Singapore – The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) is pleased to become a founding member of the Global Coalition for Green Schools, which works collectively to shape schools and communities to fundamentally change the way students learn about the world around them.
The founding members have been inspired by the success of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and, with its assistance and the guidance of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), will be leading national efforts to drive this movement.
Each of the 29 founding members have committed to establishing and leading a national network for green schools within each of their respective countries. The goal is to promote a shared vision of green schools for all within this generation. Members of the Global Coalition will share best practices, resources and case studies, provide tools and infrastructure to this growing network, and introduce programs, initiatives and campaigns that can be replicated around the world.
Said Mr Tai Lee Siang, Chairman of Public Engagement & Education Committee, SGBC, “We share a common vision with fellow GBCs worldwide, and believe that we can all do more through educating our most important resource – the future generation. Sustainability is the way forward, and in line with Singapore’s national target to green 80% of buildings by 2030, which include schools, we hope to amplify SGBC’s Green Schools Initiative (GSI)
programme through this coalition, and to echo the global effort to build a sustainable future for the generations to come.”
“As members of the Global Coalition for Green Schools, we are united in our common pursuit of healthy, safe, resource-efficient schools that educate sustainability natives,” said Rachel Gutter, Director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “But what inspires us and keeps us humble is seeing how much we have to learn from one another. Our approaches to greening schools may look very different, but what we all desire is to give our
children every possible opportunity to succeed.”
Because schools and education approaches vary, the Coalition has identified three pillars by which to define a green school: minimize environmental impact; optimize human health and performance; and foster a generation of environmentally-literate students.
SGBC has rolled out an educational outreach programme, the Green Schools Initiative (GSI) programme, to educate students on the role buildings play in environmental sustainability, and the impact that building design and technology have on the performance of buildings. On top of classroom based learning, SGBC partners corporate members to enable students to participate in learning journeys and enrichment workshops, such as visits to green buildings and hands-on activities to better understand green buildings.
National coalitions will bring together influential leaders in their country’s green schools movement including non-profits, corporations, community members, universities and government. The Global Coalition will help shape schools and communities to fundamentally change the way students learn about the world around them.
The Coalition’s founding co-chairs are the WorldGBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Henley and the Green Building Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.
“The Global Coalition for Green Schools is a unique forum to inspire national action that ensures our schools are healthy, safe and sustainable learning environments,” said Jane Henley, CEO. “We know that schools are at the center of life in many communities. By focusing on schools and education, GBCs can work together towards our common goal of green schools for all within a generation.”
“Too many of the world’s 1.2 billion students learn in school buildings that are too cold in winter, too hot in summer, badly lit and poorly ventilated. This affects student health and learning, teacher morale and school operational costs – as well as the environment. Just as investing in quality teaching and quality resources is essential, so too is investing in quality learning environments” said Romilly Madew.
To learn more about the Global Coalition for Green Schools and the Center’s international efforts, please visit www.centerforgreenschools.org/global coalition.