Once the Seven Steps have been completed in relation to the chosen theme, the school has the possibility to compile the Eco-Schools portfolio and apply for the Eco-Schools Award.
WHY THE ECO SCHOOLS AWARD?
Acquiring the Eco-Schools Award (The Green Flag Award) marks an important step in the school’s continuous improvement process. Obtaining the Award should not, however, be considered as an end in itself; it is a starting point that symbolises your commitment to (education for) sustainable development.
Although obtaining the Award is not mandatory, it adds value for those involved, brings visibility and legitimacy to the project, and motivates more people to participate. The Green Flag Award is an internationally recognised symbol for environmental excellence; obtaining it enhances your school’s credibility.
WHAT ARE THE ECO-SCHOOLS AWARD CRITERIA?
Eco-Schools offers a framework and a methodology that facilitate the implementation of a long-term continuous improvement process in schools, both in terms of sustainable development practices and education for sustainable development. However, there is no right or wrong way to pursue this process and schools take different routes to achieving the Green Flag Award. Each school designs its approach according to its own unique motivations and concerns, builds its projects based on the time and resources available to it, and advances at its own pace.
Given the diversity of approaches available, obtaining the Eco-Schools Award is not subject to specific performance criteria. Rather, it consists of an overall assessment of the project, aimed at recognising the momentum created and valuing the work accomplished.
THE ECO-SCHOOLS AWARD IS RENEWABLE!
The award is granted by a jury made of independent experts from the fields of education and sustainable development. If granted, Eco-Schools Switzerland offers an Award that is valid for two years, during which the school continues its commitment to sustainable development and expands its actions by taking on a new theme. The Eco-Schools Award takes the form of a certificate and the International Green Flag, which demonstrates the school’s membership of the Eco-Schools network and can be displayed on the premises. Achieving the Award gives the school the right to use the Eco-Schools logo on its publications and it also receives a small flag representing the theme chosen.
The school can apply to have the Award renewed, at the earliest one year and at the latest two years after it was last granted. To do this, it must submit the Eco-Schools portfolio it has produced for its new project to the Eco-Schools team. If the Award is renewed, the school receives a new certificate and a new flag for its chosen theme.