How can schools become more sustainable?

Explore our latest insightful blog, written by one of Juniper's Internal Scrutiny experts, Carly Quick-Crockford. Discover actionable sustainability strategies for schools, including waste reduction, curriculum integration, and more. Carly provides personalised guidance to elevate your school's sustainability practices, ensuring a greener future for generations to come.



Promoting sustainability is crucial in today's eco-conscious world, with schools playing a significant role in shaping the attitudes and behaviours of future generations towards the environment. It's vital for children to understand how everyone's actions can positively impact our planet and even more vital for schools to actively demonstrate sustainable practices in their daily operations.

By implementing sustainable practices, schools can reduce their environmental footprint and instil valuable lessons about conservation and responsibility in pupils. In this blog, written by Carly Quick-Crockford, one of Juniper’s experts in internal scrutiny and risk, we will explore practical steps that schools can take to operate more sustainably.

Energy efficiency

One of the most effective ways for schools to reduce their environmental impact is by improving energy efficiency. Simple measures such as switching to energy-efficient lighting, installing programmable thermostats, and upgrading insulation can lead to significant energy savings. Additionally, schools can educate pupils and staff about the importance of turning off lights and electronic devices when not in use to conserve energy further.

Waste reduction

Schools generate a substantial amount of waste each day, from paper and plastic to food waste. Implementing recycling programs and composting initiatives can help divert a significant portion of this waste from landfills. Schools can also encourage the use of reusable water bottles and lunch containers, reducing single-use plastic consumption. Furthermore, teaching pupils about the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle can create a culture of waste reduction within the school community.

Sustainable transportation

Promoting sustainable transportation options can help reduce carbon emissions and alleviate traffic congestion around schools. Encouraging walking, cycling, or carpooling can reduce transportation's environmental impact and promote physical activity and community engagement. Schools can also work with local authorities to improve infrastructure for walking and cycling, such as designated bike lanes and pedestrian crossings.

Green spaces

Creating and maintaining green spaces within school grounds can provide numerous environmental and educational benefits. Planting trees and native vegetation can improve air quality, provide habitat for wildlife, and reduce the urban heat island effect. Additionally, green spaces can serve as outdoor classrooms, allowing pupils to learn about ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability firsthand.

Curriculum integration

Integrating sustainability into the curriculum can help pupils develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and inspire them to take action. Teachers can incorporate topics such as climate change, renewable energy, and conservation into various subjects, from science and geography to art and literature. School trips to local parks, nature reserves, or eco-friendly businesses can further enrich pupils' learning experiences and promote a sense of environmental awareness.

Digital communications

Schools can significantly reduce paper usage by embracing digital communication methods. Instead of traditional paper-based newsletters, schools can opt for digital newsletters sent via email or published via digital communications tools and uploaded to the school website. Additionally, implementing a digital reward and recognition system allows schools to celebrate pupils' successes and achievements without needing paper certificates. By using digital platforms for communication, schools will streamline their processes and contribute to reducing their carbon footprint, promoting environmental sustainability for future generations.

Sustainable policies and procedures

Creating robust environmental policies and procedures for schools is essential for ingraining sustainability into the school's culture. This policy should outline the school's commitment to environmental sustainability and establish clear guidelines for implementing eco-friendly practices across all aspects of school operations. Procedures can include waste management protocols, energy-saving measures and sustainable procurement practices. By formalising these policies and procedures, schools can create a framework for encouraging environmental consciousness among pupils, staff, and the broader school community. Additionally, regular monitoring, evaluation, and review of these policies ensure ongoing improvement and accountability, further embedding sustainability into the school's ethos.

Seek professional guidance

Schools may benefit from seeking outside assistance to operate more sustainably and identify areas for improvement. Collaborating with sustainability experts, environmental organisations, or consultants can provide valuable insights and expertise. These external partners can conduct internal school audits and assessments to evaluate current practices, identify inefficiencies, and recommend sustainable solutions. Additionally, they can offer guidance on implementing eco-friendly initiatives, such as energy efficiency upgrades, policy updates, and curriculum integration strategies.


By implementing these practical steps, schools can play a vital role in promoting sustainability and preparing pupils to be responsible citizens. Schools can reduce their environmental impact by adopting sustainable practices and contribute to building a more resilient and sustainable future for future generations. Together, we can create a greener and more sustainable world.

Juniper can help create a greener future for your school

Juniper is here to help your school identify areas of strength and improvement relating to your sustainability practices.

We will act as your 'critical friend', considering government climate and change strategy while tailoring our review to your school's requirements. Our Sustainability Internal Scrutiny review will include assessing aspects like the school's carbon footprint, sustainability policies, travel plans, curriculum integration, and energy usage.

Want to improve sustainability in your school?

Book a free consultation with Juniper’s auditing team; together, we can help create a greener future for your school and its pupils.