Five Ways the HGSC Self-Assessment will Help Advance Your Institution’s Health and Sustainability Goals


The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges self-assessment is a no-cost tool that lets you measure your facilities’ indoor air quality and sustainability performance against a national standard. Taking the test will identify specific opportunities for improvement and low- or no-cost steps you can take to raise your score in procurement, facility operations, and building systems maintenance.

In addition to helping institutions achieve targeted health and environmental outcomes, the self-assessment results and follow-up report can be used for the following purposes:

A Roadmap Toward Improved Health Outcomes

The self-assessment provides the foundation for your institution to create a roadmap toward improving the health of students, staff, and facility operations and maintenance teams through improved indoor air quality. The content of the self-assessment answers the key questions of “What are we already doing to achieve improved health outcomes associated with indoor air quality?” and “What else do we need to do to realize this goal?” The self-assessment enables strategic goal setting and highlights areas schools should prioritize when allocating time, resources, and investments in order to further work toward improved health outcomes.

A Collaboration Tool

The HGSC self-assessment provides a low-risk, high-impact way to bring your team together to create an integrated group collaborating toward a shared goal. Taking the self-assessment is free and does not require any modifications to existing policies, procedures, or protocols before completion. The results provide clear ties between actions and changes that could be implemented to achieve improved health outcomes by improving indoor air quality. This information can be useful in a change management context, particularly for those who like to understand the “why” behind new ideas and changes. Providing clear links between their new or different tasks and achieving program goals creates a shared understanding of how all contributions are impactful.

Communicating the Impact of Your Current Program

The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program incentivizes activities that ultimately promote improved indoor air quality and healthier school environments. The self-assessment report provides a projected score in four key areas driving indoor air quality in schools:

  • Procurement of facility operations and maintenance products
  • Facility operations and maintenance
  • Building systems operations and maintenance
  • Ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and training

This projected score can be used to communicate current successes the institution has achieved and tie facility maintenance and operations activities to those successes. This can help build team momentum, encourage further incremental improvements, and bring clarity on how to transition an ambitious goal such as “improve health outcomes of students and staff by improving indoor air quality” into concrete, actionable next steps.

Making the Case for Budget Allocation

The self-assessment report provides a detailed account of all required and optional criteria that the institution does not currently meet but has the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with. This information, paired with the points that could be earned toward a target certification level, can be used to make the case for strategic budget allocations and investments in new tools, technologies, and products.

Benchmarking Progress Over Time

The HGSC self-assessment provides a snapshot of how an institution is performing as far as tackling indoor air quality issues. Institutions can retake the self-assessment as needed to document improvements and see how implementing new strategies changes the score over time. Once an institution is confident it is performing at a level that would achieve its targeted certification tier, the institution can submit formal documentation for evaluation.