The Global Coalition for Green Schools’ sustainability competition crowned Canada’s Dunbarton High School (Pickering, Ont.) the ‘Greenest School on Earth.’
The annual competition held by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Center for Green Schools was started by the Global Coalition for Green Schools initiative. It highlights a K–12 school that exemplifies how sustainability can be a part of the infrastructure, culture, and curriculum.
The three pillars of the competition are: environmental impact, human health, and ecoliteracy. The center defines a ‘green school’ as one with zero environmental impact, including water, energy, waste, and carbon, a positive impact on health and performance, and 100 percent environmentally literate graduates.
“The Greenest School on Earth recognition goes to the school that is defining what it means to live, breath, and teach whole-school sustainability,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the center. “Dunbarton is an excellent example of a school that engages its students at every turn, placing them in the driver’s seat and empowering them to improve their environment, inside and out. We are pleased to recognize Dunbarton’s efforts to improve their community, enhance the biodiversity of the region, and elevate young minds to a higher order of thinking about sustainable practices.”
In the last five years, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) school has added energy-efficient windows, insulation, and lower-wattage lighting. It offers a specialist ‘high skills major in environmental’ course, which engages students through work related to the school’s natural surroundings. It has an outdoor classroom, a pollinating garden, and a rooftop solar heater.
Along with the title, the school also won $1000 to be used for a sustainable initiative. It plans on using the money to develop a school garden, and construct 10 more bee condominiums to share with its community.