Energy-Efficient Schools Initiative Feature Commitment at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

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National Wildlife Federation, Serious Materials and Jayni Chase Join Forces for the Future

To achieve a sustainable world, we must deploy conservation practices and environmental education simultaneously. Helping young people think critically about energy sources, consumption and how to work together to solve problems is absolutely necessary.

The nation’s largest conservation organization has joined forces with sustainable green building products company Serious Materials and Jayni Chase, Green Community Schools founder and author. The Commitment to Action developed by these three entities will be featured Tuesday at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Serious Materials, and Jayni Chase have committed to creating and supporting a coalition of manufacturers, installers, unions and others to launch a comprehensive environmental and energy-efficient experiential education model in 500 schools by year-end 2012.

The resulting Energy-Efficient Schools Initiative is a comprehensive strategy to reduce barriers for implementing energy efficiency in America’s schools. The solution is through building retrofits and hands-on application of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by students. Students will produce energy models, decide on alternatives and savings, learn about conservation and efficient technologies, and develop skills to meet the needs of the emerging clean energy economy.

“The Energy Efficient Schools Initiative collaboration embodies the mission of National Wildlife Federation, which works to ensure a healthy planet—abundant with wildlife and the natural resources on which all life depends. To achieve a sustainable world, we must deploy conservation practices and environmental education simultaneously. Helping young people think critically about energy sources, consumption and how to work together to solve problems is absolutely necessary,” said Larry Schweiger, President & CEO of National Wildlife Federation.

This Energy-Efficient Schools Initiative commitment addresses three problems:
-Climate change and carbon-based energy consumption
-Declining STEM education in American schools
-Declining human capital and locus of control–an individual’s desire to make a difference and
feel that their actions matter.

“Improving education is a national priority that needs to be tackled with attention paid to developing the economy as a whole. The ultimate goal is preparing our nation's children to be more confident and successful adults. At the same time, our joint expertise will bring together suppliers, service providers, construction workers and others to build a more sustainable economic future,” said Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials. Serious Materials is the leading provider of high-tech products and services that reduce energy usage in the built environment, the largest contributor of CO2 worldwide.

President Barack Obama’s administration deems bettering education a national priority that needs to be tackled with attention paid to developing the clean energy economy as a whole. “Our nation’s economic competitiveness and the path to the American Dream depend on providing every child with an education that will enable them to succeed in a global economy that is predicated on knowledge and innovation,” according to the White House education landing page.

“Talk about a good investment—the more we invest in our schools, the bigger returns we will reap on every level. Schools are the hearts of our communities, our future depends on how much we choose to nurture or ignore our children. By investing our dollars and ourselves in our schools today, we will make improvements in the lives of America’s children. The benefits of the Energy-Efficient Schools Initiative will help kids’ bodies and brains in ways that will pay-off for the rest of their lives,” said Jayni Chase, Founder, Center for Environmental Education, who brings decades of leadership in environmental education and sustainable school programs.

Additional Information
Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials and Jayni Chase, Green Community Schools founder and author, met at the 2009 CGI Annual Meeting. Surace and Chase subsequently engaged the National Wildlife Federation because of its 75 year history and reputation in science-based environmental education and civic engagement.

Link: http://live.clintonglobalinitiative.org
Twitter: Follow the CGI 2010 conversation with hashtag #cgi2010

Contact: Carey Stanton, Sr. Director for Education & Integrated Marketing, at 734-834-6483 (cell)

National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. NWF is the host organization for Eco-Schools USA, part of the international Eco-Schools program network of 37,000 schools in 50 nations. Visit ecoschoolsusa.org to learn more.

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

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