By: Frank Henry, ASCD Director, Administrative Services
Along with developing curriculum and supporting every student’s individual needs, school districts are concerned with reducing their carbon footprint and with how they can “go green.”
In 2007, ASCD also decided to “go green” for a number of reasons: lower energy costs, reduced water consumption, and the opportunity to be a good corporate neighbor being chief among them. We found the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes system, which originated in Canada and came to the United States in 2004. Their system is comparable to the well-known U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system.
Much of 2008 was spent making “green” changes that can easily be done in your school buildings. Our efforts were widespread- from replacing the lights in our building with more energy-efficient lighting to reducing the number of hours that our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system ran (it used to run on weekends and holidays; now it runs during those times when needed).
We also garnered “green” points for our shuttle service, having a telecommuting program, issuing Metro passes to non-drivers, and for many other changes and innovations that not only save energy and water, but also reduce the carbon footprint of our headquarters building.
Our staff assist in maintaining our rating by recycling, reducing paper consumption, turning off overhead and task lighting when not needed, and when possible by carpooling, using Metro, and telecommuting.
In 2009, ASCD was inspected and awarded two Green Globes. Similar to the LEED system, which awards four ratings of either Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum, the GBI system awards between one and four Green Globes, with four being the highest rating. In our subsequent recertification inspection in 2012, ASCD was awarded three Green Globes as we continued our commitment to implement “green” initiatives.
ASCD finds value in owning a green building that provides sustainability benefits. ASCD’s staff thrives in the Green Globes sustainable environment, and ASCD’s members can take pride in a shared organizational commitment to the environment.
What is your school district doing to reduce their carbon footprint? We’d love for you to share stories from your schools and staff members about “going green” in the comments below!