Church of South India - Green Schools

GREEN SCHOOLS

USPG has been supporting the Church of South India (CSI) Green Schools programme since 2017. The idea behind Green Schools is to train students in environmental care; this the programme does by putting students in charge of conducting ‘green audits’ of their respective schools. Each school participating in the programme appoints 60 students to assess its performance in areas such as air quality, energy efficiency and waste management. The students provide recommendations based on their findings and the schools implement changes where necessary. The CSI used to rank the schools participating in the programme, but now it just gives each school a rating - thereby focusing more on the measurable changes each school has made, rather than creating a competitive environment.   

The CSI has implemented Green Schools in 450 of its 1,000 schools so far, and plans are under way to roll it out to all of them, aiming it at teachers as well as at students. In 2019, 86 of the CSI’s schools completed and submitted green audits. The CSI’s Department for Ecological Concerns has collaborated with the Indian government’s Environment Department to produce an environmental curriculum.

Thanks to Green Schools, the CSI is now recognised as a leading force in acting on the environment. The Eco-Ministry of the CSI (of which the Green Schools programme is a part) has been nominated for the 2019 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development by the World Council of Churches. It was hailed as a good practice story on UNESCO’s website.

Alongside Green Schools, the CSI has developed a range of environmental resources, including the books Green Miracles, Sustainable Living, Climate Emergency and Green Stories for Sunday School Children. A Green Clergy movement is up and running and there are Green Dioceses too.