Green Apple, an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was announced recently at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting held in New York. Green Apple is a global movement to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future.
Green Apple will celebrate its official launch with the first-ever Green Apple Day of Service this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. The Day of Service brings together advocates from around the world, including students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more, to take action in their communities through service projects at local schools, and presents an opportunity for substantial change to be made in support of healthy, sustainable schools.
“No one benefits more from high-performing buildings than our children. The recognition of Green Apple as a CGI commitment underscores the importance of providing the next generation with the opportunity to learn in the best educational environment possible,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “Our hope is that the upcoming Green Apple Day of Service will allow us to expand this recognition and create broader awareness among parents, teachers, students and communities all over the world.”
More than one quarter of all Americans walk through the doors of a school every day, yet instead of walking into places of opportunity, millions enter buildings where the air they breathe is filled with toxins and mold, where classrooms are poorly lit and overcrowded and where resources are limited and outdated. Many children are learning in buildings that are compromising their health and ability to succeed. Green Apple enables individuals, companies and organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places.
“The conversation around education most often focuses on ‘what’ children are learning and ‘who’ is teaching them, but through Green Apple we are bringing attention to ‘where’ our children learn because we understand that where we learn matters,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “We know how to create high-performing schools that save hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide enhanced learning environments for our children. But we can’t do it alone, and through the support of CGI and our partners we are seeing change happen."
Green Apple is made possible by partners including: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), United Technologies Corporation (UTC), Interface, Excel Dryer, Armstrong and SolarCity . As part of the CGI commitment, Green Apple is working with these partners to develop and deploy resources including toolkits, trainings and case studies to help schools implement positive change.
For example, HMH, a global education leader that delivers interactive, result-driven education solutions to 60 million students in 120 countries, will draw on its sales force to connect schools with resources (including benchmarking and needs assessment tools, teacher training resources and ongoing support) to facilitate their transformation into safer, healthier and better places to learn. In addition, HMH will work with the Center to lead the alignment of sustainability education with the Common Core, and commit to reduce paper use through digital textbook sampling.
“Houghton Mifflin Harcourt believes that children must have healthy, safe and engaging learning environments to reach their full potential. Our mission is to change lives by fostering passionate, curious learners, and Green Apple will support this goal by developing tools and resources that empower schools to become more effective places to learn,” said Linda K. Zecher, president and CEO of HMH. “Through existing relationships with school districts across the country, HMH can rapidly bring Green Apple to scale and ultimately help create and maintain classroom environments which promote student success in the US and beyond.”
United Technologies and its Carrier business were instrumental in launching USGBC in 1993. As founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools, United Technologies is committed to a multi-year partnership and investing in the future of energy efficient schools and classrooms.
“United Technologies believes that green schools will define our next generation with improved learning and performance. As the learning environment improves, so too will the energy efficiency of school buildings with technologies that save resources for school budgets,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, United Technologies Climate, Controls & Security. “We are proud to be a part of Green Apple and USGBC’s mission."