CSE honours 172 schools with Climate Change Awards for 2019 under Green Schools Programme

BATHINDA: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Thursday gave away Green Schools Programme(GSP)Awards to schools from across the country who undertake a rigorous environmental audit exercise to minimise their resource footprints. The schools from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh made a mark in different categories.

The audit has six sections: air, energy, food, land, water and waste — together they aim at providing a holistic picture of resource efficiency. Through awareness on carbon emissions, clean sources of energy, food consumption, biodiversity, rainwater harvesting and segregation of waste, the audit paves the path for schools to combat climate change at the local level and progress towards transforming into a sustainable campus. The 172 made it to the roll of honours out of 1704 schools which sent complete reports.

The data that has emerged after the 2018-19 audit shows that 82 per cent of the schools that submitted the audit report segregate waste at source and ban selling of packaged foods in the school premises, 48 per cent practice rainwater harvesting, 12 per cent are using alternate sources of energy. Those schools that have monitored their resource use over the years and made significant improvements to move towards an efficient manner of functioning are termed as changemaker schools. Shivalik Valley School, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, Govt Sr Sec School Chail, Himachal Pradesh figured in list of changemaker schools.

Those that have managed to sustain their green performance for three or more years while continuously moving towards more sustainable means by being environmentally-astute are termed green in a row schools and Bal Bharati Public School, IMT Manesar, Haryana, Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai, Haryana figured in the category.

Govt Sr Sec School, Kujji, Himachal Pradesh figured in new entrant category where schools have participated in the audit for the first time and shown tremendous potential.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab remained the topper in energy section and Govt High School Dugha Himachal Pradesh topped in land section.

CSE director general Sunita Narain, who gave away awards at Delhi on Thursday, said “Green Schools Programme was launched some years ago by CSE to initiate and strengthen the tools of ecological literacy in schools. It aims to support and hand-hold schools in the country to enable them to transition to greener infrastructure and practices.”

Says Ranjita Menon, programme director, environment education, CSE “GSP audit exercise provides students the opportunity to minimise the usage of resources within the school premises and opens up avenues for activity-based environment education.” GSP programme has been able to bring about measurable practice changes in schools including increase in water table, reduced electricity bills through energy conservation and gradual shift to renewable energy, segregation of waste at source, increased green cover, move to sustainable modes of transport.

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