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The Global Search for Sustainable Schools Guidance Note

  • Published on February 1, 2022

This Guidance Note, based on the experience of the Global Search for Sustainable Schools (GSSS), has been created to assist those interested in developing a programme to implement sustainable school projects at the sub-national, national, regional, or international level. To support the creation of this document, national coordinators and school project implementers were surveyed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the programme as it was implemented. 

The Guidance Note walks through the experience of the GSSS, starting by placing the GSSS in context.

Next, a brief overview of the five stages of the programme is presented. The next five sections explore the lessons learned from stages 2 – 5 of the GSSS:

  • Programme Coordination and International Exchanges
  • The Search for Sustainable Schools
  • School Project Planning
  • School Project Implementation
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Assessment.

These sections outline the lessons learned during programme activities, providing useful insights for anyone seeking to create a sustainable school project programme.

Within each of these sections, reflections are presented based on the GSSS Coordinating Team and national coordinators’ experience of programme implementation across the nine participating countries. The most important lessons are highlighted at the top of each section. Each section concludes with
a set of tips for successful implementation based on feedback from national coordinators and project implementers.

The Guidance Note concludes with a list of resources that may be helpful to those creating a similar programme. The resources presented include:

  • GSSS websites and online assets
  • Digital resources for Education for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Lifestyles
  • Reports; and
  • Video Media.

Many of these resources were created through the activities of the Global Search for Sustainable Schools, the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, or closely associated partners.

This Guidance Note, based on the experience of the Global Search for Sustainable Schools (GSSS), has been created to assist those interested in developing a programme to implement sustainable school projects at the sub-national, national, regional, or international level. To support the creation of this document, national coordinators and school project implementers were surveyed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the programme as it was implemented. 

The Guidance Note walks through the experience of the GSSS, starting by placing the GSSS in context.

Next, a brief overview of the five stages of the programme is presented. The next five sections explore the lessons learned from stages 2 – 5 of the GSSS:

  • Programme Coordination and International Exchanges
  • The Search for Sustainable Schools
  • School Project Planning
  • School Project Implementation
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Assessment.

These sections outline the lessons learned during programme activities, providing useful insights for anyone seeking to create a sustainable school project programme.

Within each of these sections, reflections are presented based on the GSSS Coordinating Team and national coordinators’ experience of programme implementation across the nine participating countries. The most important lessons are highlighted at the top of each section. Each section concludes with
a set of tips for successful implementation based on feedback from national coordinators and project implementers.


The Guidance Note concludes with a list of resources that may be helpful to those creating a similar programme. The resources presented include:

  • GSSS websites and online assets
  • Digital resources for Education for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Lifestyles
  • Reports; and
  • Video Media.

Many of these resources were created through the activities of the Global Search for Sustainable Schools, the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, or closely associated partners.

External source(s)

Supporting document(s)

GSSS_guidance_note.pdf
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