The Philadelphia School District has unveiled its first-ever sustainability plan that includes a goal of cutting energy use by 20 percent over five years.
The plan, dubbed “GreenFutures,” provides a framework to reduce the school system’s environmental footprint, conserve resources, decrease consumption and waste, and create green school settings and healthful indoor environments.
“GreenFutures was designed to answer the question, ‘What can we do today, as a school district, to enhance our children’s well-being and preserve our limited resources for future generations?’” says Superintendent William Hite.
School district staff members developed GreenFutures over two years in collaboration with several city agencies and external partners. It is modeled on Greenworks, the city’s sustainability framework.
GreenFutures has five focus areas:
• Education for Sustainability
• Consumption and Waste
• Energy and Efficiencies
• School Greenscapes
• Healthy Schools, Healthy Living
Starting June 2017, the school system will issue an annual progress report on outcomes for each focus area.
Among the five-year goals: Increase the district’s waste diversion from landfills by 10 percent; decrease energy consumption by 20 percent; increase green space by adding green schoolyards at five schools each year; and develop a plan to increase drinking water access at every school.