The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges self-assessment is a free tool available for school and university facility professionals to use to objectively assess their campus’ indoor environmental health and sustainability performance. The new tool allows school facility directors to see how many points they currently score toward the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard and gauge how their program performs in a variety of areas, including procurement, facility operations, and building systems maintenance.
An Issue of Urgency and Equity
Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and chemical exposure from cleaning and maintenance routines are linked to poor concentration and test performance in students. The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges self-assessment covers everything from procurement to facilities operations to building systems maintenance and offers guidance to facility professionals by highlighting specific areas of opportunity for addressing these complex challenges, with an emphasis on low- and no-cost measures.
School facility management professionals are vital stewards of school environments, leading on health, safety and sustainability through a stream of daily decisions with big impacts. While experts at doing a lot with a little, budget realities mean facility professionals often lack proper funding and resources for the essential work of caring for students and staff.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program addresses these challenges and offers school facility professionals a 3-step process to improve indoor air quality and sustainability in their facilities:
- Assess: Schools complete a free online self-assessment to objectively measure their performance, discover their facilities’ strengths and weaknesses, and see how many points they score toward the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard.
- Commit: Schools commit to improving their performance by joining the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program and gaining access to resources including guidebooks, training materials, and a peer network of facility professionals on a similar journey.
- Improve: Participating schools use program resources to improve their performance at their own pace. Schools that reach the top level of achievement can apply for Healthy Green Schools & Colleges certification to earn public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.
The self-assessment tool is now available for any school district or university to use to discover their facilities’ strengths and weaknesses and determine next steps for continuing to improve their campuses using low-cost strategies. While this assessment does not guarantee compliance with the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges (HGSC) standard, it is the first step in the journey to creating a healthier, safer school environment for students and staff.
The self-assessment tool is one of many resources available through the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program. Additional program resources include trainings, guidebooks, and access to a peer network.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Program
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is a joint initiative of Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign. The program centers around the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard — the first national standard focused on healthier school facilities — and includes a points-based scoring system that encourages schools to keep improving at their own pace, with support from a network of facility management peers across the country who are on a similar journey. Schools that reach the top level of achievement can apply for third-party certification, earning public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.
The HGSC program is designed for any school district or university that commits to providing safer and healthier indoor school environments, whether they are just getting started on this path or already are leaders.