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This Award Highlights BPS' Commitment to Sustainability

BOSTON -- Friday, March 8, 2024 -- Boston Public Schools is a 2024 Best of Green Schools Award recipient, which will be presented by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Schools National Network. The awards celebrate the hard work being done by people, schools, campuses and organizations to push the green school movement forward.

Led by the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program, Boston Public Schools implements a districtwide approach for making BPS schools healthier, greener, safer, and more equitable for all students, staff and families.

"Boston Public Schools is honored to be recognized for our achievements and work towards building a green future," said Superintendent Mary Skipper. "Being named a Best of Green Schools Award recipient is a testament to the fantastic work that folks at BPS, especially our dedicated team at the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program do to make BPS greener and more sustainable." 

BPS proves its commitment to sustainability through investments in various facets such as planning, policies, staffing, operations, curriculum, engagement, and partnerships. For instance, initiatives like installing and testing 1000 filtered bottle refill stations across all BPS buildings aim to eliminate bottled water usage and reduce lead and copper in drinking water.

"We are grateful and honored to be recognized for our years of sustainability leadership, which has been a collaboration among dedicated and inspiring students, staff, families, and partners working to make BPS schools healthier, greener, and more equitable for the entire BPS community," said BPS Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program Director Katherine Walsh. "Our commitment to climate justice and sustainability must continue to be addressed through all priorities of BPS, from academics, to equity and inclusion, to health and wellness, to capital planning and operations."

Additionally, approximately 4400 indoor air quality sensors have been installed in classrooms, nurses' offices, and main offices, with data being made publicly available through an online dashboard. Other endeavors include implementing over 7000 recycling bins, launching school food waste collection programs, creating school gardens and outdoor classrooms, electrifying the BPS school bus fleet, teaching climate science, and expanding the Sustainability Division with new positions in Water, Zero Waste, and Outdoor Teaching and Learning.

"The 2024 Best of Green Schools honorees are incredible individuals and organizations who are doing the extraordinary work of preparing our schools and students to adapt to and meet our climate challenges," said Anisa Heming, director at the Center for Green Schools. "We hope that their work inspires others to join the green schools movement. There are so many schools, districts, educators and volunteers who are central to the work that we do and share our vision of healthier and more sustainable learning environments for all students."

These efforts align with Boston Public Schools' policies in promoting Healthy School Environments, Zero Waste, Drinking Water Access, Integrated Pest Management, Science Safety, and Green Cleaners, while also adhering to the Mayor’s Green New Deal for BPS.

"This year's awardees represent thought leaders and practitioners who are at the forefront of creating sustainable learning environments and opportunities for children across this nation," said Jennifer Seydel, executive director at the Green Schools National Network. "Their commitment to educating for sustainability is reflected in their commitment to what children learn, where children learn, and how children learn matters in our efforts to create a sustainable and just future for all."

"This award is recognition of all of the great work that has gone into modernizing and improving Boston Public Schools," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. "The School Committee looks forward to working in partnership with students, families, teachers, and the entire BPS community to continue to make BPS greener, work towards climate justice, and build a better future for our young people."

The Center for Green Schools and Green Schools National Network received hundreds of nominations of individuals and organizations that have made an impact in advancing green schools in 2023. The 2024 recipients of the Best of Green Schools Award were announced during the Green Schools Conference in Santa Fe, N.M.