Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Schools National Network, named BVSD the Best of Green Schools - School System of the year, citing the district's decade-long commitment to creating healthy learning environments and experiences that equip all students and staff with the knowledge and skills to create more equitable and sustainable communities.
As a leader in whole district sustainability, BVSD creates healthy learning environments and experiences that equip all students and staff with the knowledge and skills to create more equitable and sustainable communities.
In 2016, BVSD became the first ever school district to be certified by the United States Healthful Food Council for its commitment to healthy and sustainable food service practices. The district earned the council’s “Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership,” or REAL, certification, which previously was only given to restaurants and food service providers.
BVSD earned the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon School District Award.
BVSD wants to ensure faculty, staff, students, and families have regular opportunities to experience sustainability in action.
School green teams work to support activities like gardens, recycling programs, energy competitions and more at their schools. This month, three BVSD schools are participating in a multi-state competition to reduce energy use.
Tools such as school sustainability dashboards (launching in the fall) and the state's new energy benchmarking show us what is working and what we need to focus on. BVSD's new sustainability and energy analyst collects and analyzes data related to energy use, water consumption, waste, and more to track our progress and identify opportunities for reduction.
BVSD has made an organizational commitment to sustainability through policy and our Sustainability Action Plan. The work described in the Critical Needs Plan, which was generously approved for funding by voters in 2022, will continue to support the action plan goals through the design and operation of our school buildings.
To support our design partners to help us build more innovative and sustainable schools, we developed Green Building Guiding Principles and updated our technical specifications to reflect our sustainability values. New construction will use the LEED rating system to guide design and strive to achieve a gold standard.
BVSD has 6 electric buses, joining 26 propane buses propane buses already rolling in our fleet. With this move toward cleaner fuels, BVSD has taken 15 diesel buses off the road in recent years. These efforts support our goal to reduce local transportation emissions by 25% by 2026.
This spring, more than a dozen schools are planning to participate in two programs from Eco-cycle aimed at teaching students how to lean into the first "R" of the reduce/reuse/recycle triad at lunch time.
Elementary and middle school students will learn how to pack waste-free lunches and high school students are participating in a "Choose to Reduce" program this Spring.
BVSD is working to reduce overall water consumption by 5% by 2026. New buildings are designed with low-flow fixtures and, as existing plumbing systems wear out, they are updated with water-saving fixtures. BVSD is also working to reduce the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance and to make sure irrigation systems are working properly.
Learn more about sustainability issues on our greenBVSD webpage.
This past fall, BVSD’s Office of Sustainability introduced the Sustainability Snapshot, a new tool for tracking and viewing data related to the district’s sustainability efforts. The digital dashboard shows what sustainability efforts are happening at schools across the district, along with the utility use for each school, and how each school compares to other BVSD schools.
The Boulder Valley School District has long been a leader in sustainability. Over the past few months students from across the district have lobbied the Board of Education to take even more ambitious action to fight climate change. Eventually, collaboratively, they were able to find common ground, drafting Resolution 23-30 Green New Deal, which supports the continued sustainability work of the district and encourages further leadership in this area moving forward.
Earlier this month, on the heels of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) adopting the Green New Deal for Schools resolution, a group of school district sustainability leaders from across the nation and abroad, including California, Washington D.C., North Carolina and as far as Tunisia, came to BVSD to learn more about what it takes to create a successful district sustainability program.