Green Schools: Los Angeles

THE PROJECT

Help the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to green its schools and reduce energy and water use by 10%. With more than 14,000 buildings and 700,000 students spread out over 710 square miles, the district currently uses more water and energy than any other in the state.

OUR PARTICIPATION

In 2006, thanks to the Annenberg Foundation, Global Green USA begun an initiative to help LAUSD green its $14 billion in new school construction, the largest new schools construction project in the country. By the end of 2009, we had completed a multi-phase review of 34 new green schools, improving the school facilities for more than 40,000 students and teachers, as well as saving 21,695,238 gallons of water, 164,357,593 KwH of electricity, and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 94,000 tons every year -- the equivalent of planting 282,000 trees or eliminating more than 15,000 cars from the road every year.

PROGRESS

The LAUSD also has more than 1,300 school buses, and upgraded hundreds of decades-old buses to less polluting, more energy-efficient propane models in March 2010.

With half of California's water going to outdoor use, some schools were outfitted with smart irrigation systems that reduce water consumption for landscaping.

Eight schools, out of a planned 250, have had solar power installed. LAUSD plans to install 50 megawatts of solar photovoltaics, which could save the district more than $20 million annually.

The districts 44 planned campuses are being built in compliance with green building standards known as the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). CHPS is the United States' first green building rating program specifically designed for K-12 schools.

NEXT STEPS

LAUSD continues to develop core math, science, language-arts and social-studies curriculum have hands-on learning opportunities that draw on the district’s sustainability initiatives.