Improving Academics and Reducing Expenses with Eco-Schools USA

Since November of 2009, the Eco-Schools USA program has grown to 332 certified schools with close to 142,000 students and 4,000 participating teachers. It is a new and growing part of an international network of 37,000 schools in 50 nations.
NWF's Eco-Schools USA team conducted a survey of these schools to start to measure program progress and results. The survey shows that the Eco-Schools program is helping improve the participating schools’ environmental footprint and reduce facility expenses. Early reports indicate the schools are seeing signs of improved student behavior, morale, attitude for learning and better academic scores. There are real challenges for educators in implementing the program but they are making solid progress at integrating it into school curricula.   

  • The majority of schools have chosen the following four of the eight educational pathways: 1) Consumption and waste, 2) School grounds, 3) Water conservation and 4) Energy conservation.
  • The majority of schools have established action teams and those that haven’t yet are starting them soon.
  • About half of the schools have done audits, have developed plans and are monitoring progress toward goals.
  • A third have already seen decreases in facility expenses – most from 5% to 20%
  • Nearly half been able to integrate Eco-School into curriculum