Learn more about green schools with our monthly webcasts

Published on: 
22 Feb 2019
Carolyn Yi

This year, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC will offer monthly webcasts focused on a variety of topics. Join us each month to expand your knowledge of a green schools issue and to hear directly from industry experts and partners.

See the schedule outline below for our full list of 2019 webinars. Bookmark this page, and check back monthly for updated details including time, call-in information and guest speakers for the next webcast.

March: School District Sustainability Scorecards

Core audience: School Sustainability Leaders Network
Date: Tuesday, March 26
Time: 1 p.m. EST / Noon CST / 11 a.m. MST / 10 a.m. PST

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Description: Data collection and benchmarking performance in the classroom are essential, but what about in other areas at school? In this webcast, three school sustainability and facilities leaders will share their stories of benchmarking and communicating progress on a variety of metrics such as energy, water, waste, transportation, health and wellness, and student leadership. Attendees will learn what the outcomes of engaging occupants in ongoing data collection have been on both the individual and community scales. Each presenter will showcase the internal and external tools used to develop their districts’ Sustainability Scorecard and will share tips for replicating in other school districts.

Featured speakers:

  • Chris Pyke—Senior Vice President, Product for USGBC
  • Tresine Logsdon—Energy and Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator, Fayette County Public Schools
  • Ghita Carroll—Sustainability Coordinator, Boulder Valley School District
  • Tom Horton—Director of Facilities, Carlisle Area School District

April: Building Learners Program Release

Core audience: All audiences
Date: Wednesday, April 24
Time: 3:30 p.m. EST

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Description: Are you looking for ways to connect green building and student learning in a meaningful way? Join us to hear about Building Learners, a new K–12 education program that connects student learning with the operations of a school building, preparing students to succeed in 21st century green careers that value systems thinking and problem solving.

Building Learners brings together a core team of school facilities personnel, educators and volunteer green building professionals. Equipped with standards‐aligned lessons about sustainability and a state-of-the-art online building management dashboard, the team engages students in real-world energy, water, waste, transportation and environmental health investigations of their school. By using the building as a laboratory for STEM learning, students are empowered to propose data-driven solutions for healthier, more efficient school environments.

May: The State of the School Recycling Market

Core audience: School Sustainability Leaders Network
Date: Tuesday, May 21
Time: 1:30 p.m. EST

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Description: The U.S. recycling markets are suffering due to a recent policy shift by China, and you might already be feeling some of the impact in your school system. But what should you really be prepared for, and how can you be an advocate for maintaining, and even expanding, your existing recycling programs?

In this quarterly School Sustainability Leaders' Best Practice webcast, Stephanie Barger from the TRUE Zero Waste program will provide us with an update on the state of the recycling industry—what’s really happening and what school districts should anticipate in the next year.

We will also hear lessons learned from Fairfax County Public Schools, which recently updated their single-stream program and educational materials to meet new hauler requirements. Last, attendees will hear about ways some communities across the country are actually expanding programming to include carton recycling, and how your district can take advantage of the Carton Council’s funding and advocacy resources.

Featured speakers:

  • Stephanie Barger—Director, Market Transformation and Development, TRUE Zero Waste Program
  • Barbara Heineken—Consultant, The Carton Council
  • Donna Volkmann—PreK–12 Resource Teacher, Environmental Stewardship, Fairfax County Public Schools

This webcast is made possible thanks to support from the Carton Council.

June: Resources and Programming to Monitor IAQ in Schools

Core audience: All audiences
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019
Time: 12–1 p.m. ET

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Description: Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical component of healthy school environments. The amount of CO2, VOCs and particulates in the air has demonstrable impacts on the health of students and school staff, and can ultimately affect academic performance and absenteeism. By proactively managing indoor air quality, schools can save money by reducing missed school days, cutting down on chemicals purchased and curbing costly future repairs and potential environmental health lawsuits.

Whether you’re just getting started or have been an IAQ leader for years, this webinar will provide insights for taking your school environmental health monitoring and management program to the next level. Sheila Brown, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will discuss the value of assessing and monitoring IAQ and highlight EPA resources available for K–12 schools. Center for Green Schools staff will share how the Arc platform and the Building Learners program can help you engage students to monitor and track IAQ metrics. Attendees will also hear from school district staff in Pennsylvania and Hawaii about their experiences with these resources, including lessons learned and challenges in working to assess and address indoor air quality in their school districts.

Featured speakers:

  • Sheila Brown, Indoor Environments Division, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Fred Remelius, Director of Operations, Upper Merion Area School District
  • Amy Brinker, Sustainability Manager, Kamehameha Schools

August: Getting to Green with a Green Revolving Fund

Core audience: School Sustainability Leaders Network
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 20
Time: 1–2 p.m. ET

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School districts and campuses across the country that face annual budget cuts and unstable energy markets are finding it increasingly difficult to finance much-needed energy efficiency upgrades. The good news is that an innovative solution exists, called the Green Revolving Fund (GRF). This webinar will teach you about the virtuous cycle of a GRF and the value that a dedicated internal capital fund could bring to your school system. Learn about Sustainable Endowments Institute’s industry-recognized resources, such as its GRF Implementation Guide and GRITS platform to manage renewable energy, sustainability and energy efficiency projects. Participants will also hear from Kristen Trovillion, Sustainability Coordinator at Grand Rapids Public Schools, about how the K–12 school district made the case for a GRF, and lessons learned after operating the fund for a few years.


Kristen Trovillion, Sustainability Coordinator, Grand Rapids Public Schools

As the Sustainability Coordinator for Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kristen manages the district’s operational sustainability and works to pair sustainability initiatives with student learning. In her previous work at the Indiana Energy Office and Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability, Kristen managed over $100 million in building retrofit, renewable energy and fleet conversion projects. She also collaborated on the first citywide sustainability assessment in Indianapolis. Kristen holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Alma College and a Master of Public Administration in energy policy from Indiana University–SPEA.

Mark Orlowski, Executive Director and Founder, Sustainable Endowments Institute

Mark Orlowski is Founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Boston-based organization he started in 2005. SEI has pioneered research and other resources to help institutions advance their sustainability and energy efficiency goals through implementing innovative internal green revolving funds. SEI also has developed the GRITS platform, currently in use by more than 800 institutions, for tracking green revolving funds and energy efficiency/sustainability projects in general. Mark is a graduate of Williams College. He also received an associate's degree from Berkshire Community College and earned a master's degree at Harvard University, where he studied nonprofit management.

This free webinar is hosted by the Center for Green Schools at USGBC in partnership with the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

September: International Updates and Global Coalition Member Spotlight

Core audience: Global Coalition members, international green schools stakeholders
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 17

October: Green Building Standards in All 50 States

Core audience: USGBC green schools volunteers, green schools advocacy stakeholders
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 15

December: Climate Resilience and Climate Commitments

Core audience: School Sustainability Leaders Network
Date: Thursday, Dec. 5

TBD: Zero Waste

Core audience: All audiences
Date: Fall, date TBD