Successful energy reduction programs all share one thing in common: a dedicated group of students and staff that lead a coordinated effort. The USGBC Center for Green Schools has put together a handy toolkit (PDF) that provides a framework for success, which spells out the roles and responsibility of green team members. Read about those below.
In addition to the four areas listed below, the Sprint to Savings incorporates volunteer building professionals that support the green teams with technical expertise, energy education and activities such as energy audits and assemblies. We refer to these volunteers as mentors.
- Staff Leadership: one or more committed faculty or staff member is responsible for the implementation of the overall program. This person, who we refer to as the “green team leader,” is empowered to shape strategies and materials to make the program most effective within their own school community.
- Student Engagement: the “green team leader” actively develops student participation in the initiative. Student engagement has proven to be the central driver for reducing resource consumption, generating momentum, creativity and a positive focus in fostering new norms.
- Principal Support: The School principal provides essential support, highlighting the initiative and signaling commitment and endorsement to the school community. Communication is coordinated with the initiative leader(s) as needed.
- Building Staff engagement: School-based custodial staff members and building engineers are included as participants in the initiative. They control the two biggest sources of end-use consumption: lighting and air conditioning.