What we do
When we educate a child, we choose the future we want to create.
Students are inspired to do great things through what they learn and see in their environment. Every day in the U.S., more than 50 million students and 3 million teachers attend class in nearly 100,000 buildings — many of which are out-of-date and in need of repair.
Ensuring our schools are sustainable is important, not only for students’ health and well-being, but for their future success as well.
At the Center, we see an opportunity to educate a new generation of leaders capable of driving transformation of economic and environmental systems, while advancing green schools for all.
Explore our work
We connect volunteers and green school advocates worldwide.
Every year, tens of thousands of volunteers participate in the global Green Apple Day of Service to make our schools healthier, more sustainable places to learn. The Center also hosts the annual Green Schools Conference & Expo to connect green schools advocates nationwide.
We recognize those who have made significant strides in the green schools movement.
The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools award honors educational institutions and school districts demonstrating leadership in green schools. The Green Strides web portal, powered by the Center, connects schools with free and public resources.
Our annual Best of Green Schools announcement celebrates schools, districts, individuals and communities for their green schools efforts.
Educate school staff
As part of our effort to advance environmental literacy, we've developed Learning Lab, an online platform providing STEM-based, sustainability curriculum and training for K-12 teachers.
The Green Classroom Professional (GCP) Certificate program provides preK-12 educators and staff with the knowledge to identify what supports healthy and sustainable learning spaces.
Through our Green Schools Fellowship and Scholarship Programs, we convene a network of sustainability professionals working in school systems across the country.
Publish research and best practices
We partner with other organizations to research green schools and demonstrate that where we learn matters for students, teachers, staff and communities.
Our most recent publication, the 2016 State of Our Schools report, finds that our nation will under-invest in school facilities by $46 billion annually.
Define green schools
Green schools minimize environmental impact, improve occupant health, and support student literacy in environmental and sustainable topics. At the Center, we’re helping define outcome measures that can be used by schools and organizations to evaluate progress toward these goals.
The LEED for Schools rating system recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools, including addressing the characteristics of school spaces and children's health issues. More than 1,800 K-12 schools are LEED certified.
Assist policy makers
We provide public servants with the resources they need to make informed decisions.
The Congressional Green Schools Caucus brings together leaders across political parties to inform Congress members of how they can impact on our nation’s approach to new and existing school buildings.
We provide state legislators with information about green schools topics, and regularly connect with them through events, briefings and educational programs.
Support higher education campus sustainability
USGBC supports campus sustainability through innovative curriculum solutions and creates pathways to professional credentials to help prepare students for 21st century careers in sustainability.
Representing college and university-based groups and individuals, USGBC Students provides a way for hundreds of young leaders to unite and participate in hands-on, green building experiences.
LEED Lab, a multidisciplinary immersion course, allows students to asses the performance of existing, on-campus facilities. Students can choose one building, where they'll facilitate the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) process with the goal of certification.