Gwinnett County Public Schools has been named a "Green Ribbon District" and chosen to represent the state in a national program that highlights positive environmental practices.
One school, Ford Elementary in Cobb County, also was chosen.
They will now compete in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Green Ribbon School and Green Ribbon School District program. They have the chance to win up to $10,000 pledged by the Turner Foundation for demonstrating energy efficiency efforts.
"Congratulations to Ford Elementary for being named a Georgia Green Ribbon School and Gwinnett County Schools a Green Ribbon District," said State School Superintendent John Barge. "We’re confident they will bring home a National Green Ribbon School and District Award.”
To be chosen, Ford Elementary and Gwinnett County Public Schools both submitted applications showing that they have made considerable progress toward the three qualifying pillars: optimal efficiency in energy, water, and waste management; healthy students and school environment; and environmental education.
"We are proud to once again support outstanding schools in our state that implement groundbreaking tools to reduce their energy costs," said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, in a press release. "In these challenging times, school systems across the state continue to embrace these innovative ideas to reduce costs and focus resources on the classrooms where students learn."
In Gwinnett County, officials touted the district's energy efficient upgrades and ENERGY STAR-certified building space. See more on Gwinnett County's environmental leadership below.
"In addition to our work to increase energy efficiency across the district, I am extremely proud of the work our schools do to help our students become good environmental stewards of resources," said GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.
Gwinnett County Public Schools, along with other honorees, will receive a commendation from Lt. Gov. Cagle on March 20. The U.S. Department of Education expects to make decisions on final awards in April during Earth Day Week.
About the Green Ribbon District, Gwinnett County Public Schools:
With more than 23-million square feet of ENERGY STAR-certified areas, Gwinnet County Public Schools (GCPS) leads the nation for K–12 certified building space. These ENERGY STAR certified buildings use 35 percent less energy, generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and cost up to 40 cents less per square foot to operate than similar buildings across the nation.
In addition, GCPS has completed several energy efficient upgrades of their facilities including: lighting retrofits in the classrooms, occupancy sensors, automated energy management systems, water source heat pumps, and variable frequency drives. As the 12th largest school district in the nation, GCPS is committed to their core mission of teaching and learning while encouraging environmental awareness and outstanding stewardship of resources.
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