Eco-Schools, a burgeoning movement, has emerged as a powerful catalyst in encouraging young minds to actively protect and nurture their environment. This transformative programme begins within the classroom, extending its reach to the entire school, and, ultimately, fostering positive change in the wider community. By participating in Eco-Schools, students are afforded a unique opportunity to influence environmental policies within their schools, paving the way towards coveted certification and the prestigious Green Flag award. The programme engages students’ minds in both teaching and learning strategies, fostering new perspectives that remain with them when they return to the classroom.
At its core, Eco-Schools instil a sense of accomplishment among young participants, empowering them to actively engage in shaping environmental management practices within their educational institutions. Through hands-on experiences and active involvement, students develop a deep-rooted connection to the environment, fostering a sense of responsibility and stewardship that extends far into the future. In an age of globalisation, where children often feel disconnected from the impact of their actions and intentions on the world around them, this programme provides a valuable learning experience where they, for once, become the educators themselves.
As schools embrace the Eco-Schools initiative, they embark on a transformative journey towards sustainable practices. From waste reduction and energy conservation to promoting biodiversity and environmental education, the programme encompasses a holistic approach that creates an eco-conscious and responsible school community.
(Source: Eco School Global Awards & Recognitions)
The Eco School Awards are committed to highlighting their core organisational vision through six primary messages, which are as follows:
All-Inclusive Approach: The programme involves students, teachers, and the local community in a participatory manner, combining learning with hands-on experiences.
Improved School Environment: Eco-Schools offer schools a meaningful path to enhance their environmental footprint, leading to a more sustainable, cost-effective, and responsible school environment.
Motivation through Tangible Results: By tackling environmental issues at an attainable level, Eco-Schools motivate students to see real, tangible outcomes, empowering them to believe in their ability to make a difference.
Cultivation of Sustainable Mindset: Eco-Schools instil a sense of responsibility and a sustainable mindset in students, encouraging them to apply eco-conscious behaviour in their daily lives and inspire others to do the same.
Community Involvement: Emphasising the engagement of the local community, Eco-Schools ensure that lessons learned by students extend beyond the school, promoting environmentally responsible behaviour in the wider community.
Global Connections: Eco-Schools foster connections between participating institutions at both national and international levels, facilitating the exchange of environmental information and providing opportunities for cultural and language exchanges.
Eco School’s Themes
Eco-Schools recognizes the value of Themes as an additional framework to provide greater structure to the programme. Eco-Schools leverage their thematic foci to inspire students to pick a theme they are enthusiastic about investigating. These 12 main thematic foci form the basis of the Environmental Review:
(Source: Eco Schools Earthna Qatar)
Biodiversity & Nature: Explores the presence of flora and fauna in the school environment, fostering awareness of biodiversity and ways to enhance it.
Climate Change: Examines individual impacts on climate through lifestyle choices and encourages positive actions for environmental influence.
Energy: Promotes collaboration among school members to increase energy awareness and efficiency within the school.
Food: Encourages responsible food-related choices that protect the environment, promote human rights, and enhance societal well-being.
Global Citizenship: Addresses rights and responsibilities at national, European and global scales, urging consideration of consumption impacts worldwide.
Health & Wellbeing: Advocates for promoting the health and well-being of students and the broader community, establishing environmental connections to safety.
Litter: Explores the environmental impact of litter and proposes practical measures to reduce its generation, reusability and disposal within the school.
Marine and Coast: Educates children on local and global coastal and marine habitats, their vulnerabilities to human influence, and methods to safeguard them.
School Grounds: Provides an opportunity for outdoor education, introducing children to biodiversity in a safe and exciting setting, complementing classroom learning.
Transport: Facilitates collaboration between pupils, staff, and local authorities to address transport issues and develop practical solutions for everyday improvement.
Waste: Assesses waste’s environmental impact and advocates for actions to minimise daily waste generation and disposal.
Water: Raises awareness of the significance of water locally and globally, emphasising simple actions to reduce water consumption substantially whilst studying the effects of a water source on the flora and fauna around it.
Celebrating ISKL’s Remarkable Achievement: Eco-Schools Green Flag Award
We are thrilled to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) for being honoured with the prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag Award once again. This esteemed recognition signifies excellence in environmental action and learning, reinforcing ISKL’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and ecological responsibility.
ISKL’s journey with the Eco-Schools organisation began in 2013 when it became the first school in Malaysia to receive the Green Flag Award. Since then, the school has continued to exemplify environmental education and implement sustainable management practices, guided by the School-wide Learning Goal to “Live Ethically.” This guiding principle calls upon every member of the ISKL community to demonstrate personal and social responsibility, actively working towards enhancing conditions for themselves, others, and the planet.
The Eco-Schools Programme, overseen by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Malaysia, is the world’s largest sustainable school initiative, with an impressive 52,000 schools across 67 countries participating. ISKL’s efforts were assessed by esteemed individuals representing Eco-Schools, including WWF members, university professors, and community leaders. In their report, the assessors lauded ISKL for its remarkable dedication and concerted efforts in creating a greener school environment. Throughout the entire campus, sustainability is interwoven into all school activities, be it clubs, sports, community work, indoor or outdoor engagements, and more. A meticulous checklist ensures that eco-governance is diligently practised within the school.
ISKL’s commitment to reducing food waste is commendable, as they closely monitor canteen food consumption to encourage students to take only what they need. Embracing innovative solutions, the school extensively employs greywater to flush waste and nourish plants, reflecting their conscientious approach towards environmental conservation.
Visitors to ISKL are greeted with a clean and well-maintained campus, particularly exemplified by the impeccably adorned washrooms with living plants adorning the walls. As an Eco-School Model, ISKL sets an inspiring example for other international schools to follow, demonstrating the immense benefits of embracing eco-school programmes.
The school maintains a balanced approach to sustainability by prioritising cost savings without compromising educational quality. With strong support from the school’s leadership, dedicated teachers, and non-teaching staff, students are empowered to spearhead the eco-programme. Additionally, ISKL engages international students from ASEAN countries through its refugee programme, aligning global environmental education with local eco-activities.
Eco-awareness permeates every level of the school community, with even the youngest learners actively participating in the Eco Programme. During the assessment, a remarkable presentation was delivered by K4-K5 pupils, further illustrating ISKL’s all-encompassing approach to sustainability.
The attainment of the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award is a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of the entire ISKL administration, faculty, Green Council, and student body. As a school, they take immense pride in their ongoing growth and are genuinely excited about the continued array of sustainability initiatives and activities that lie ahead. ISKL’s commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable future for our planet is truly inspiring. With every achievement, ISKL reinforces its position as a leader in environmental stewardship and sets a shining example for educational institutions worldwide. We extend our warmest congratulations once again and look forward to witnessing the school’s continued impact on fostering a sustainable world.