progress in the three sustainability leadership action areas: reduce our climate and ecological impact; educate and engage community; and transform our institutional culture.
 
Reduce Our Climate & Ecological Impact
Our school or district will encourage healthy systems, active design, and progressive efficiencies in the school’s physical place.
The balance between consumption and Earth’s finite resources are at the core of a sustainable existence. We will use our school or district as a learning laboratory to model sustainable behavior when we conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthy learning environment for our students.

Educate & Engage Our Community
Our school or district will cultivate charismatic leadership, connection to place, and broad-based action to elevate our school’s educational programs.
The integration of education and action for a healthy and sustainable world enables us to rediscover our capacity to protect and respect all living things and wild places, now and for future generations. We will use our school as a catalytic community to galvanize all constituencies where students can foster the skills and knowledge needed to connect to nature and place and build a sustainable world.

Transform Our Culture
Our school or district will foster communication and interdepartmental learning so sustainability is an integral part of a school’s organizational culture.
The development of transparent and inclusive institutional environments that work across boundaries to implement sustainable solutions is a prerequisite to transforming our world. We will use our school’s leadership structure to build an organizational culture that fosters diversity and access, provides professional development, and promotes health and wellness.
 

LEVEL II:  Climate Champion

In addition to Level I action areas, our school or district will:
 
Achieve Carbon Neutrality
Our school or district will develop and implement a comprehensive climate action plan to achieve  carbon neutrality at a time determined by our school or district.
The reduction of CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and carbon offsetting initiatives is necessary to offset the devastating effects of global climate change with the goal of achieving a zero carbon footprint. We will use our school’s collective power to achieve carbon neutrality by integrating carbon emissions education, setting target dates for meeting milestones and establishing mechanisms for tracking progress.
 


How does my school make a Sustainability Leadership Commitment?

 

Sign the Commitment Letter:

  1. Download the Leadership Commitment Signatory Letter.
  2. Obtain the signature of an authorized representative (principal, superintendent, or high-level administrator) from your school or district.
  3. Agree to the Ongoing Participation Requirements: (starting Fall 2018)
  • Assign a Sustainability Champion to complete the Sustainability Tracking and Roadmap Tool (START) assessment at least once every 12 months to report your progress.
  • Share your START progress publicly to demonstrate leadership and set an example for others.
     

Make the Commitment:

  1. Fill out a short form with information about your school or district.
  2. Upload the signed letter (within the form).
 
SCHOOL Submission                         DISTRICT Submission
 

My school or district made a Leadership Commitment prior to 2018.

I'd like to update the contact information and reaffirm our commitment level:


 

DISTRICTS that have signed the Leadership Commitment and have at least one full-time employee dedicated to sustainability efforts are eligible to join the GSA District Collaborative advisory council. For more information, please email districts@greenschoolsalliance.org