Can’t find what you are looking for? Please use the form on the left hand side to send us your questions.
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that helps school communities develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible and reduce the environmental footprint of schools.
The key areas of focus and achievement are: Teamwork & Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, Curriculum, and Environmental Stewardship. For more information on these sections, please visit the Program Sections page.
Ontario EcoSchools’ vision is “Every School an EcoSchool.” We work with school boards across the province, and in 2015-16, Ontario EcoSchools certified 1,720 schools across 55 boards.
By recognizing achievements in environmental education and conservation, Ontario EcoSchools is an innovative model of sustained environmental awareness and behavioural change.
One of the main impacts of Ontario EcoSchools is the implementation of board-wide waste minimization and energy conservation standards. This standardization allows for schools to work towards certain benchmarks and see their progress year over year as part of a larger community of schools.
As well, certified Ontario EcoSchools use less energy than non-certified schools in Ontario. An independent analysis of energy use at the Toronto DSB indicates that on average, certified EcoSchools use 12% less electricity and 7% less natural gas than comparable non-certified schools. (Toronto District School Board Energy Management Program Review, 2006, ICF International, p.28-29.)
Since the inception of the program, over 8,360 teachers have participated in Ontario EcoSchools’ professional development workshops, developing stronger school capacity for environmental change. See our 10 Year Infographic to understand our work over the past decade.
Ontario EcoSchools fosters leadership skills and environmental citizenship. Through actions both in and outside the classroom, students address Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, and Environmental Stewardship. The student-centered focus allows EcoTeams to take the lead in environmental learning paired with tangible daily actions. Active participation develops capacity, promotes whole school engagement, and creates meaningful connections to local communities. Ontario EcoSchools reaches more than 730,000 students every year (36% of all students in Ontario) and encourages all grades to be actively involved in whole school environmental initiatives.
Parents and community members are crucial to a thriving EcoTeam and there are several ways to get involved. For example, volunteer to organize an environmental campaign, provide technical support in areas of your expertise (e.g., landscaping design for school ground greening, website support for school webpage, etc.), or donate supplies. Please contact the lead teacher or principal at your school for specific ways you can participate.
All dates for the 2016-17 school year. Please note that each school needs to register and input the required documents by the dates above in order to be eligible for certification.
The Ontario EcoSchools program is free of charge for publicly funded schools. Information on private school certification costs can be found here.
Download the Ontario EcoSchools Certification Guide and print the Certification Questions and Tips for Success sections of the guide.
Board representatives are notified of final standings once all annual site visits are completed and schools will be notified before the end of school year. Schools without a board representative will be contacted directly. Once standings have been released, schools can sign in to their online application to read assessor feedback and review their assessment.
In order to be eligible for Platinum certification, schools must meet the following requirements: