Research & Publications

Climate Change in Education 2017

The 2017 Climate Change Learning & Action in Ontario’s Certified EcoSchools report details the research conducted by Ontario EcoSchools and marks the end of of a multiyear Climate Leadership project carried out by Ontario EcoSchools and funded by the provincial Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The goals of the project were to provide baseline information on climate change learning and action currently practiced at certified EcoSchools in Ontario, and increase climate awareness and leadership capacity amongst educators and students by designating July 2016–June 2017 a climate change ‘theme year.’ This report finds that the Ontario EcoSchools program is well-positioned to facilitate the integration of climate change learning and action throughout school communities, and makes makes six recommendations for moving forward on climate change education. Click here to read the full report.

Waste Comparison Study 2016

Waste Study Cover Page graphicThe Waste Comparison Study 2016 was conducted by Immacutec Systems Technologies Inc., an independent waste audit consultant. The goal of the study was to compare the waste output of Platinum and Gold EcoSchools vs. non-EcoSchools. Waste audits were conducted at a total of 40 elementary and 9 secondary schools from 11 school boards. The study found a statistically significant difference between both the Combined Landfill and All Waste output per student of elementary Platinum and Non-EcoSchools. Platinum EcoSchool students on average produce 57% less combined landfill waste than Non-EcoSchool students. These findings suggest that certification from Ontario EcoSchools is associated with lower landfill and total waste generation per student. Click here to read the full report.

Energy Performance Study 2016

Energy Study Cover Page graphicThe Energy Performance Study 2016 was conducted by Enerlife Consulting, a green building performance consulting firm. The goal of the study was to compare the energy efficiency of elementary and secondary EcoSchools and non-EcoSchools. Using the 2013-14 energy data reported by all school boards, schools were compared based on energy savings potential (how much energy a school could save). The study found that on average, EcoSchools tend to be somewhat more energy efficient than non-EcoSchools, though the efficiencies were higher in natural gas performance than electricity. There were also fewer outliers and fewer extremes of energy inefficiency among certified EcoSchools. The results suggest that even though students have a limited ability to influence energy use throughout the whole school, their behavioural actions are still having some effect and could potentially be amplified with the collaboration of principals and administrators. Click here to read the full report.

Annual Report 2015-16

This PDF version of our Annual Report shares key stats and success stories from the past year of certification. Hear from participants including students, educators, administrative staff, and school board representatives and discover the impact that the EcoSchools community has on effecting change inside and outside of school walls. From supporting student leadership to convening educators to sharing learning and action kits, we’re making a difference! You can access the interactive version by clicking here.


Get Inspired 2015


The “Get Inspired” book is a compilation of the most exciting, innovative, and foundational eco-initiatives from certified Ontario EcoSchools.The publication was created in-house to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the program, and shared widely with the school communities that were featured in the book. Built around the six sections of certification, it shares a range of ideas and tips – useful for schools and for anyone interested in being more eco-friendly! Click here to read or download.