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Eco-Schools

location_on Copenhagen, Denmark

Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools programme.

Eco-Schools encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it. It starts in the classroom, it expands to the school and eventually fosters change in the community at large.

Hall of Fame
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

Hall of Fame

HundrED 2021

HundrED 2020

HundrED 2019

Sustainability

1994

Established

19M

Children/users

69

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
Engaging the youth of today to protect the planet of tomorrow

About the innovation

Hands-on, experiential learning through 7 Steps

The Eco-Schools programme is based on a 7-Step methodology, which allows for project-based, experiential learning, focused on positive sustainable actions.

The 7-Step methodology is a series of carefully engineered measures to help schools maximise the success of their Eco-School ambitions. The method involves a wide diversity of individuals from the school community - with students playing a primary role in the process. One of the most important aspects of the Eco-Schools program is the uniqueness of each school's journey. The Seven Steps fits around each school in their individual context, creating a different experience for every school that particpates.  Some key points about the individual steps are below. 

  • Step 1: Forming an Eco Committee. The Eco-Schools Committee is the driving force behind the Eco-Schools process and represents the ideas of the whole school.  
  • 2: Environmental Review. This helps the school to identify its current environmental impact and highlights areas for improvement. 
  • 3: Action Plan. Results from the environmental review are used to design the Action Plan, forming the core of student action.
  • 4: Monitor & Evaluate. This is carried out find out if the targets set by the action plan are being achieved.
  • 5: Curriculum Work. Eco-Schools activities are linked to the curriculum, ensuring Eco-Schools is truly integrated within the school community. 
  • 6: Inform & Involve. This involves getting everyone on board! Actions are not solely confined to the school community but are encouraged to engage community members and parents, for example.
  • 7: Eco Code. Students collaborate to devise a statement that represents the school's commitment to the environment.

The Green Flag

After two years of implementing the programme and establishing a high level of commitment to the Seven Steps, schools can apply for Green Flag status through a process that includes a series of visits and assessments. 

FEE EcoCampus

Tertiary education is also included within the Eco-Schools movement. Driven by students, university faculty staff are encouraged to particpate in the FEE EcoCampus. Established in Russia in 2003, and the first whole institution Green Flag was awarded in Ireland in 2010. Eco-Schools therefore extends from K-12 Education to Further and Higher Education.

Find out more here.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

The innovation is scalable and has already demonstrated its effectiveness to many countries. The seven step methodology is a series of carefully engineered measures to help schools maximise the success of their Eco-School ambitions. This method involves a wide diversity of individuals from the school community - with students playing a primary role in the process.

HundrED Academy Reviews
The innovation involves students project-based, experimental learning which is itself a great approach to learning. Moreover, the objective of the innovation is itself an important one where students from their early grades involve in protecting the planet.
I love the fact that each school owns its unique journey all the while enjoying the guidance of the 7 points. Integrating environmental work with curriculum work is also a good idea, as is involving the community, developing a school eco-code and recognizing schools for their hard work.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Media

Running Out of Time
The world's longest non-stop relay organised in the name of climate action for COP27!A 7,200km relay during 38 days starting September 30th 2022 and going through 18 different countries! Runners, cyclists and sailors will work together to pass a baton containing a powerful call for quality climate education for the decision makers at COP27.There are plenty of exciting ways to get involved – simply register your school’s interest and you’ll receive everything you need.
Eco-Schools Project for Advancing Circular Economy (E-SPACE)
Eco-Schools in Slovenia and Latvia are taking part in a two-year pilot project to prepare the younger generation with the knowledge of the Circular Economy (CE) and to empower them to take actions for advancing circular economy. Eco-Schools Project for Advancing Circular Economy (E-SPACE) is a pilot being initiated in the Eco-Schools of Slovenia and Latvia with support from LUCART Professional. Learn more here: https://www.ecoschools.global/about-the-project
Litter Less Campaign
The Litter Less Campaign educates children and youth around the world on the issue of litter and gives them the opportunity to engage their local communities in awareness-raising activities.Learn more about the Litter Less Campaign.
Warming-Waste-Water-Watts-Wildlife (W5
https://www.ecoschools.global/alcoa-w5
The Great Plant Hunt
https://www.ecoschools.global/the-great-plant-hunt/about
Eco-Schools’ Seven Steps Methodology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYnTmgnUmmo

Steps

Reach out to an Eco-Schools National Operator

Contact one of our National Operators, to find out how you can register with the programme and receive all the necessary resources to get you started!

Find them here: www.ecoschools.global/national-offices

Form an Eco Committee

The Eco Committee

  • Is student-led 
  • The Eco Committee ensures that the entire school knows about Eco-Schools and will receive regular updates 
  • Composition can be: Students/Teachers/The Principal/Non-Teaching Staff (e.g. Secretary, Caretaker, Cleaner)/Parents/Members of the Board of Management/interested and relevant members of the wider community 
  • The Eco Committee meets regularly to discuss environmental actions for the school

Carry out an Environmental Review
  • The aim is to investigate the environmental issues in the school/community
  • An annual review of main themes is encouraged. The school is free to choose other areas of environmental concern that are more relevant to its needs.
  • Community involvement in the review is also encouraged. This can include the wider school community as well as members outside of the school community.
  • The results of the Environmental Review inform the action that students will take, known as the Action Plan

 

Develop an Action Plan

 

  • Use the Environmental Review to identify the priority areas in your school. To keep it manageable we suggest focusing on not more than three Themes at a time.
  • Create an Action Plan to resolve or improve those problems. It should include: the necessary tasks, the people responsible and time frame for actions in order to achieve your goals/targets 
  • Make your action plan SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) 
  • As with every aspect of the Eco-Schools process, pupils should be involved as much as possible in the drawing up of the Action Plan

 

Monitor & Evaluate

 

  • As always, pupils should be given the responsibility for carrying out monitoring activities wherever possible 
  • Results of monitoring should be regularly updated and displayed for the whole school to see 
  • The monitoring methods that you use will depend on the targets and measurement criteria decided on in your Action Plan for the topics you wish to look at and the age and ability of the pupils and other individuals who carry it out 
  • Evaluation follows on from monitoring. Evaluating the success of your activities will allow you to make changes to your Action Plan if required

 

Link to the Curriculum

 

  • Integrating the programme into the curriculum can be done, either directly through science, civics and environmental classes or indirectly in other subject areas through innovative teaching 
  • Pupils from throughout the school should gain an understanding of how real life environmental issues are dealt with in a real life setting

 

Inform & Involve

 

  • It is essential that the whole school is involved in, and the wider community aware of, the schools’ Eco-Schools programme. 
  • Means of information provision and public relations to tell about their work can include school assemblies, school notice boards, school newsletters and websites, school plays, dramas and fashion shows based on environmental issues, letters to businesses and corporations, local and national press, radio and television, etc. 
  • Global Action Days

 

Produce an Eco Code

 

  • It should be memorable and familiar to everyone in the school 
  • The format is flexible, it can be a song, drawing, model, poem, etc.  
  • The Eco-Code should list the main objectives of your Action Plan 
  • It is crucial that pupils play a key role in the development of the Eco Code, as this will give them a greater sense of responsibility towards the values the Eco Code represents 
  • The content of the Eco Code should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to reflect the school's ecological aims and targets 
  • The Eco Code should be prominently displayed throughout the school

 

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