The School District announced a five-year "sustainability" plan Monday that will reduce its environmental footprint by more effectively conserving resources, decreasing consumption and waste, and creating more "green" schools and healthy indoor environments.
Called Green Futures, the plan seeks to "enhance our children's well-being and preserve our limited resources for future generations." In addition to changes in its generally old building inventory, the initiative will also seek to engage students in issues such as climate change and prepare them for careers in a new "green" economy that focuses on renewable energy, among other technologies.
The plan is based on Greenworks, the city's sustainability framework. Mayor Kenney attended the press conference announcing Green Futures and praised the District for the effort, which has five-year targets and a roadmap of 60 actions to reach them.
Among the targets and goals are increasing waste diversion from landfills by 10 percent and decreasing energy consumption by 20 percent. In addition, the District has a target of putting green schoolyards in five schools a year and assessing 30 schools annually to obtain a "healthy schools baseline." That target involves increasing access to drinking water at every school. Water access has become an issue as students have complained that the drinking fountains don't work or don't appear to offer clean, safe water. Other complaints about school buildings in the past have included mold, leaks, peeling paint and other effects of bare-bones maintenance.