“Overcoming poverty, gender equality, health promotion, environmental conservation and protection, rural transformation, human rights, intercultural understanding and peace, sustainable production and consumption, cultural diversity, and information and communication technologies – these are the key themes under the Global Action Program of the Post United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) that has been declared for the years 2005-2014 and the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (AEEAP) for the years 2014-2018.

Education for sustainable development centers on awareness of sustainable development issues, enhancing knowledge, influencing values and attitudes, and encouraging responsive behavior and learning that leads to action. Information is a major component of education and a continuous campaign for massive environmental awareness is indeed necessary.

Under the country’s local response to the Global Action Program of the Post UNDESD and AEEAP, included in the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development is a national program that would encourage schools to establish sustainable and eco-friendly schools. The school system is a vital part of our basic learning and is seen as a powerful vehicle for change. The school population, comprising of the students, teaching and non-teaching personnel, constitute a sizeable percentage of the national population. As such, any program focused on advocacy and other multi-faceted program of activities done within the school system especially relating to environmental concerns needs to be documented, encouraged, and recognized.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools may be described as environment-friendly schools that have initiated and integrated in their instruction, research, extension and/or administration, programs which are environment-related. The promotion of this program for the establishment and/or strengthening of sustainable and eco-friendly schools in the country had been enshrined as a priority to the Post ASEAN Environment Year 2015 Celebration with the theme “Empowering the Youth for a Green ASEAN Community”, and likewise in the Road Map for the Implementation of Republic Act No. 9512 also known as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 under the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (2009-2018).

In 2009, the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools was launched, as a partnership program among the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, thru the Environmental Management Bureau, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, with Smart Communications Inc. Nine schools were declared as national champions, with the best being the following: Peñablanca East Central School in Cagayan for Elementary; La Castellana National High School in Negros Occidental for High School; and Palawan State University in Palawan for College. Meanwhile, for 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools, the following emerged as winners: Iliranan Elementary School in Negros Occidental for Elementary; Camarines Sur National High School in Naga City for High School; and De La Salle University-Dasmariñas in Cavite for College.

In 2013 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools, the following emerged as winners: Dubinan Elementary School in Santiago City, Isabela for Elementary; Ateneo De Davao University-High School in Davao City for High School; and Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte for College. In 2015 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools, the following emerged as winners: Divisoria Elementary School in Santiago City, Isabela for Elementary; Bintawan National High School in Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya for High School; and Foundation University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental for College. For 2017, another National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly School is in place, to give recognition to the environmental initiatives of schools over the country. The National Search that will give recognition awards to Best Schools is planned to repeat periodically.

For the 2017 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools, special categories on the Nestlé Water Leadership Awardwill gain be awarded in order to recognize and promote solutions, practices and initiatives of schools on water. The Meralco Energy Leadership Award will recognize schools that promote practices and initiatives in electrical safety, energy efficiency and conservation. The LANDBANK Green Leadership Award will recognize schools that promote overall environmental sustainability programs.

The following can be adopted in pursuit of sustainable and eco-friendly schools:

  • developing environmental policies for the school;
  • campus planning, design and development structured and managed to achieve and surpass zero net carbon/water/waste to become a regenerative organization with the context of the local region;
  • physical operations and maintenance focused on supporting and enabling enabling zero net carbon/water/waste goals including effective monitoring , reporting and continual improvement;
  • policies and practices which foster equity , diversity, and quality of life for students, staff, and the broader community within which the university/school is based;
  • physical cleanliness, orderliness and beautification of the school;
  • energy conservation and efficiency and electrical safety;
  • water conservation/water management (maintenance of potable water) including prevention and/or treatment of water pollution;
  • paper conservation/paper recycling;
  • waste prevention, reduction, waste segregation, recycling and composting;
  • air, water and soil pollution control;
  • seedling production/vegetable gardening and marketing;
  • reforestation and/or nursery establishment;
  • establishment of a botanical garden;
  • herbarium;
  • establishment of bio-park;
  • environmental audits of school’s operations and facilities;
  • integration of environmental themes into the school curriculum;
  • conduct of in-service environmental training for faculty members;
  • presence of environmental clubs/organization;
  • development of environmental support instructional materials;
  • offering of environmental degrees/certificate programs;
  • environment and natural resource-related research works and studies;
  • linkages and exchanges on the environment with the following sectors: national government agencies, non-government organizations, religious organizations, local government units, business  and industry sector, among others;
  • environmental awareness and community education, holding of green fairs and environmental   exhibits/sale of green products,  holding of seminars and/or conferences/symposia,  holding of eco- tours or ecological destinations,  healthy lifestyle campaigns;
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation programs;
  • disaster risk reduction and management programs;
  • celebration of cultural diversity and application of cultural inclusivity; and
  • framework of support cooperation among universities/colleges/schools both nationally and globally

Objectives of the Program:

  1. To encourage schools/academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at a practical and local level; and
  2. To develop skills and understanding among the students, faculty and school administrators in initiating active responses and increasing community awareness and participation on environmental concerns.

For more information, please click the link below:

  1. Mechanics
  2. Timeline
  3. Download entry form here

Or visit The Official Website: http://www.sustainableschools.ph/