Healthy Sustainable Schools: Guide & Assessment Tool

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Please Note: The Healthy Sustainable Schools: Guide & Assessment Tool was produced in 2007. Therefore, information in this publication may be outdated, and may better serve as a historical reference.

With a goal of helping Minnesota K-12 schools reduce operating costs, reduce environmental impacts and promote a healthy indoor/outdoor environment for students, the MPCA produced this document as a free online and printed resource that provides a:

  • Guide (65 p.) to the many physical/operational aspects of a school that can be changed.
  • Assessment Tool (60 p.) - a checklist - for walking through school buildings and documenting what needs to be done to make improvements.
  • Aimed at motivated parents and school officials committed to making improvements, the Guide helps advocates for change sell their recommendations by summarizing the many benefits of a healthier school, which include:

  • Enhanced student health and performance
  • Higher performing school buildings with reduced operating & maintenance costs
  • Reduced environmental impacts
  • Increased student attendance
  • Increased staff satisfaction
  • The Guide covers the following topics under the headings of Buildings & Operations, Reduce / Reuse / Recycle, Health & Wellness, and Toxicity Reduction:

  • Green building; energy and water conservation
  • Smart growth; building location / community adjacencies /size
  • Environmentally preferable purchasing; green cleaning
  • 3R options; paper and food waste reduction; composting
  • Indoor air quality; integrated pest management
  • School bus emissions; mercury, lead, chemicals management
  • Nutrition
  • The Assessment Tool for Change includes these chapters:

  • Free Topic Experts and Resources
  • Getting Started
  • Establishing a Team
  • Building Awareness and Support (includes model policy statements)
  • School Assessment Forms
  • Final Tips
  • View the Guide and Assessment Tool at

    If you're interested in a printed copy of this document, contact the MPCA's Library at 651-757-2120. Note: We are unable to check out items directly to the general public. However, visitors are welcome to use the collection in-house or borrow items via interlibrary loan. To arrange an interlibrary loan, consult your local library.

    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
    Topic Areas: 
    Environmental Health
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Higher Education
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    138 pp.
    Date Produced/Published: 
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: