The American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council released a five-point national action plan that mayors and local leaders can use as a framework to develop and implement green schools initiatives. The plan comes as part of the report, Sustainability: A Special Report from Sundance.

“This report should serve as a guidepost for many communities throughout the country that are looking for ways to implement green initiatives but fear the expense involved,” said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA.

The steps are based on tangible actions and are drawn from conversations that took place at Sundance and successful green schools initiatives from across the United States and include:
• Connecting with the green schools movement.
• Engaging stakeholders and raising awareness.
• Building community support and capacity.
• Making it happen, with benchmarking, policies and financing.
• And celebrating success stories.

The report says that green schools can conserve energy and natural resources, save taxpayers money, improve indoor air quality, remove toxic materials from places where children learn and play, employ daylighting strategies and improve classroom acoustics, use sustainable purchasing and green cleaning practices and improve environmental literacy in students.