About GWC for K-12 Schools

Registration Open for the 2016-2017 K-12 Schools Competition

The 2016-2017 K-12 Schools Green Workplace Challenge is currently open for registration. The GWC for K-12 Schools is a brief 21-week challenge that empowers teachers, principals and students to participate in the Green Workplace Challenge. It's FREE to join, and the competition is open to K-12 schools of all sizes. Every action makes a difference. What difference can your school make this year?

Sign up by October 31, 2016 to compete!

Deadline Extended: November 11, 2016

Competition Start Date: October 1, 2016

NEW Sign-up Deadline: November 11, 2016

Competition End Date: February 28, 2017

Why 21 weeks?

In many schools, each semester brings a whole new course schedule for students, making it difficult to continue some initiatives between semesters. Furthermore, schools typically have a very different level of building usage in the summer than during the school year. Our traditional year-long Green Workplace Challenge can be difficult for schools to engage with, because it doesn’t fit well with the academic calendar.

This year, Sustainable Pittsburgh has created a special adaptation of the Green Workplace Challenge just for K-12 schools. While many actions are still related to building operations, the K-12 GWC also includes actions to engage teachers, students and the community around sustainability.

Where do I start?

You can start by signing up for the K-12 GWC. The deadline to sign up is November 11, 2016. Whether you are a teacher, a principal, an operations manager or even a student leader, you can find actions in the K-12 GWC that you can complete.

To help guide you through the actions, the GWC K-12 Master Playbook includes icons to suggest how each action can be implemented. Implementation categories include: Classroom Engagement & Education, Whole School Engagement & Education, School Administration, and Operations Management.

What can I do?

Just like the traditional Green Workplace Challenge, the K-12 GWC can be customized to your school, classroom and / or district’s needs. Choose from more than 150 actions to develop your individualized “game plan”. Actions are sorted into seven different categories:

  • Empathy, Inclusion and Social Equity
  • Employee & Student Engagement
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Materials Management
  • Transportation
  • Air Quality

You can focus on one category, or choose a few actions from each. Further, you are welcome to focus only on the actions your group can complete (such as “Classroom Engagement & Education” actions for teachers and students), or you can engage others in your school or district (such as your building’s Operations Manager) to complete even more actions. There are many ways to make a difference.

How do I learn more?

We are happy to meet with you to help you sign up, develop your custom “game plan”, and discuss how you can engage others in your school. If you’d like us to visit your school, just contact us at or 412-258-6642. You can also review our K-12 GWC Master Playbook and Action Checklist for more information.