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Gearing up to go green

Gearing up to go green
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Inspired by the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) environmental audit for schools concept the ‘green schools programme’, Indian Green...

The IGBC initiative rewards institutions that excel in managing natural resources. It intends to cover 50 private and government schools by the end of this year

Hyderabad: Inspired by the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) environmental audit for schools concept the ‘green schools programme’, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) set up by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has come up with a similar programme to encourage schools in the city for taking up green initiative. This initiative rewards institutions that excel in managing natural resources. It intends to cover 50 private and government schools by the end of this year.

Schools can have tremendous benefits, both tangible and intangible. While tangible benefits include reduction in water and energy consumption, the intangible benefits are health and wellbeing of children, enhanced air quality and excellent day lighting. The ‘green school’ programme was launched in September 2014 with an aim to encourage schools to turn more environment-friendly. Apart from the facilities and other educational achievements, schools can now display this ‘green tag’.

Green Schools Core Committee has been set up to develop a rating program to address school children from kindergarten to higher secondary. Many schools in the city have registered with this programme, both teachers and students can participate in the implementation of these green measures. This initiative has two aspects: ‘Green Features’ and ‘Green Education’. While ‘Green Features’ requires the school to adhere to construction and planning related norms, ‘Green Education’ will see lessons in environmental theory being imparted and tests held in addition to the usual examinations.

Schools in the city see immense potential in this programme, Jyothi Singh, a teacher at St. Mary’s says “There are many clean-India initiatives that have been launched after the new government took office last year, we have to support such programmes and also implement them as we teach our children the importance of cleanliness. We have to make students understand that green is a way of life and that it is important to keep our surroundings tidy.”

The registration fee and the certification fee for the programee ranges between two to four lakh rupees to four lakh rupees, CII is trying to rope in stakeholders and corporates to adopt the schools and make it an easy task for these schools so that they can be certified ‘green’ by bearing the costs. IGBC’s role is limited to advising schools on the changes and to ensure they adhere to local building laws.

The school rating system addresses eco-education, health and hygiene besides the infrastructural facilities, energy efficiency, water conservation and waste management. Aspects like nutrition, physical activity and safety are also addressed. Some of the recommended changes include window and door sizes for maximum ventilation, standards of hygiene, good quality water, sewage disposal and its treatment. The use of solar energy is also being promoted to decrease electricity consumption. It also suggests that 50 per cent of the open space in schools should have shrubs, trees and plants.

A school scoring 50 points and above will be certified a ‘green school’ and ones that fare better in complying with the norms will further be appreciated with platinum, gold and silver ratings. After the process of certification, the school’s performance will be monitored every six months and the recertification will take place once every two years.

By:Navatha Y

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