One hundred ninety-nine schools from across India were certified ‘green’ at Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) annual Green Schools Awards here today, with 20 of them topping their respective categories for their outstanding efforts in making their campuses environment-friendly and their students, environment-conscious.
These awards are conferred every year by CSE’s Green Schools Programme, a 19-year-old initiative that helps schools and their students conduct a rigorous in-campus environmental audit to measure the efficacy of resource management and green practices in the school. Schools take ownership of their green journey through self-conducted audits with CSE’s guidance.
Speaking on the occasion, CSE director general Sunita Narain said: “CSE’s Green School Programme is a laboratory of practice. The objective is to educate the young through their actions – they walk the talk to understand sustainability. We believe that we learn best when we implement our ideas; when we measure what we have done and we set goals for what needs to be done next. This is what the Green Schools Programme is about.”
Among those who handed out the awards – besides Narain – were Sanjay Kumar, secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Union Ministry of Education; Julia Marton-Lefevre, former Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and Joyce Poan, Programme Specialist and Chief of Education, UNESCO-India.
Over 5,300 schools from 29 states and Union territories vied for the honours; 20 of these received the top awards, and 199 were tagged as ‘green’. Of all the schools that participated in the audit, government schools held the crown with 93 per cent submissions, followed by private schools at 6 per cent and government-aided schools at 1 per cent.
Apart from the schools, awards were also conferred on the most proactive teachers. Punjab won the “best state” and “best district” prizes for its leadership in fostering a culture of environmental consciousness.
GSP helps schools assess their use of resources and map their consumption and wastage across six key subject areas — air, energy, food, land, water and waste. Says Tushita Rawat, programme manager, environment education, CSE: “The Programme uses an analytics platform to track the environmental performance of schools. Over 600 data points are collected, which provide quantifiable environmental impacts within and around the school campus.”
*Says Souparno Banerjee, senior director, environment education, CSE: “The unique aspect of this programme is the opportunity that it affords schools to measure their progress year on year and improve their ranking.”*
THE 2023-24 AWARDS
Best State and District: Punjab bagged the award for the Best State by setting the bar with the highest audit registrations and report submissions. 4734 schools from the state submitted their audit reports – 70 were rated ‘green’. Sangrur in Punjab bagged the Best District Award with 503 submissions.
Changemaker Awards: The Changemaker Awards are given to schools which improve their sustainability rating to green by monitoring and improving their practices over the year. The two awardees in this category are:
1. PM SHRI Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1 Ordnance Factory Katni, Madhya Pradesh
2. Satya Bharti School Lakhowal, Ludhiana, Punjab
Sterling Schools Awards: Schools that have been rated ‘green’ for five or more consecutive years:
- Ashok Memorial Public School, Faridabad, Haryana
- Bal Bharati Public School, IMT Manesar, Haryana
- Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
- DAV International School, Amritsar, Punjab
- East Point School, Vasundhara Enclave, New Delhi
- Indirapuram Public School, Pratap Vihar, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
- Mahindra World School, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
- Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai, Sonipat, Haryana
- Sachdeva Global School, South West Delhi, New Delhi
- Sacred Heart School, Kalyan, Maharashtra
- Salwan Public School, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
- St Edmund’s School, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Best Newcomer: Schools that have recently registered to be a part of the programme and have demonstrated considerable potential in managing their natural resources.
Toc H Public School, Kochi, Kerala
Best in Section: Schools that have performed exceptionally in specific sections.
- GSP Waste Warrior Award: B. K. Birla Public School, Kalyan, Thane, Maharashtra
- GSP Land Manager Award: Zila Parishad high school, Gandaboyana Palli, Annamayya, Andhra Pradesh
- GSP Water Wise Award: Lake Montfort School, Bengaluru, Karnataka
- GSP Air Action Award: PM SHRI KV AFS Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
- GSP Energy Manager Award: Government Model Boys Senior Secondary School Nalagarh (Solan), Himachal Pradesh
What it means to be a Green School?
A Green School is a resource-efficient school that meets the following criteria:
- Window to floor ratio (WFR) of more than 5 per cent to allow adequate daylight and ventilation
- Majority of the population uses sustainable modes of transport (public transport, e-rickshaws, etc) or non-polluting modes of transport (cycling, walking, etc)
- Maximum use of energy-efficient lighting to conserve energy and use of alternative sources of energy. GSP Audit encourages schools to minimize use of conventional lights without compromising sufficient lighting for students
- Maintain a high green cover inside and around school campus along with greater biodiversity by planting native species of plants
- Serve only cooked meals (avoid packaged foods that are high in fats, sugar and salt) to ensure healthy food consumption
- Harvest rainwater through rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems and reuse treated wastewater.
- Pre- and post-monsoon cleaning of RWH systems is important
- Segregate waste at source efficiently and dispose of responsibly. Recycling at least 90 per cent of the waste is recommended
- Wet waste to be composted
- Waste not to be burned