Third-Party Recognition Programs

There are a few programs designed to evaluate and rate energy efficiency and environmental performance of schools. Below is a summary of several of the more well-recognized rating systems. GHG emission reductions can be achieved as these programs continue to develop and transform the market.


Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)


The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) “is leading a national movement to improve student performance and the entire educational experience by building the best possible schools.” CHPS establishes best practices for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of high performance schools. CHPS offers technical resources and provides two recognition programs, CHPS Designed and CHPS Verified, geared towards California schools.



National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA Program

NWF Logo

The Eco-Schools USA Program focuses on setting a goal and working together with students, teachers, and staff for great rewards! Not only do you feel good about what you are doing together but the benefits will last for years and hopefully generations of students after you have become an Eco-School!


The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)



The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) organizes an annual award program called The Beyond Green™ Awards. The program recognizes exceptional performance of high performance buildings nation-wide.


Greenest Universities



The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) was established in 2005 to "help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability." Today, the AASHE also recognizes colleges and universities that have achieved the greatest level of success with green initiatives on-campus and within in their surrounding communities. This list from names the 15 U.S. colleges and universities that have earned the highest STARS ratings, thereby distinguishing themselves as the nation's greenest schools. (as of August 2019)


Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA)



The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State's economy.