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Bronze Award

Students planting plants in the ground

The Bronze Award is the first of three award levels in the Eco-Schools USA program. For many, this is the first symbol of success in the Eco-Schools USA program. To be eligible for a Bronze Award, a school must follow the Seven Step Framework to complete at least one pathway.

Bronze Awards are self-assessed by school applicants. Registered Eco-Schools may submit an assessment through their school dashboard to receive the award and download a certificate of recognition.



Already earned a Bronze Award? Download a sample press release to personalize and share with media.

Award Criteria

A school must earn 100 points to receive a Bronze Award. To reach 100 points, actions must be taken at each of the seven steps as outlined below.

Download the Bronze Award checklist to track your school's progress and confirm you are meeting the criteria to receive a Bronze Award.

Bronze Award Checklist

Step 1: Form an Eco-Action Team

  • The school has identified an Eco-Action Team comprised of a diverse group of teachers and students. (5 points)
  • The group meets at least four times a year, and informal minutes are kept at each meeting. (5 points)
  • The group informs the whole school of team actions and events. (5 points)

Total: 15 points

Step 2: Conduct an Environmental Audit

  • An environmental audit of the school is conducted using the Eco-Schools USA audit form for the team’s chosen pathway. (10 points)
  • Students are involved in conducting the audit. (5 points)
  • Audit results are shared with the whole school. (5 points)

Total: 20 points

Step 3: Create an Eco-Action Plan

  • Results from the environmental audit are used to develop an action plan that is focused on one Eco-Schools USA pathway. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Plan is shared with the whole school community. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Plan is used to take at least one action at the school to address an environmental pathway for improvement. (5 points)

Total: 15 points

Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate Progress

  • The Eco-Action Team identifies and monitors progress toward achieving the actions outlined in the Eco-Action Plan. (5 points)
  • Successes and challenges are noted in meeting minutes. (5 points)
  • The post-action audit for the selected pathway has been completed. (10 points)

Total: 20 points

Step 5: Link to Curriculum

  • At most grade levels students are engaged in interdisciplinary, authentic learning experiences around environmental topics. (10 points)

Total: 10 points

Step 6: Involve the Community

  • The school has a prominent, designated way to communicate with the whole school and greater community, such as a bulletin board, website, or newsletter that details Eco-Schools USA activities and accomplishments. (10 points)

Total: 10 points

Step 7: Create an Eco-Code

  • The school develops an Eco-Code with input from the whole school. The code is agreed upon and adopted by the school. (10 points)

Total: 10 points